Psychologists emphasise integration of games in the school curriculum to enable students develop in all their faculties. Besides the physical fitness aspect, games provide students with an avenue to release the mental tension resulting from rigorous academic engagement.
Research indicates that the learning process can be made more enjoyable by using games as part of the learning activities. Teachers need to design teaching content that gives some weight to games. Games provide a practical learning approach, which enables students to remember most of the content learnt. Those tasked with design of the curriculum should as much as possible emphasise on instructional methods that make it possible for teachers to infuse games into the classroom content.
Games have found their ways into classrooms for the past several decades. While different types of games and instructional approaches have differed, they have been considerably utilised for pedagogical purposes in the last several years.
Games used in pedagogy span a large range of technologies and they include digital games such as video, computer games and handheld games. Their popularity in the mainstream culture has fascinated stakeholders to question and find ways in which they might be used to engage and enhance learning in primary and secondary schools.
Despite games not replacing the role of a teacher in the classroom, they are seen to succeed or complement the role of the teacher in the classroom; making learning fun and enjoyable. For example, video and computer games allow students to simulate situations such as experiments, scientific and historical events for themselves.
Similarly, they motivate students, who otherwise are weak in some subject areas by allowing them to encounter ‘real problem’ and devising ways of how to solve it. Moreover, the increased use of games in classrooms has contributed to student’s development in other aspects of their personal life. Hence, skills such as patience, discipline, critical thinking skills, problem solving among others, are learned with the use of games.
Games and influence in variety of classes and subject area
The application of games in a variety of classes and subject areas has been investigated extensively in various studies by scholars in pedagogical field (Randel et al., 1992). They have cited that games enhances positive perception of different subjects by students of various learning stages, thus, influencing on their learning outcome.
Cassell & Jenkins (1998) feel teachers have used games to successfully deliver learning content to students. They note that because learning a new language is difficult and challenging and calls for a concerted efforts from the learner, games as an instructional tool, helps a learner to have a positive perception and direct his/her energy towards learning the language. In this case, games provide the learner a meaningful context (Cassell & Jenkins, 1998).
Various languages have different rules which govern its learning and subsequence usage. For example, English grammar comprises of rules, which should be followed to the latter in order for one to understand and use the language coherently. Similarly, Aldrich (2005) cites that games used for instructional purposes have incorporated rules as a form of engagement. These ‘rules’ govern the use of these games in their designated contexts.
Mountney (2009) is also of the same view. He notes that a game is “an activity with rules, a goal and an element of fun”. Thus, the assertions demonstrate that games can be applied effectively and used by learners in learning a language more comfortably (Randel et al., 1992). Moreover, games enhance cooperation because they embrace rules in achieving ultimate goals, thus, through rules, students across different levels of learning, find learning enjoyable and fun as it makes them to follow these rules while playing.
As noted by Aldrich (2005), games designate a clear beginning and ending as they are governed by rules. Competition, in which most games are anchored, makes students to up their skills and initiatives so as to increase their chances of understanding language quicker. Students are thrilled by competition because the ultimate question of who will win or lose remains unrequited until the end of the game.
By simplifying learning and making it enjoyable, games exude fun, which contributes positively to successful learning among students. In most games, learners are required to cooperate in order to attain a specific goal. Most learners embrace cooperation and social interaction, thus, when cooperation and interaction are combined with fun, successful learning is achieved among the students in learning a language.
Randel et al (1992) draw that no matter how different games are described; the eventual pedagogical value is significant on its contribution of learning a language. Games improve teacher-student interaction in classroom. Games establish an environment which fosters quicker learning of a language.
Amory (2001) explores on this assertion by demonstrating that ‘games automatically stimulate student interest; besides a appropriately introduced game posse a higher motivating factor in language learning. Consequently, Randel et al (1992) assert that games prompt motivation and that students get engrossed in the competitive aspects of the game; they try harder at games than in other courses. Hence, games stimulate student interest in the classroom activities, making one motivated and willing to learn.
A student anxiety level on learning a new language decreases when games are used. A learner feels pressured in a language class because they think they understand the language being taught, but in real sense, it is not the truth. Thus, the learners become uneasy about being punished and criticised by their teachers when they commit a mistake. Games play a critical role here; they minimise anxiety, cultivate a positive effect and support self-confidence because students do not feel apprehensive of criticism or punishment while practicing the target language freely (Barta & Schaelling, 1998).
Ruben (1999) illustrates that games are student centered, calling for active engagement. In Ruben assertions, teachers and learners change their relations and roles through games and they become motivated in taking active roles in the learning process (1999). This provides them with a chance in customising their own learning. On an instructional note, establishing a meaningful context for language use augments an extra merit that games provide.
Teachers can establish contexts which stimulate unconscious learning because students’ attention is anchored on the message but not on the language. Hence, when students focus deeply on the game activity, they acquire language in a similar manner they acquire their native language; that is, without being aware of it (Ruben, 1999).
Games established a real-life setting in the classroom which accord students the opportunity to embrace a given language Amory (2001). In games, using a language is accorded a primacy over a language practice. In this context, games help in bringing a class to a ‘real-world’, no matter how contrived a class is (Booker, 1996). Games install a student in a practical situation and establish a relation with the ‘real’ usage of a language (Amory, 2001).
Similarly, they help a student focus their efforts on outstanding structures, vocabulary and grammatical patterns as well. They can also be customised to fit the required language competency and age level, besides creating a healthy impression of competition. This creates an outlet for creative use of natural language in a stress- free environment. Games can also be embraced in various language teaching contexts and with skills in areas such as writing, listening, speaking or reading.
Research in mathematics has shown that many students experience challenges in grasping mathematical concepts (Barta & Schaelling, 1998). Researches, Booker (1996), shows that instructional strategy is significant in understanding of mathematical concepts, thus, successful instructions require a teacher to explore out of his/her realism of personal experience into the world of learners (Booker, 1996).
It is the learner who needs to be engaged for learning to happen, that is, the learner is a person who must make an action to learn through commitment. Barta & Schaelling (1998) illustrate that for authentic mathematics learning, the strategy for teaching should be innovative (Barta & Schaelling, 1998).
The conventional strategies of teaching mathematics through listening and learning have not been effective. This has resulted in students developing a negative perception of mathematics. A combination of methods such has gaming and simulation has proved to be successful (Barta & Schaelling, 1998). These strategies have created a motivational but challenging environment, making mathematics learning experiential and active among students.
Michael & Chen (2006), note that gaming assists a student to be more realistic. Simulation games played in and outside the class improve the mastery of a given mathematical topic.
Because a fundamental problem in mathematics is persuading students to think mathematics outside the classroom context, it is only when a mathematical concept is presented in a manner that connect with everyday activity enhances student understanding. Booker (1996) noted that in teaching mathematics, games increased learning in practicing mathematics lesson and conceptual skills among the third and six graders.
In conformity with the importance of games, Funk cites that for several years games have been used to teach subjects such as science and mathematics. This is because they help in integrating social, cognitive and affective approaches (2002). They appeal to all senses of a student. Simulation, for instance, helps in testing simple hypothetical models, which involves monotonous calculations and high level mathematical knowledge. It provides authentic arithmetical answers because it requires an understanding of the problem to be solved.
Games and simulation in Student Achievement
Acquisition of New Knowledge and Student Engagement
Various researchers have underlined the contribution of gaming and simulation environments to student’s achievement. Funk (2002) explains that gaming and simulation facilitates learning, acquiring new knowledge on specific domains and concept and other several cognitive skills such as decision making, pattern recognition and problem solving.
Randel et al (1992) in their review covering 28 years asserted that gaming can be utilised effectively in prompting interest, teaching domain knowledge and shoring retention in physics, language, mathematics when specific instructional goals are targeted. Similarly, Funk (2002) noted that games supported a student’s engagement, problem solving, academic abilities, information processing and social development.
These processes contribute to a student’s achievement. Moreover, Funk (2002) cites the contribution of gaming and simulation in enhancing student achievement in school. He claims that games and simulation help to develop a student transferable process skills, cognitive objectives, initiative, student centered learning, affective objectives, knowledge integration, creative thinking and sense of completion (Mountney, 2009).
Manipulation of Concepts
Games and simulation such as exploratory interactive games are significant for instruction in subjects such as science and mathematics. They facilitate difficult concepts to be visualised or manipulated with concrete materials. Besides, a student decision making and dialogue are engaged when multi-level games are used. They encourage experimentation, discovery learning and perseverance in subjects such as mathematics, science and mathematics.
In these fields, principles are hazy and explored using games. A student’s effectiveness, motivation, exploration and skills increases by playing computer games (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981). With realistic games, students do not only become intellectually and smartly engaged but have delayed gratification, hard fun, participation, rewards, challenge, making the right decision and using their pattern appreciation and problem solving skills.
Similarly, resource affluent and deprived students make a significant learning gain after playing a well designed game. Bredemeier & Greenblat (1981) also cite that a student ability and cognitive development enhances after playing games and simulations.
A student’s active participation during play helps in integrating cognitive structures, subsequent transfer and retention. Aldrich (2005) found out that a 30 minutes of collaborative learning using dialogue games encompassing constructive conflict, exploratory talk and collaborative argumentation elicited significant improvement in student’s conceptual understanding and knowledge about the physics of motion.
Games and Effective Learning
Green and Bavalier (2003) attribute various functions in which game facilitate learning. He illustrates that a student can acquire specific skills by embracing game based learning. In a study they conducted, focusing on the use of video games, he noted that games improve motor and perceptual skills because they contribute to visual selction attention (Green and Bavalier, 2003).
Their assertions are supported by Bonk and Dennen (2005) who noted that using post game reflection provides a way in which conceptual knowledge is engaged in dialogue with other students during game play. He illustrates that specific cognitive skills such as debate tools, discussion forums, concept mapping tools and bulletin boards are used to support social interaction and fostering depth of learning and discussion.
Green and Bavalier also illustrate that multiplayer games are powerful (2003). They allow the possibility of reliving conflicts and situations in different conditions and settings. The level of engagement in this case is high because a player’s feedback and collaboration is incorporated into while playing the game.
Games as metaphors
Cassell & Jenkins (1998) demonstrate that games contribute to learning as metaphors. In this context, they support higher cognition in micro worlds and open ended spaces for experimentation. They establish games as metaphors; students utilise narrative and role play to develop, imagine and empathise with other people, discover events from potential scenarios in learning and experiment skills in protected contexts.
This process allows students to rehearse and formulate responses activities within a controllable environment. Thus, this allows students to gain build self-esteem and confidence besides extending their potential and innate talents to further extends. Bonk & Dennen (2005) note games such as Civilization III, Racing Academy and Revolution are widely embraced by schools to facilitate learning. The approach significant effects on how learning is conceptualised supported and delivered.
These processes are rewarding and produce quality results by encouraging student engagement and increases student motivation level. By acting as metaphor, games act as a fantasy or a real world for exploration and experimentation.
Hence, this approach works well with students, thus gaining much effectiveness in schools besides, simulation in micro world, enhanced role playing and the use of narratives (Bonk & Dennen, 2005). Thus, they prepare a student in exploring new and different skills and activities within a safe and cohesive environment that may or not transferable to real life contexts or settings.
Bonk & Dennen (2005) contend that games have been significant in learning. They provide a rich and interesting context for learning to take place. Additionally, well-developed games have features similar to exemplary learning environments. These features include ongoing and immediate feedback, complex problem solving with designate goals and adaptive levels of challenge. Hence, they evoke critical and active thinking, problem solving and learning skills which are important in student learning.
Similarly, students learn in action by embracing games such as video games when they interact. This is because, they interact will various aspects of the game and execute intentional actions within the game. On its part, the game continuously responds to each single action and by this process, the player gradually establishes a meaning.
Thus, how people learn by use of video games thus, how people learn with games, in different context mimics a school situation where games are used to embrace activities such as memorisation of de-contextualised and abstract concepts and procedures.
Games and teaching of patience, discipline, critical thinking and problem solving
According to Michael & Chen (2006), games can be used to teach students important personal skills such as patience, discipline, critical thinking and problems solving skills among other. Michael & Chen (2006) illustrate that Chess, for example, is a sophisticated game which has unique move combinations and small little pieces, hence, for students, it is an enjoyable game.
By the use of tablets or ordinary computers and kinesthetic exercises, students are able to learn the game and be able to move the pieces over the board. Hence, due to its intricate nature, students who engage in it are able to learn important benefits such as patience, critical thinking, problem solving and comprehension. In addition to contributing to academic gains, games such as chess cultivate discipline and respect among the students and others.
In New Jersey, the United States, Cassell & Jenkins (1998) note that students who participated in a weekly chess competition showed remarkable improvements in areas such as problem solving, mathematics, critical thinking and discipline. Further, chess opens students minds to a new level of thinking in a manner in which most subjects based instructions did not achieve. Thus, this indicates that games are useful in imparting significant skills on a student.
Games have different capabilities in forming a student. For example, strategy games when used in a school context have massive impact on a student (Bonk & Dennen, 2005). Strategy games allow a student to design and plan several moves, thus when strategising, a student is able to imagine what their opponents are up to next, due to this process, they help strengthen student critical thinking skills. Games contribute in instilling patience among the students.
They establish awareness in a student, in that they make a student know that there are no shortcuts; thus, thoughtful, practice and following the necessary steps in order to win is the only ultimate secret. A student must therefore learn and understand the fundamentals that are timely to advance and prosper with every game.
The formula student devices contribute to a solid technique. This combined with commitment, contributes to a student achieving pertinent skills such as patience and discipline. When a student is hooked into the game spirit and brain, one gets addicted, triggering potential lifelong habits such as patience, discipline, problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Games motivate students to interact with others and compel competition and measurable objectives. This in turn translates to acquisition of several skills in the students, such as self control. Most conventional computer games possess elements that support virtues such as impulse suppression and delayed gratification.
Ruben (1999) notes, for example, that they support or teach listening and impulse control by making students to adhere to a given direction that is governed by established rules. Similarly, they have features which teach focus and the ability to concentrate.
Many researchers have linked problem solving to decision making. Hence, decision making is vital for every person in daily life (Ruben, 1999).
Decision making can be natural for some students, however, for others, it should learn so that they can become critical thinkers. Games have come in handy in enabling students with weakness in decision making, which ultimately affects problem solving, to cultivate a natural decision making practice. Barta & Schaelling, (1998) note that puzzle games play a significant role in cultivating problem solving skills.
Additionally, puzzle games tickle a student mind, challenge skills in logic and have time pressure bound. These elements allow players to think through situations while under pressure.
Hence, these features that puzzle games is made up of teach a student to develop critical problem solving skills, analytical skills among others, under pressure. In assessing the role of games in problem solving, Rolf Nelson, a psychology professor at Wheaton College, performed a psychological study to assess the impact of puzzle games on student problem solving skills (Barta & Schaelling, 1998).
Rolf carried out a research on a group of students. He tasked them to solve a spatial relation problem. Rolf granted them some time before he interrupted what they were doing. He again allowed them some time with the games and allowed them to continue solving the spatial relations problem. The results were that students who played games were able to solve the problem faster, but without paying special attention to details.
Those who did not participate in the game used more time; they paid attention to accuracy of details. Rolf investigation findings illustrate that gaming activity among the students provides a beneficial impact: it enhances a student problem solving skills (Barta & Schaelling, 1998).
Similarly, Fordham University investigated a group of 122 children’s scattered across fifth, sixth and seven grades (Amory, 2001). They students were asked to think aloud in twenty minutes while playing a game that they had never played before. The investigator observed children’s statements to asses if playing a game supported their perceptual and cognitive abilities.
The younger children’s indicated more interests in establishing a series of short term goals which were geared towards helping them learn the game. The older children seemed more fascinated in simply playing the game. Thus, the investigation noted that younger kids were more focused on their planning and problem solving skills while playing the game (Amory, 2001). On the other hand, the older children’s were less focusing on their planning and problem solving skills.
Games: A negative impact on learning?
Various researches to explore the effects of learning, especially violent related computer, video, televisions and movies have occurred over the last two decades (Randel et al., 1992). The results have noted that violent games have negative effects when consumed by children and young adults.
This is because the games affect the development of the children as they contribute to the development of anti-social behavior and aggressiveness. According to Booker (1996) violent games have a stronger effect on child behaviour because of its interactivity nature.
The General Aggression Model (GAM) which was developed by sociology researchers to integrate the most recent findings in aggression theory and research with prior models suggests that aggression is anchored on learning, application and activation of aggression related understanding archived in a child’s memory (Booker, 1996).
GAM indicates that violent games and media create short term increase in aggression. Similarly, various researchers carried out investigations to affirm this claim. The research entailed exposing adolescents to aggressive computer games and observing their respond to the environment. The findings were a justifiable effect on an individual’s ‘internal’ state. Thus, they concluded that violent games and media arguments aggressive cognition. This is because, games increases creates an aggressive affective state and arousal.
Randel et al (1992) also cite that games have a long-term effect that impacts on a student learning processes or outcome. The GMA model depicts a hypothesis that encounter with an aggressive game is a learning trial. This is because knowledge that is acquired by a person playing the game influences his/her interpretation, judgment, perception and response to events in real life.
Hence, the influence of computer game affects the learner in terms of engagement and behavior. Psychologist note that involvement and rewarding improves learning, thus, when this claim is linked to ‘social learning’, where a child learn by acquires observing or imitating others, his/her own behavior is affected as a result of aggressive games. Games give different false messages to a player.
These messages includes; they ascertain that they can solve problems fast and with little personal investment, they assume the best manner to solving a problem is eliminating the source of the problem, that they use instinctual rather than embracing thoughtful problem solving and they assume personal imagination is not a requisite for a problem being solved (Bonk & Dennen, 2005).
These messages and the nature of the games has far reaching impact on a child besides affecting a child stimuli, they affects the absorption of ethics and morals and perceptions to problem solving. Michael & Chen (2006) also claims that games reduce “prosocial’ sensitivity and behavior. Michael & Chen (2006) explores a process where a player is compelled to adjust his/her emotional responses to acts of violence in ‘real’ world, attributed on the internalisation of the violence present in games he/she plays.
The brain development of a child influences his/her future engagements. Hence, when exposed to aggressive games, the brain is trained to accept what is being learned and forms part and parcel of that child.
This is also affirmed to progress during adolescence according to most recent research in brain science, violent games stimulates anger center of an adolescence brain while weakening the brain’s conscience. Physically, games influences negatively on the wellbeing of the players. Research has affirmed that negative implications of games include muscular and skeletal disorders, obesity and postural problems (Michael & Chen, 2006).
Games that Motivates students
Green & Bavelier (2003) cite that the conventional teaching methods involved teachers providing lectures and students completing textbook readings. This type of teaching primarily focused on the teacher and student had minimal interaction in the discussion. Thus, this method lacked motivational incentives required to hold student engaged during instructional time.
Presently, student’s desires and motivations have changed; hence, instructional methods that worked in the past are not effective in modern technology dependent generation. The manner in which students interact with learning as changed.
Green & Bavelier (2003) illustrate that Video games can be effectively used as a student motivational tool in the classroom. Video games serve as an enabler and enhance a student academic success in contexts where it is used. Most students do not enjoy reading books or doing their homework, they embrace playing video games.
The challenging, fun and competitive merit of video games encourages and motivates students to want to play them every single day. Video games have the ability of portraying instructional content in a manner that is engaging than conventional classroom instructions. They offer a motivational boost that assist students to explore, learn and acquire new knowledge.
The ability to relate a video game and the educational level requirement makes students excited about the content being learned. The positive influence of video games was noted by Mountney (2009). Mountney investigation suggested that instruction with video games resulted up to forty percent increase in student learning over conventional lecture instruction (2009).
Computer games also play a significant role in motivating students to learn. Though some computer games constitute mixed reactions such as they constitute violent themes, require great involvement and time and can cause health effect, they are significant for their instructive and enlightening nature.
Computer games comprises of several features such as goal setting, instant feedback and help. These features act as a motivation on the student making learning easy. Similarly, computer games incorporate variable payoff schedules in simulation. Hence, this contributes to students taking risks which in turn help a student to built persistence on the task he/she is doing. This ultimately improves performance, enhances student motivation leading to greater attention to content learning and retention.
Effectiveness of games as an educational tool
Many researchers have argued that games can never assume the role of a teacher, however, they illustrates that games can accomplish more things than conventional teaching practice. For example, Green & Bavelier (2003) indicate that video game allows students to simulate historical events and scientific experiments and processes by themselves. Games also are important for unmotivated students.
They make them gain interests in ancient history and mathematics and reach students who have difficulties in responding to conventional teaching methods (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981). Besides demonstrating new concepts, games such as video games assist students to use problem solving and critical thinking to subjects they learn or have already learned in the class.
Engaging a student
Games engage students hence facilitating learning. Michael & Chen (2006) shows that students notices improvement when they are allowed to use games in the classroom. Studies have indicated that students feel demoralised when they are overwhelmed with substantial information and complex subjects.
Games, due to their nature, they have the capacity to break down or divide learning concepts into smaller manageable goals and milestones. This makes students to feel that they are making progress and improvement which is concrete and attainable (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981). Similarly, students feel the instant impact of their improvement as they progresses with the game.
Various games incorporate instant feedback. Students acknowledge that receiving a feedback from a teacher in regard to a mistake committed is an important element in effective learning. However, at some time, it takes teachers time to grade and relay the responses, thus, feedback is not always guaranteed (Bredemeier & Greenblat, 1981).
Games provide an instant feedback to students. This allows them to try and make the vital adjustment or corrections to their approach. A corrective feedback is fundamental for enhancing learning and games come in to provide a simplified way in achieving this on a student personal level.
Bonk & Dennen (2005) note that games establishes interactive experiences. Games allow a student to engage actively and interact with the subject in question. This is unlike receiving information passively from a book or teachers. Games make learning a physical and active process. Just like playing a musical device or instrument, integrating mental energy and physical movements establishes a new neural link and supports a deeper level of learning among the students.
Students like to explore and engage their imaginations and play “make believe”, experiencing dream world and involving in roles that are exciting than their real-life existence (Bonk & Denne, 2005). In this, games promote their experiences as an alternate reality. Games assist students to practice this in a structured and safe mode establishing an engaging experience for the student (Cassell & Jenkins 1998). This is more significant and powerful factor in classroom learning.
Simulation games allow a student to experience imaginary scenarios or historical periods, assisting them to have a better understanding of the motivation and time of the people involved (Michael & Chen, 2006). A student can experiment, come up with choices and see the effects of their decision, this will help them turn abstract concepts they have acquired or learned into tangible experience.
Some skills in most schools such as learning the time table becomes a repetitive drilling and pure practice, thus, games opens a way of motivating students and translates these repetitive exercises fun and interesting. The magnitude that motivation games foster is they increases a student time on the task, persistence and focus through difficulties linking to increased automaticity and fluency.
Students like playing games, thus, they get to compete against their colleagues. The urge to improve and win acts as a strong motivator, thus, Green & Bavelier (2003) cite that high scores, leader boards and time races are great ways that games can establish a little competition in the student learning experience. Competition to ‘win’ in a game enhances a student effectiveness as it allows other personal attributes such as critical thinking skills, disciplined and problem solving to be developed.
Bonk & Dennen (2005) indicate that Video games allow a student to progress and grow stronger. Bonk & Dennen (2005) term progress and growth is analogous in which students learn and grow smarter. Hence, most game uses some kind of progression dynamic in which the players begin as low ‘level’ with low abilities or points and then with time, they are able to gain experience, points to progress and reach maximum levels (Michael & Chen, 2006). This mode of mechanic is vital motivator for students and especially for children.
Cassell & Jenkins (1998) note that children like to customise their characters and avatars within games. Customisation, which is a feature of most games, allows children’s to feel more connected with their character and with the game.
For example, Bonk & Dennen (2005) noted that a group of children’s played a game pf multiplication on Academic Skill Builders, the children’s played as little penguins moving and jumping around to solve multiplication questions. He noted that by letting a child choose the color and name of their penguin excited them to continue playing the game. Hence, games play a significant role in effecting learning by motivating students.
Games rewards and fosters unlockable contents. Granting incentives for students performance contributes to a more effective way of keeping children’s focused on an educational game for several hours. Cassell & Jenkins (1998) illustrate that games unlocks a player’s new character, costumes and levels by completing a task or tasks on an educational content. They provide children with a distinct and achievable goal and rewards as a positive feedback for attaining the learning goals (Bonk & Dennen, 2005).
These rewards are strong motivators that makes games more interesting, enjoyable and entices student coming back for more. Games are vital and effective tools for educational purposes. Student view them fun and powerful while using hence, they serve as a motivator and engages their time while learning in the classroom.
The practice of teachers using games in class is gaining popularity at a fast rate. This is especially because it is more appealing to each student and it makes learning more enjoyable and memorable. The practice is applicable to all subjects and it only requires a little creativity on part of the teacher to effectively achieve the lesson objective to a high level.
Teachers who are not well experienced in the use of games in classroom can now access resources on the internet on the best practice of transferring games to classroom. When effectively used, games can facilitate learning because they enable students to learn important life virtues such as problem solving skills, patience, critical thinking skills and discipline among others. Also, they add value to learning as they encourages conceptualising imagined phenomenon to real life experiences.
Despite the positive effects that games brings in a learning environment, improper use can have adverse effects on a students. Effects such as health problems, abnormal behaviors such as aggressiveness and poor time management can result as a result of improper administration of games.
Aldrich, C 2005. Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games, and Pedagogy in e-Learning and Other Educational Experiences, Pfeiffer, San Fransisco, CA
Amory, A 2001. Building an Educational Adventure Game-Theory, Design and Lessons, Journal of Interactive Learning Research, Vol. 12 no. 2/3, pp. 249-263
Barta, J & Schaelling, D1998. Games we play. Teaching Children Mathematics, Vol.4 no. 7, pp. 388-393.
Bonk, CJ, and Dennen, VP 2005. Massive Multiplayer online gaming: a research framework for military training and education, Wisconsin, Madison.
Booker, G 1996. Instructional games in the teaching and learning of mathematics. In H. Forgasz, T. Jones, G.Leder, J. Lynch, K. Maguire & C. Pearn (Eds.), Mathematics: Making connections (pp. 77-82), The Mathematical Association of Victoria, Melbourne
Bredemeier, M & Greenblat, C 1981. The educational effectiveness of simulation games. Simulation & Games, Vol. 12, pp. 307-332.
Cassell, J & Jenkins, H 1998. Chess for girls? Feminism and computer games. In J. Cassell & H. Jenkins (Eds.), From Barbie to Mortal Combat: Gender and computer games (pp. 1-17), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
Funk, JB 2002. Electronic Games. In V. C. Strasburger and B. J. Wilson. Children, adolescents, & the media, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA
Green, C.S., and Bavelier, D 2003. Action video game modifies visual selective attention. Nature, Vol. 423 no. 69, pp. 534-537.
Michael, D and Chen, S 2006. Serious Games: Games that education, train, and inform, Course Technology PTR, Thompson
Mountney, N 2009. Improving student understanding of complex spatial-temporal relationships in earth sciences using computer animation and visualisation, HEA GEES Planet, Vol. 22,pp. 72-77.
Randel, J. M., Morris, B. A., Wetzel, C. D., & Whitehill, B. V. 1992. The effectiveness of games for educational purposes: A review of recent research. Simulation & Gaming, Vol. 23 no.3, pp. 261-276.
Ruben, B 1999. Simulation, games and experience-based learning: The quest for a new paradigm for teaching and learning, Simulation and Gaming, Vol. 30 no. 4, pp. 8-12.