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Aurora Institute

Leslie Fetzer blogs about Chris Haskell’s gaming session at iNACOL Symposium

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Leslie Fetzer

Issue(s): Issues in Practice

Today’s guest blogger is Leslie Fetzer. She shares her thoughts on Chris Haskell’s gaming session at the iNACOL Symposium last week.


Inside the Game-Based Classroom

Chris Haskell from Boise State University’s Department of Educational Technology presented the following key insights gleaned from the research.

Key Insights

  • Quest-based learning incorporates game mechanics, and gamer-like learning communities.
  • Game-based feedback tools like experience points, progress bars, badges, and achievements are motivating and meaningful to students.
  • Students in a quest-based course received higher grades overall when compared to traditional course.
  • Students do more work on average using quest-based learning.
  • On average, students complete quest-based learning design courses in less time than traditional courses.
  • Over 65% of students remain persistent in quest-based learning, continuing to quest beyond the minimum required to receive an “A.”

When I chose this session to attend, I expected to hear how video-type games were being used to engage learners. I was expecting to hear what type of software was being used to develop these games, how the games were played, etc. What I learned was that the mechanics of games with ideas like “leveling up” and badges were being used, but that the learning was happening through quests rather than interaction with gaming software. The evidence presented was compelling. I left considering how I might incorporate this model in Professional Learning for Teachers because I believe teachers want to be engaged and “play” just as much as students. I have been interested in the idea of game-based learning for some time, but I have been intimidated by the amount of time I imagined developing a game would require. I had not considered that I could achieve some of the same level of engagement from using just the mechanics of games. I left this session thinking “I can do this.”  On another note, I would like to see more research from Chris and his team on K12 students. The research presented was on students in higher education.