The Challenges & Potential of Educational Gaming in Higher Education

  • Alsagoff Z
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Abstract

Educational gaming is increasingly being hyped as the next big thing in eLearning both for the higher education and corporate sectors. Digital gaming has been a great success story both in the entertainment and military industries over the last few decades, and has today evolved into a multi- billion dollar industry. Digital games are increasingly being used as a learning tool in the kindergarten, primary, and even secondary schools. Educators in higher education have also been exploring the potential of using gaming as a learning tool in recent years, embedding games into courseware and developing games such as Virtual U. However, before we get too excited about this ongoing educational gaming revolution we should seriously reflect and understand what we are getting into, before investing huge sums and realizing our educational games could end up being nothing more than impressive 3D immersive multi-player gaming environments without much learning taking place in relation to the learning objectives, outcomes, and expectations we originally set out to achieve. This paper will reflect briefly the current educational gaming scenario in higher education, and examine its potential value in facilitating a more motivating, engaging, challenging, collaborative and social learning environment for students. It will also look at the implementation challenges faced in terms of developing games, expertise, cost, pedagogy, and motivating educators to use games in their courses. Finally, it will briefly highlight two educational gaming projects undertaken at UNITAR to enable even non-IT savvy educators to develop their own games. This paper is especially useful for those higher education institutions planning to or venturing into educational gaming.

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Authors

  • Zaid Ali Alsagoff

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