Exploring the Educational Potential of Game-based Learning through the Eyes of Game Industry Practitioners

By Wee Hoe Tan, Sue Johnston-Wilder and Sean Neill.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines the perception of practitioners in the game industry in Malaysia towards the use of games in education. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight commercial game experts. Findings show that the perceived educational potential of games between practitioners and teachers is different. Practitioners see addiction and engagement as the same thing, therefore, they regard engagement as a threat when using games in education rather than a potential. The practitioners assert that game-based learning (GBL) should be fun, interesting and relaxing, instead of serious, regardless of the type of education context. This view is similar to views expressed in literature written by game practitioners’. According to the practitioners, teachers’ involvement in GBL collaboration should focus on pre-production and post-production of games, rather than on the production stage which includes the process of design and development. However, the practitioners’ knowledge of how GBL should be designed, developed and used was limited to commonsensical views, due to the lack of appreciation of the educational potential of games. Therefore, it is crucial that the practitioners appreciate the importance of the educational potential of games in order to make GBL successful.

Keywords: Educational Potential, Game-based Learning, Practitioners, Game Industry

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.41-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.706MB).

Wee Hoe Tan

PhD Student, University of Warwick, UK

Wee Hoe Tan is a full-time PhD student from Malaysia who is doing research on game-based learning (GBL) in the Institute of Education, University of Warwick, UK. He was educated at Multimedia University, Malaysia for his first and Master’s degrees in multimedia. He worked as a 3D animator before joining academia in mid 2004. He is a tutor on study leave from Sultan Idris University of Education (UPSI), Malaysia. His doctoral research concerns with issues related to how subject matter experts and game experts can collaborate to design and develop GBL for use in formal education contexts. This research is funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia.

Sue Johnston-Wilder

Associate professor of mathematics education, Centre for New Technologies Research in Education, University of Warwick, UK

Originally a secondary mathematics teacher, Sue has worked to develop and improve the use of ICT for teaching and learning mathematics since the BBC microcomputer. She was joint-editor of Micromath, a journal of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics. She was Deputy Director of Nuffield Advanced Mathematics, integrating ICT into the 16-19 maths curriculum. She was Director of NOF-funded ICT training in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Sue’s work includes ‘Teaching Secondary Mathematics with ICT’ and ‘Developing Thinking with Geometry’ which includes a CD of applets. She was a member of the team which developed Grid Algebra and the Bowland Mathematics materials.

Sean Neill

Associate Professor of Research Methods, Centre for Management Under Regulation, Univeristy of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Sean Neill originally studied animal behaviour before researching adolescent fighting; he continues to research disruptive behaviour, most recently in surveys for the National Union of Teachers. He specialises in quantitative analysis and the function of behaviour, including play. He has worked on projects on the educational applications of computers since the 1990s, including four European Union financed international collaborative projects on IT-based learning.

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