My journey to the end of the course (DEIDGBL)

By Rachelle O'Brien, for Introduction to Digital Game Based Learning, 2018

This synoptic paper will consider my journey into understanding the potential of games, and other playful activities, to support and encourage learning and how my views have changed from my experiences. This will be considered through thematic lenses of motivation and emotion, storytelling and narrative and scaffolding.

Before this course, my opinion was that games are a good distraction from everyday life. I had no specific negative view but was not an advocate. Suits (2005 p.159) reflection that choosing to play video games is a ‘voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles’ resonated well with my starting view of games as unnecessary. Motivation and engagement are key themes for consideration in my future work as a learning technologist, developing online science-based safety process training materials. Engagement here refers to the constructivist assumption that individuals’ participation in educationally purposeful activities influences their learning (Coates 2005). My aim for IDGBL related to whether games can support learning in my work context and which, if any, game principles could be considered to move learners towards intense engagement and intrinsic motivation by putting them ‘at the centre of the learning experience to change from “passive vessel” to “active participant”’ (cited in Pannesse and Carlesi 2007).

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