Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions on Game Based Learning Scenarios in Primary Reading and Writing Instruction Courses

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions on Game Based Learning Scenarios in Primary Reading and Writing Instruction Courses

Article excerpt

Societies need members able to research, find, and develop solutions to the problems that face them. Scholars in the field of education continue to ask how individuals may learn such skills. One way is game based learning (GBL) instruction by which educators try to provide GBL environments to support students' active engagement and motivation levels during instruction (Tham & Tham, 2012). According to Adler (1997) and Stanley (2009), learning through games is one of the most effective ways to learn because games are used to improve content mastery, higher-order thinking skills, and social skills during the learning process (Jan, 2013; Thomas & Brown, 2011). In addition, games are closely linked to the development of cognitive skills, memory and thinking skills, and language and literacy skills (Bodrova & Leong, 2005). Individuals learn language through a very entertaining game with their mothers. Children not only improve their ability to express themselves and realize their own talents, but also find themselves with the opportunity to improve their language, mental, social, emotional, and motor skills through games (Egemen, Yilmaz, & Akil, 2004). GBL also helps children learn basic scientific concepts (Sahin, 2001) and gives birth to new discoveries, providing immersive, authentic, and fun learning opportunities (Garris, Ahlers, & Driskell, 2002; Laghos, 2010; Nerantzi & Despard, 2012).

Pre-knowledge may be reinforced by the use of original educational games that also boost enthusiasm (Odenweller, Hsu, & DiCarlo, 1998). Brooker (2000) and Pivec, Tarin, & Koskinen (2011) have also stated that games are useful tools in structuring knowledge. Similarly, Pivec, & Kearney (2007) point out that games provide opportunities for learners to put what they have learned into practice. Just as games may be used to expand the horizons of children's minds and enable them to explore new universes, so too may they be used to expose them to new ways of learning, teaching, and using creative and dynamic perspectives within such new universes (Lacasa, Méndez, & Martínez, 2008). Games also provide a risk-free environment for participants' new ideas to flourish, change their opinions, and explore new outcomes. As people of various backgrounds and experiences play such games, they contribute ever more to the learning process, sharing in a practical way their individual perspectives and experiences to the rest of the class. GBL has generally been used in college classrooms not only to develop and/or illustrate an idea or concept to learners in order to check their understanding or allow for transfer-of-learning, but also as a way to keep students engaged in learning activities (Anderson, Anderson, & Tylor, 2009).

Games provide teachers new options to educate their students. Just as educational games help children improve their strategic thinking, planning, communication, and decision-making skills (Kirriemuir & McFarlane, 2004; Pratt, Winters, Cerulli, & Leemkuil, 2009), so do they enhance creativity in children, make them more active, and contribute to the development of their decisionmaking skills (Spiegel et al., 2008; Squire, 2006). Games also introduce children to new words, helping them to internalize these new concepts so as to be able to use them in their daily lives without experiencing difficulties (Divjak & Tomic, 2011). In addition, games help facilitate such skills as identifying problems and developing solutions (Altunay, 2004; Brooker, 2000; Dagbasi, 2007). While playing games, children find themselves facing a variety of situations that contribute to the development of their problem-solving skills and creativity (Eow, Wan Zah, Rosnaini, & Roselan, 2009). Zelinová (1999) states that games have a vital role in children's development with respect to building self-confidence, increasing creativity, enhancing the development of sensory and motor skills, retention, evaluation, and creative thinking (as cited in Vankús, 2005). …

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