For Non-Traditional Students, Game-Based Learning is a Game-Changer

Here at Recurrence, we’re staunch believers that game-based learning is ushering in the future of education, and a new study by game development platform Muzzy Lane Studios supports what we’ve been saying all along. Called “The Potential for Game-Based Learning to Improve Outcomes from Non-Traditional Students,” the study was performed with the intention of finding out if game-based learning improves the experience of learning for non-traditional students, who are often juggling work, family and their educations simultaneously and benefit from understanding the practical applications for their coursework outside of the classroom. Based on insights and feedback from a survey of 1,700 students, 11 focus groups conducted in person and interviews with school leaders and teachers, the study, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bolsters the the idea that we’ve only just begun to scrape the surface of possible uses for this new form of schooling.

A gaming platform has endless applications for simulating possible real-life situations, allowing students to role-play different scenarios based on data and interactions that could actually happen in the real world in order to gain useful context for why they are studying what they’re studying. Game-based learning takes a curriculum out of abstraction, and students find this to be tremendously beneficial to their holistic understanding of the material. Moreover, mobile and digital gaming platforms allow students to fit their education into their busy schedules at their own convenience by giving them the chance to fit opportunities for study in where they can. Now, with the mere click of a button, a student can complete a case study during her commute to work or while waiting to pick her child up from school, thereby decreasing the likelihood that life will get in the way of the student’s education.

It’s no surprise, then, that Muzzy Lane’s study demonstrates that game-based learning is a great boon to the non-traditional student’s curriculum. After all, game-based learning has already been proven in prior studies to increase intellectual curiosity, improve problem solving skills and allow for greater educational autonomy, which, in turn, fosters a better sense of personal responsibility, accountability and accomplishment in the student. Building on these fundamental benefits, game-based learning offers a variety of new vehicles for education that are perfectly suited to the needs of a non-traditional student. According to Muzzy Lane, some of  these include Micro-Learning Moments, or “short, focused games that fit into students’ lives,” and Developmental Courses, or “skill-building games that work alongside courses.”

This study only lends further credence to our belief that game-based learning is changing the educational landscape in exciting and innovative ways by making the process of learning more accessible and organic for students. Please keep watching this space for more news about game-based learning breakthroughs and Recurrence – and thanks for stopping by!

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