What learning theories support the use of games within the instructional process? What elements of motivational theory apply to the gamification of learning and instruction? This module explores how learning theory supports the uses of games for learning in various different contexts. This module covers important concepts of gaming: self-determination theory, social learning theory, distributed practice, scaffolding, game level, achieving the flow state, and the power of episodic memory. This module also reviews research studies describing the effectiveness of games as well as the effectiveness of specific game elements such as the use of avatars and third-person perspective. Games and gamification are tools that, when applied properly, result in the desired learning outcomes.
After completing this module, students will be able to:
- identify learning theories support the use of games within the instructional process
- identify elements of motivational theory apply to the gamification of learning and instruction
- identify game that is fun and meaningful
- identify the results of studies about the effectiveness of games for learning
- describe the limitations of the research in defining the effectiveness of games for learning
- describe game mechanics or attributes that have been found to be particularly effective for learning or particularly ineffective.
- Flow, the Secret to Happiness, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (n.d.). Flow, the secret to happiness. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow
- The Conditions of Flow, Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi (PDF, 1.6 MB)
- Plass, Homer & Kinzer (2015) Foundations of Game-Based Learning (PDF, 489 KB)
“To Do” List
Applying Flow Theory in Your Instruction
Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory is probably the most influential theory for game design. Please describe how you can implement the flow theory in your teaching practice. Compare and contrast your own teaching ideology to Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory. What are the key elements to your own teaching philosophy? Do your own ideals allow you to easily implement flow theory in your classroom? Why or why not?
Make your initial posts before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on Day 5 of this module. After making your initial postings, review at least two of your classmates’ postings and reply to their threads. Complete your replies before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on the next Monday.
Discussion postings should always be thoughtful and courteous and include some references or direct evidence from the module’s content, readings, or assignments to support your statements. In order to ensure that postings are appropriate in length and substance, please limit your initial postings to 100 – 200 words and each of your responses to 25 – 50 words.
Flow in A Lesson
Attach a lesson, and explain how you would modify the lesson so that it encourages flow for the learner. Please describe why it does not currently meet the guidelines for flow, and what specific changes you will make.
This learning log entry should be 250-300 words, should answer all parts of the prompt, and should incorporate evidence from this module’s content. Compose your log entry in M.S. Word and paste it onto a Weebly page. Post your Weebly page (URL) onto the corresponding link inside Moodle before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on the next Monday.
Submission Example: Learning Log – Module 3: Flow in A Lesson