Educators assess learning in a variety of ways including observation of behaviors/skill demonstration, artifact production, portfolio development, and testing. We establish grades, inform parents and students, and record grades in a permanent record. There is lively debate on assessment (particularly the bubble sheet, state-wide, multiple choice, high stakes tests) being used and whether or not these assessments are truly a measure of student achievement. Alternative means (portfolios, observations, artifacts, anecdotal records) are difficult to quantify and standardize, but seem a better indication of a student’s abilities and knowledge acquisition. Ultimately we need to consider the objective, is it to report on student levels or to inform instruction?
Game-based learning looks at making mistakes and achieving mastery in a different way. The making of mistakes and intermittent “failure” is built into the game to scaffold learning and contribute to eventual mastery. A player then analyzes, discusses, researches, and then gets a “redo” based n the information. The goal is mastery.
Game-based teaching has other attributes besides how games deal with mistakes, but it is the failure/mistake attribute that is particularly in conflict with traditional school methodology that rates and fails students rather than using mistakes to learn. If we believe that all children can learn, a more viable way to teach could be through the use of this particular game mechanic.
- Why Do Conservatives Love High-Stakes Testing? (dianeravitch.net)
- SBG – Standards Based Grading (mrvaudrey.wordpress.com)
- How Do We Measure What Really Counts In The Classroom? (fastcoexist.com)
- Gamify with Zeos (powertolearn.typepad.com)
- Curriculum and Pedagogy Matter and ‘Reformers’ Suck at Those Things: The Math Edition (mikethemadbiologist.com)
- Fear of Failing? Many Meanings of Difficulty in Video Games