Game-based learning is a joyful experience, that combines teamwork and using your skills and knowledge to achieve a common goal. Completing tasks, earning points and receiving instant feedback encourage the learners to pursue new achievements. At its best, a game can affect the players on a deep level, which makes them understand the topic better.
How does the game influence learning?
The game engages the participants into learning by increasing motivation. It works as an extrinsic motivator, which can spark an interest in the subject matter. Positive learning experiences strengthen the learner's self-efficacy and faith in his or her own abilities.
The game's best quality in terms of the learning process is that it activates the learners. You can't succeed in a game if you don't do anything; you only win (learn) by actively participating in the game.
The game's objective, story and rules direct the players' actions. Within this framework, they have the freedom to decide where the game takes them. At the same time, they're taking responsibility for their own learning.
Different kinds of tasks challenge to show your know-how. Tasks can require searching new information, creative problem-solving, or using your imagination. In the game, the players are responsible for making decisions: should they score points by completing quick, easy tasks, or aim for bigger, more challenging tasks that would score them more points?
Tablets and smartphones work as communication devices, and offer tools for completing tasks. Submitting an answer with a photo or a video? No problem! Utilising mind maps, drawings, comics and other applications is easy in seppo games. Different ways of showing your knowledge offer equal chances to succeed for students with learning difficulties.
Games encourage the players to try out new things and to take risks. In a game, it's okay if you don't know how to do something straight away because failing and learning from it are a part of the game. You can use the positive experiences for your advantage, but 'failures' can be explained by pointing out that it was just a game.
Collaboration is a crucial part of seppo games. When learners solve tasks as a team, they can utilise the knowledge and strengths of individual team members and come up with solutions together. Achieving a common goal fosters team spirit, which continues to live on even after the game has finished.
Pedagogical tool for teachers
When games are utilised in learning, the aim isn't to outsource the teaching to a game. In seppo games, the teacher is always supporting the learning process. He or she monitors the game, assesses the answers submitted by the teams, and encourages the students to keep going. Real-time feedback motivates the students, and gives them new impetus to the game and learning.
A good game challenges the players just right. Tasks that are too easy are boring, whereas too difficult tasks discourage the players. You can design the game in a way that enables the students who normally are not the brightest stars in class to have a chance to win the game. By using seppo, the teacher can create a game that is suited to his or her own students.