Can video games help us learn?

be4e2a9138cc6664e67f617506160766

When you open up a new video game, do you read the instructions? Of course not. It’s just more fun to jump in and start pressing buttons. And, according to author Karl M. Kapp, that’s an instinct that educators should harness.

In his latest book, “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction,” Kapp lays out his vision for appropriating the principles of video game design for the classroom. Surprisingly, his theories have little to do with online learning and more to do with the nuts and bolts of the traditional classroom.
“If we’re clever about it, we can get to what really matters in games: It gives people a sense of purpose and mission, and it taps into our internal drives to overcome challenges,” says Kapp, a professor at Bloomsburg University. “It’s about thinking like a game designer. They think challenge first, interactivity first, engagement first. In training, we tend to think content first. But content doesn’t mean anything unless it’s in a certain context.”

For Kapp, at the heart of a well-designed course is providing students with an opportunity to learn as they fail — to throw away the instruction manual and get right to work.

“Recently I oversaw an investigator training class, and the first day they said, ‘today we’re going to learn the model for investigating,’” explains Kapp. “I think that’s a bad model. As soon as the person walks into the class, you should say, ‘look, someone’s been accused of embezzling $10,000. What are you going to do?’”

Common themes

Kapp has identified four common themes of video game design that can be applied to college-level lesson plans.

1. A challenge put forth at the outset of the course
2. Integration of the student’s experience into a narrative
3. Constant feedback on individual progress
4. A freedom to fail without penalty



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…