Framing the Adoption of Serious Games in Formal Education
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Nowadays formal education systems are under increasing pressure to respond and adapt to rapid technological innovation and associated changes in the way we work and live. As well as accommodation of technology in its ever-diversifying forms, there is a fundamental need to enhance learning processes through evolution in pedagogical approaches, so as to make learning in formal education more engaging and, it is hoped, more effective. One opportunity attracting particularly close attention is Serious Games (SG), which offer considerable potential for facilitating both informal and formal learning. SG appear to offer the chance to “hook” today’s (largely) digital-native generation of young learners, who are at risk of falling into an ever-widening gap between “networked” lifestyles and the relative stagnant environment they experience in school and university. However, there are a number of inhibitors preventing wider SG take-up in mainstream education. This paper investigates SG in formal education, initially by concentrating on pedagogical issues from two different but complementary perspectives, game design and game deployment. It then goes on to examine game based practice in formal settings and focuses on the pivotal role of the educator within the emerging panorama. This is followed by a brief look at some specific implementation strategies, collaboration and game building, which are opening up new possibilities. Finally some points for further consideration are offered.
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