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Research Roundup: Game-based Learning and Higher Education

This month on the blog, we’re investigating all the ways game-based learning and higher education go together. Today, we’ve gathered a collection of studies that explore the use of game-based learning in higher education, within a variety of contexts and subjects. These studies show that educational games can increase student engagement, motivation, and deep learning. Hats off to game-based learning!

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Keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook for more insights on the intersection of learning games and higher education. Also, feel free to bookmark this post so you can reference this post later! Now, let’s get into all of the compelling research on game-based learning in higher education.

Game On!: Investigating Digital Game-Based Versus Gamified Learning in Higher Education

Researchers from the State University of New York explored the effectiveness of digital game-based learning in this study, which included comparing different types of games to assess their value for learning. This research supports the hypothesis that both digital education games (DEGs) and massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) can improve engagement and learning compared to traditional teaching methods. The study includes a mixed-methods approach and examines the use of one DEG and four MMOs in undergraduate courses in a community college. The findings suggest that game-based learning enhances learner performance and engagement for both types of games!

Teachers’ experiences of using game-based learning methods in project management higher education – ScienceDirect

This study explores the benefits and challenges of using game-based learning in project management higher education. Based on in-depth interviews with 22 experienced university teachers, researchers found that game-based learning can increase student interest, motivation, and knowledge acquisition. Students also found game-based learning to be particularly memorable! While this research highlights the potential of educational games to facilitate class instruction and complement more conventional teaching methods, it also recommends that educators take care in preparing a game-based lesson to avoid technical and pedagogical risks. 

Can the Game-Based Learning Come? Virtual Classroom in Higher Education of 21st Century

This article discusses the use of gamification in education, particularly in accounting courses, and presents a successful example of a game-based virtual classroom that has been implemented in higher education. Researchers emphasize that gamification can enhance the learning experience and promote student motivation and engagement. They also acknowledge that gamification should not replace traditional teaching methods but should complement them

The success of gamification in education relies on both teachers and students accepting games as educational tools and using them in a meaningful way. The study concludes that a game-based learning approach can be effective in transferring knowledge and developing professional skills, and that educators must design a teaching-learning environment that is immersive and promotes independent learning and collaboration among students.

Learning Analytics: Game-based Learning for Programming Course in Higher Education

Through investigating the limitations of traditional classroom teaching, this study discusses the need for new, innovative teaching techniques in higher education. Researchers present game-based learning as a viable alternative, as it stimulates curiosity and interest in students, and has the potential to appeal to all types of learners. 

This research focuses specifically on game-based learning for a Python programming course for first-year undergraduate students. Game-based learning was integrated into traditional classroom teaching and included various levels and activities such as completing code, debugging, and guessing output. Learners’ scores were evaluated using rubrics, and the study concluded that game-based learning has the potential to enhance students’ cognitive and competency skills and to motivate them for lifelong learning!

Innovating Higher Education via Game-Based Learning on Misconceptions

A group of researchers at the University of Bremen, Germany, sought to address common misconceptions in chemistry education and contribute to pre-service teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). The study discusses the development and implementation of a game called “MisCoAct.” Initial trials showed a positive perception of the game, and it was found to be a productive, motivating, and time-effective way of summarizing the content. The game combines subject matter with a playful setting, and it fulfills theory-based criteria such as clear alignment with the curriculum, transparent and manageable learning goals, interactivity, and the possibility for students to check their own progress. Overall, the study suggests that well-designed educational games implemented in higher education can influence future teachers to incorporate more game-based learning in their classrooms.

After reading through all of this recent research, it’s no surprise that game-based learning enhances both teaching and learning experiences in higher education. If you’re a college/university educator looking to engage and motivate students, try out game-based learning

Need to design a specific learning game for your research or educational needs? It’s your lucky day because we’re educational game developers who are ready to work with you to create a high-quality, bespoke learning experience. Contact us today!

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