Turn your lectures to different games

It is very inspiring to learn from this week’s reading materials that teachers can turn their lectures to a big game for stimulating students’ learning interests. Traditional education did not have so much fun in the classroom. Students were asked to be serious in the class (when I was young) and the way of learning never changed year after year. Students felt learning was boring and even a burden. However, in the new century, how to design an interesting class is one of the most important things in education. Rather than traditional group project and individual assignment, students were asked to play a game by applying knowledge they had already learned or searching the information they needed during the game. Students were more involved in the “game project”; they showed more interests, be more focus on their work, and put more effort to solve the problems, because it was a game and they want to play it! Teachers and parents always complain that the kids spend too much time on internet and video games. But why don’t integrate games into the learning process and make lectures as fun as playing games? Therefore, design a game as part of the lecture or infuse a game into the lecture may be an effective way to stimulate student’s interests and keep them actively involve into the learning process.

How to add “games” into a lecture? Teachers can utilize the characteristic of different subjects. For example, when I was in middle school, my English teacher asked us to remember the “dialogue section” in the test book. But instead of reciting it, she would let us to choose one of the characters from the dialogue and play it as a drama. Since we all try to be good “actor”, so most of my classmates put a lot of effort to recite it and practice it at home. The science (physics, chemistry and biology) teacher can design a game in the lab time or take students to visit the museum. The Science and Technology museum itself is a big game center. Students can find models of air planes, analog equipment of fluid mechanisms, and dinosaur fossils. They can play with the power generator that they learned from class and watch hatch process of chicken in a transparent incubator. It is great sample show students how to utilize the knowledge from test book in real world, and students are better understand and remember these knowledge by take part into it. As shown in the video, computer teachers can let students to design a video game themselves. Students will not learn the basic usage of computer/software but also extend their ability in organization, creativity and imagination during this process.

To sum up, in order to inspire student’s learning interest and motivation, teachers themselves are need to actively involved into the teaching process first. Teachers could learn from successful experiences of other instructors, information from social media, and what is popular during students such as video games. As long as to integrate the idea- adding fun/imagination into lecture, teachers can create a attracting learning environment and keep students mindfully learning inside.

9 thoughts on “Turn your lectures to different games

  1. It’s interesting that you remember acting out dialogues in middle school! I wonder if there’s away to make that kind of active learning exercise more like a game? Could it be framed as a problem to solve so that students are encouraged to try out different strategies for learning their lines? Maybe instead of memorizing the dialogue they could be given a scenario and asked to formulate the dialogue themselves?

    • The idea to give students a scenario and asked to formulate the dialogue themselves is great. We did not do this because we were at the entry level of English that time and had not have enough English words to make a dialogue ourselves. But at the end of the semester, it will be a great idea to let students to formulate a play themselves by using what they learned in this semester. The teacher did set up problems and let us to dissolve–but only in the form of exam. Sometimes our exam questions will be: imagine you and Mary will organize a New Year party, and what you two will talk about, please write a paragraph no less than 100 words.

  2. Very good post! I have been thinking of how to integrate something similar into a class my advisor teaches. Something that will motivate students to explore more about the topic and feel more engaged. I was thinking of integrating an exercise in which students play different team roles. Designers, financiers, consultants, government officials, that way they are showing different vantage points to the class while learning the material. This post has motivated me to explore this avenue. Thanks!

    • Thank you for your comment! I do love your idea that to let students play different team roles. Just think about as a engineering student but have a chance to play a role as “government officer” , so much fun of it!! It will turn a regular group project to a exciting game! I look forward to see your success in your class!

  3. Awesome! I concur, I feel like learning is a form of interaction with a stimuli and at times becomes a social interaction in which I think sometimes instructors view it as one dimensional and disregard the partner in the relationship (Learner). I think your teacher selected a great activity/assessment that to date you still remember, so to some degree was meaningful to you. That’s the fun of teaching to me, making it memorable and meaningful with something relevant to the learner and the subject as your teacher did with you. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for your comment! I remember it very well probably because I have desire to be an actor. But I believe many kids have this desire when they watch TV. So teachers should try different methods to explore student’s potential interests and ability. Hope your future teaching will also be memorable and meaningful for all of your students!

  4. Yes, I completely agree with your points. Letting students engage in the class content in a way they might enjoy is a big challenge, which teachers might need to think about for not making the lectures boring. In this digital age the students have short attention span and they will get quickly bored if they are not engaged in a class. So we as teachers need to plan things that will help them to get the maximum out of the class time. I think peer discussion, role playing, games and all sorts of collaborative strategies are the best way to engage students in a class and help them to think in a creative and broader way by looking into each other’s perspective.

  5. Thanks, I appreciate you post! The idea of involvement and purpose including teachers AND students is great – it seems it is important to spark motivation an interest not only in the students, as often said, but is in the instructors too! How could be think in shared energy, shared learning without it?

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