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Using Games to Improve Learning in a Classroom
Motivation is a key element for any learning environment. Studies shows (and common sense too!) that a motivated student learns better than a non-motivated one. A motivated student makes the job of a teacher easier to accomplish due to the interest and commitment to work caused by that motivation, another common sense conclusion!
The following are basic definitions and guidelines to develop a classroom game that would attain the learning objectives expected.
What do you want the students to learn?
It's very important to keep this idea central to planning your lesson and choosing or designing a game, or you may end up using a game in which the material to be learned is bypassed by the players
Decide what sort/rules for the game
You may want to use a game that you already know is fun, like a trivia game, your favorite board game, or a relay race, and use that as a base for the rules. Decide how you will organize the players. Should the students play individually or in teams? If they have teams, make sure that they come up with “cool” names, to increase the commitment. Will they compete against each other or just for a score? If players are not competing against each other, you will definitely want some kind of storyline for your game.
Break Objectives down into Challenges
It is also possible and often desirable, to have multiple levels of challenge. For a trivia game, the challenges are individual questions. For other types of games, they might be identifications, measurements, or other tasks. Once a certain number of challenges have been accomplished, it's time to move on to harder tasks or a different kind of task.
Build Game and Design Rewards
Work out the rules and print or assemble physical apparatus like cards, boards, etc. Although this can take a fair bit of time, and even some money, good-quality pieces are reusable, and exciting for students. Prizes for completing or...