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The Vniversity - provide you with innovative instruction using virtual worlds and real imaginations.
The Vniversity - provide you with innovative instruction using virtual worlds and real imaginations.THE GAME - Futur-E-ScapeThe Vniversity - provide you with innovative instruction using virtual worlds and real imaginations.FOR EDUCATORS - Futur-E-ScapeThe Vniversity - provide you with innovative instruction using virtual worlds and real imaginations.BLOG - Futur-E-ScapeThe Vniversity - provide you with innovative instruction using virtual worlds and real imaginations.
Game Based Learning
 
The Vniversity - provide you with innovative instruction using virtual worlds and real imaginations.

Educational games are games specifically designed to teach people about a certain subject, expand known concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill – all the while engaging them in interactive events (i.e.: games). Currently, the educational titles within the video game market accounted for only 2% or $140 million of the $7.3 billion of retail sales in 2004. Some of the more prevailing attitudes and opinions held by teachers and students about educational games and game based learning in general are

Teachers: Pros- Games have the ability to more accurately place students in the place or event that is being studied. Teachers also felt that games have the ability to improve group interaction. Cons- Teachers often find it difficult to justify the use of games during school time because their content did not map the national curriculum. They also are concerned with the games ability to accurately track and monitor progress of the students.

Students: Pro’s- Games are more entertaining than one-dimensional textbooks. Games allow you free exploration of content. Cons- Most educational games are more educational than entertaining, so they are often bland and boring compared to commercial titles. According to a 2003 MIT study, student’s biggest qualm with educational software is the quality. To them, these titles look like infomercials due to their low quality, poor editing, and low production cost.

 
Barriers to Entry

At The National Summit on Educational Games in October 2005, three groups – the Federation of American Scientists, the Entertainment Software Association, and the National Science Foundation - were generally positive about the impact of video games on the current educational climate. However, they identified seven potential barriers to the incorporation of games and simulations to the learning environment:

 
  1. High development costs make video games too risky for the educational materials industries. (It’s not familiar ground to them.)
  2. Schools are reluctant to give up textbooks or purchase educational technologies that have not proven their efficacy. (Current entertainment games do not track educational efficacy.)
  3. Some parents and educators have negative attitudes about video games.
  4. Schools are slow to adopt new innovations and make the organizational and instructional changes necessary to make effective use of new learning technologies. (Not sure of efficacy or how to complement their curriculum.)
  5. While games may be especially good at teaching higher order skills, these skills are not typically assessed in standards of learning-types of examinations.
  6. In some schools, access to computers may be too small for them to play a mainstream role in learning.
  7. Data from evaluations is needed to show that learning games are effective. (Efficacy data is needed.)
 

To this list we would add a few others:

  1. One has to also consider that the educational market is highly fragmented (ie 16,000 K-12 school districts) which makes market penetration and retention costly.
  2. Serious games are fundamentally different than the prevalent instructional paradigm. Serious games are based on challenge, reward, learning through doing and guided discovery versus the “tell and test” method that is prevalent in schools today.
  3. Most cutting edge video game developers are not accustomed to co-developing supplemental materials.
 
GBL Case Study: 1990 Edutainment

This format is the most closely related to the "tell and test" method employed by most teachers. It is also the least interactive and engrossing to the player. There are numerous games within this segment- JumpStart, Reader Rabbit, The ClueFinders, Gcompris, eduProfix, Zoombinis, Pelmanism, Quest Atlantis, Urban Jungle, Storybook Weaver and Gizmo & Gadgets. Most of these types of games target young user from the ages of about three years to mid-teens; past the mid-teens, subjects become so complex (e.g. calculus, physics, etc.) that teaching via this standard format has proven impractical.