Virtual Reality: Useless gimmicks or the way for effective learning in future?

To find your self in a 3D scenario is awesome per se and if, in addition, you can take some actions you are INVOLVED. You are part of the situation, you are fully concentrated and motivated to learn more. VR turns the learner to an explorer.

You will have the chance to take, say, a body apart and have a look on things you are not able to see usually.

You will have the chance to move from one place to another nearly timeless and you can switch between scales, from big size to small size and feel as a giant or a dwarf.

VR provides various possibilities to make things visible and understandable.

So VR obviously is best for education. So will there be VR everywhere in education in future?

Well to get this future scenario we need more VR apps and more VR stations and both to reasonable prices. Maybe if the demand is increasing and the cost per units are decreasing this trend will be rapidly growing and changing the whole educational field. Maybe VR will be standard equipment in all schools in future, same as happened to computers and we are the beginning of a new era. So let`s be prepared.

Renate Wachter

The Implications of Gamification in Game-Based Learning

In the last decade, more and more behavioral researchers have sought to find out to which psychological needs does the elements that make up a successful video game answer to, and how to use these elements to motivate active participation in problem solving. And they discovered that game mechanics like goals, victory points, ranks and levels, etc., tap into people’s natural desires for competition and achievement. In the educational field, the key question was how to enhance the learning process by using games in general and video games in particular and how to bring effective game mechanics into a serious learning process. In order to answer to this questions the concept of gamification was developed.

So…Why do we talk about gamification?

The concept of gamification includes the motivational elements, like reward systems, that trigger behaviors valuable for the pupil in the learning process. So, in the context of teaching and learning we can say that the process of adding games or elements of games to encourage engagement and participation to a task is called Gamification.

The motivational elements that we talked about above are called game mechanics. Game mechanics are rules or methods designed for immersion providing this way an engaging game play. In order to gamify a classical educational activity we can use a large range of game mechanics which have proven to be effective. Simple ones like goals, quests, victory points etc. or others that involve more complex behaviors like turns, resource management, role playing etc.

So a long teaching-learning process can be improved by gamifying it. This way we can allow participants to solve problems, win awards and be acknowledged while learning through first person experience.

How can students and teachers work together to create educational video games?

By sharing knowledge. Teachers place their experience in organizing educational activities in logical sequences ranging from simple to complex, and students can indicate what motivates them and keep them active and involved in an activity.

ILONA CHIRIAC

Why is it necessary to know the types of intelligence and the types of learning in order to create games?

Each child has a predominant and special form of intelligence, and any teacher should have the knowledge to recognize this intelligence and its capabilities. Multiple Intelligence Theory was developed in 1983 by Howard Gardner. He had suggested that the traditional notion of intelligence (IQ – the intelligence coefficient) has its limitations and instead he had proposeed eight different types of intelligence to cover a much wider palette of the human intellect.

On the other hand, there are 8 learning styles associated with types of intelligence at school There are eight types of intelligence: verbal, kinesthetic, naturalistic, logic-mathematical, spatial, musical, intrapersonal, interpersonal.  For each type of intelligence there is a corresponding learning style. Depending on the type of intelligence a child has, you can find the essential methods and techniques that make learning easier for this particular child.

For each educational game created it is necessary to consider certain objectives in order to develop a certain skill. Starting from this remark, educational games created by our pupils involved in this project will transform the learning process into a very enjoyable and entertaining one. These games should make pupils aware of the peculiarities of the learning process and so they will better understand our world!

ALEXANDRINA ROCA

Game-Based Learning for Pupils with Speacial Needs

Learning is a process by which pupils may acquire knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for their personal and social life.

Learning as a process involves: the transmission of  knowledge from the teacher to pupils (i.e., the teacher is a performer) and the participation of pupils (i.e., pupils participate by using their previous knowledge and accumulate new knowledge in the course of this process).

In the process of learning, we memorize 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear at the same time, 80% of what we say, 90% what we say and do at the same time.

Learning can be done by simulating, by playing at different disciplines (trips to an imaginary map, battles, wars, or historical events). It is a formative method and has an active-participative character, pupils participating directly and consciously in documenting, proposing solutions, and interpreting roles.

A game is a form of organizing cognition and, implicitly, a way of organizing knowledge, being a specific human activity. The rules of games are the rules of learning. For a little child, a game is a central activity. A child has a playful motivation in relation to the objects, but after the age of 6, games must have a educational role, and finally at adulthood games become a relaxing activity. The stages of cognition development correspond to a precise forms of play.

Each educational game includes: content, a didactic task, the rules of the game, and the action of the game.

Optimal learning conditions are the goal and motivation of pupils, which are fully met by using games in the learning process.

The educational value of games has been recognized  by Plato since Antiquity, but also by the Renaissance thinkers.

For pupils with special needs, a game is a permanent form of a learning process.

In the Romanian special education system, the entire learning activity is structured around games. It is more engaging for pupils with special needs to get involved in a game activity than to ask them to work on certain tasks as happens for “ordinary” pupils.

A didactic game stimulates pupils’ initiative and creativity. Children are more easily mobilized, engaged, when they know that they are playing. A game has a therapeutic role, it is a source of satisfaction through the rewards they receive, it eliminates stress, fatigue, fear of failure, channeling energy to attractive and tonic activities.

It can be seen that the importance of game-based learning cannot be disputed. By playing, by creating games, the pupil is in the situation of being an actor and not just a spectator.

SORINA PERSINARU

CORINA IONESCU