Inspired by my online Eduro Learning course called “Game-based Learning and Gamification,” I launched our unit of Imperial China with a game design project in sixth grade social studies. Essentially, students were asked to become game designers. Teams worked collaboratively to research, design and deliver a game to be played by their peers based on a physical feature of China and its historical connections to Imperial China. Throughout the game design cycle, I conferenced with students individually and numerously as a team. Students created games using Minecraft, an online gaming site called Kahoot and other game designers were inspired by Monopoly, trivia games and Capture the Flag.
Integrating game-based learning into the classroom provided ways to diversify learning. Games in education cultivate joy, laughter, play, motivation, creativity and fun.
“They are designed to create a compelling complex problem space or world, which players come to understand through self-directed exploration. They are scaffolded to deliver just-in-time learning and to use data to help players understand how they are doing, what they need to work on and where to go next. Games create a compelling need to know, a need to ask, examine, assimilate and master certain skills and content areas” (Institute of Play).