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Research Roundup: The Positive Impacts of Game-based Learning

When it comes to game-based learning, there’s a whole lot to love! Game-based learning is a superhero in the K-12 classroom, but it’s also versatile. Adults of any age can productively partake in game-based learning, and professionals of all kinds can use it to boost their skills and careers. In this blog, we’re going to look at a variety of the positive impacts game-based learning can have. These positive impacts aren’t just our love for GBL talking, though – they’re backed by recent research! 

via Giphy

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Mobile game-based learning as a solution in COVID-19 era: Modeling the pedagogical affordance and student interactions

We’ve brought attention to the rise of digital distance learning previously on the blog, but what does the research say? To analyze the effectiveness of mobile game-based learning, researchers gathered data on 7 different variables from higher ed students during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. These variables included perceived ease of use, perceived enjoyment, personalized learning, collaborative learning, student engagement, student performance, and, of course, mobile game-based learning. Researchers found that “MGbL [mobile game-based learning] is an ideal educational practice toward COVID-19 outbreak, increasing student engagement in [the] learning process and improving academic outcomes. Moreover, personalized and collaborative learning further support the effectiveness of the MGbL technology. The results also show that the perceived ease of use and perceived enjoyment positively affect the intention to use MGbL, since students can use it without effort and be motivated by the gameplay.” Though we’re several years out from the initial lockdown period, it’s good to know that whatever comes our way, game-based learning will be an effective option, whether in hybrid, in-person, or remote learning scenarios!  

Effectiveness of Game-Based Learning on Anxiety and Postoperative Self-Efficacy among Children Undergoing Surgery 

In this study, researchers explored the effect of game-based learning on the anxiety levels and recovery of children who underwent operations. This article includes data from 80 different children between the ages of 8 and 14 years. These individuals played a game while prepping for surgery, and then played another game after surgery to learn more about postoperative care. Researchers concluded “Present study showed that game-based learning is effective in reducing preoperative anxiety and enhancing postoperative self-efficacy of children… It is evident from the literature review that children prepared for surgery were less anxious and preoperative anxiety was less in children who were prepared psychologically.”

We’re no strangers to video games as therapy or the medical applications of games. In fact, last year we worked with our client Turing Medical to create FIRMM-pix, the first in-scan solution combining gamification and biofeedback to reduce patient motion and improve brain MRI data quality. We’ve also worked with clients like Akili to create EndeavorRx, “the first FDA-authorized prescription treatment for inattention in children with ADHD delivered through a digital therapeutic.

Exploring the Potential of Digital Game-Based Vocabulary Learning: A Systematic Review 

While educational games are excellent for STEM learning, don’t forget that they’re also great for humanities education as well! In this article, researchers set out to determine the effects of game-based learning on vocabulary development. To do so, they reviewed 13 related studies from the last 5 years to put together a big picture. Their analysis of the literature found that educational games increase motivation and engagement, and the positive emotions it elicits may lower foreign-language anxiety in students. This is important because, as the researchers note, “Reduced anxiety in students has, in turn, proven to enhance memory and vocabulary retention.” Interested in knowing what some English language arts or English language learning games look like? Check out our project with Scholastic, Scholastic W.O.R.D., or the game we prototyped with Amazon, Project Colby

Impacts of Game-based psychotherapy intervention to elderly with memory disorder

In recent years, more researchers have been trying out game-based learning as a form of psychotherapy. Why? Unlike many medications, games don’t typically run the risk of side effects. Also, gaming requires a combination of skills at once, like concentration, memory, and quick reflexes. As confirmed in this recent study, these unique aspects of gaming are helping older adults with symptoms of a memory disorder improve cognitively. According to researchers, “Findings show the impacts of game-based intervention in terms of cognitive improvement, improved memory recall proven through the improved time in assembling the puzzle, and improved skills and IT literacy among elderly.” 

To summarize, not only does game-based learning improve memory and cognitive functioning in older adults, but it also improves technological literacy. This newfound literacy can open the door to all kinds of connections with others.

Promoting respectful maternal and newborn care using the Dignity game: A quasi-experimental study 

via Science Direct

In this study, we’re going analog! Researchers had participants play a board game to increase their knowledge of pre and post-natal care. The study involved a board game called Dignity included 215 nurses and midwives. The game was designed to instill respectful maternal and newborn care (RMNC) principles into its players. As defined by the article, the game “promotes understanding and practice of RMNC in the context of a woman’s childbirth experience. Players need to complete a journey and collect cards…which are combined to determine the final score and the winner.” Researchers then investigated how game-based learning influenced their practice. They found that after playing the game, “Post-game scores showed an increase in knowledge of respectful care principles. The game was also useful for self-reflection.” 

As you can tell, the applications of game-based learning are practically limitless! We love game-based learning because it can provide solutions to many different challenges. Whether you need an educational game for professional development, subject-specific practice, or therapy, learning games make a big impact. 

Looking to create a learning game for your business, practice, or classroom? We’re the educational game developer you’ve been searching for. Contact us for a complimentary consultation!

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