Video Games : A Tool For Learning Students Essay

Video Games : A Tool For Learning Students Essay

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The idea that with the use of video games as a tool for learning students could increase academic performance is exciting. Video games can bring enjoyment and motivation to the learning environment that is not typically characterized as enjoyable and motivating. Although video games can be a highly motivating source of enjoyment, the practice of integrating video games into curriculum and the belief that students can learn in the process is one that holds skepticism by parents and educators. Educators have established online tools that incorporate the use of video games for the purpose of affording students opportunities to learn while appreciating learning (De-Marcos, Dominguez, Saenz-de-Navarrete & Pages, 2014). Software companies and educational professionals collaborate to develop engaging online learning courses for students (Hill, 2015). Utilizing constructivist learning theory, educators have realized the importance of engaging students in learning activities that encourage the active rather than passive role of learning (Afifi, 2010). Teachers of students in online learning programs struggle with preserving student motivation and engagement in online courses (Barrett, 2013). For instance, research implies that teachers who implement time management activities presented in a game-like format for students boosted student engagement as well as the amount of time engaged in a course activity (Hess & Gunter, 2013). By the same token, video games as learning devices have proven to be successful in increasing student engagement (Hess & Gunter, 2013; Bourgonjon, Valcke, Soetaert, & Schellens, 2010). Retrofitted to incorporate learning standards, Minecraft, a sandbox game, originally designed for nonacademic entertainment has ...


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...increase in motivation, self-regulation skills, and improved attention. Theoretical writings on the way students learn includes works by Vygotsky and Piaget. According to these theorists, the learner must be given tools and space to acquire new skills. Further, it is the experimentation with the child’s environment that drives learning. Utilizing the video game Minecraft for learning has been shown to provide a motivating environment where students can learn (Cipollone, Schifter & Moffat, 2014). Consequently, whether students who are using Minecraft for learning meet specific objectives of a course is a question still requiring further investigation. This dissertation assesses student performance when utilizing a video game, Minecraft, as a tool for learning. It also addresses whether students can meet course objectives that are set by the educational institution.

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