- Teacher Yomyko Clark likes to assign students a project of building a board game that includes 15 math problems, then have them each play the others' games.
- As a math teacher, she knows that not all students sees the subject she teaches as enjoyable, so providing a game-based learning option allows her to bring some fun into lessons, Clark wrote for Chalkbeat.
- Clark finds that games can effectively deliver a math lesson even as students see themselves as just having a fun experience.
If teachers can’t reach students and inject a spark into lessons, a learning moment can be lost. That’s why it’s important to make learning as enjoyable as possible, particularly when challenging students in subjects they — or even teachers — may have an aversion to, such as math. When students have fun, they’re also “more willing to participate and take risks,” according to the American English website.
Game-based learning — notably different from gamification, which brings game-like elements into learning — is the use of games in the classrooms as part of curriculum. While not a new trend (teachers have encouraged students to play games for decades), it has been found to be correlated to positive learning outcomes. A 2017 paper found that using games in school settings can create a competitive environment which can “enhance learning effectiveness,” as long as teachers are supporting a collegial working environment in the classroom.
Any learning tool that is both enjoyable and effective in education is one administrators and school leaders should note as they design curriculum for K-12 students.