Play/Game-based Learning

Description of Task Force

Current research into games based-learning has shown potential for improved learning and educational processes in at least three areas: (1) student motivation and interest, (2) student learning of complex content especially in science, engineering and technology domains, and (3) student learning of 21st century skills, knowledge and practices. In US and Europe, a significant portion of game-based learning research focuses on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field in formal science education. In Asia, the fun factor of game-based learning is foregrounded in most research (GBL is often framed as joyful learning) and there are few dedicated to learning complex ideas and 21st century skills.

In Singapore, game-based learning is mostly employed to motivate learning and to foster academic content mastery in the classroom. It is sometimes, though rarely, used in the classroom setting to promote 21st century skills. Reasons for this scarcity are suggested by a recent empirical study in a school renowned for its endeavour in game-based learning. The study suggests that game-based learning is employed infrequently though the school has invested heavily on developing digital games and corresponding learning activities. Observed adoption trends may be due to (1) the lack of clarity on the role of games for learning, (2) the challenge of designing learning activities around the games, (3) the unavailability of appropriate games for intended learning objectives, (4) difficulty in classroom management, and (5) the lack of time in designing and managing game-based learning programs.

Given the above school-level issues, this research theme explores the development of (1) teacher professional development models for game-based learning, (2) empirical investigations into the design and efficacy of game-based learning within Singapore’s social, cultural and curricular constraints, and (3) working models for how MOE, schools, vendors and researchers can synergise their efforts in promoting game-based learning. Because the above issues pertaining to game-based learning are also major hurdles for countries engaging in game-based learning research (e.g., the U.S., China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the UK), this research theme presents a unique opportunity for Singapore’s to develop a niche pertaining to the research, design, development and practice of game-based learning.

List of team members:

List of team members' publications related to the research theme:

  • Azilawati Jamaludin
    • Jamaludin, A., & Hung, W. L. D. (2016). Digital learning trails: Scaling technology-facilitated curricular innovation in schools with a rhizomatic lens. Journal of Educational Change, 17, 355-377.

    • Jamaludin, A., & Hung, W. L. D. (2016). Problem-solving for STEM learning: navigating games as narrativized problem spaces for twenty-first century competencies. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 12 (1).

    • Jamaludin, A. (2015). Learning, Becoming, Embodying: A theoretical review of embodiment in an era of pervasive media technologies. New Media and Learning in the 21st Century: A socio-cultural perspective. Singapore: Springer.

    • Jamaludin, A. (2014). Self-social regulation in World of Warcraft: Dialectics of adaptivity. In D. Hung, Lim, Y. T. K, & S.S., Lee. (Eds.) Adaptivity as transformative disposition for learning in the 21st century. Singapore: Springer.

    • Jamaludin, A., Kim, M. S., & Hung, D. (2012). Unpacking self and socio dialectics in learners’ interactive spaces. Computers and Education, 59(3), 1009-1020.

    • Jamaludin, A., & Chee, Y.S. (2011). Investigating youth's life online phenomena: Subverting dichotomies through negotiation of offline and online identities. International Journal of Gaming and Computer Mediated Simulations, 3(4), 1-18

    • Hung, D., Jamaludin, A., & Chen, V. (2010). Investigating projective identity trajectories for 21st century learning classrooms. Educational Technology, 50(5), 50-55.

List of projects from this research group: