Why is it good to learn through the game? There is nothing more serious than a game: there is no other human activity that is so structured and that has so many rules, contents, procedures, objectives, time limits and incentives as a game. In fact, the only way it works is for all participants to "take it seriously," understand and respect the instructions and procedures, think and discuss a topic and do not cheat. Thus, playing not only fosters the union of the cognitive with the emotional but also needs that unity as a condition of possibility.
Then read the 15 reasons why we use games as one of the best teaching-learning strategies:
- An intelligent option: people have an analytical intelligence and a practice, the first allows logical and theoretical reflection and the second, execute actions and make decisions intuitively. In addition, there is convergent and divergent thinking, the first synthesize the solution to one problem and the other imagines different ideas and possibilities. Traditional training approaches consider only analytical intelligence and convergent thinking, while learning through games and simulations also takes into account practical intelligence and divergent thinking. The games require to execute practical actions as well as to devise new ways to solve a challenge, as well as to pose spaces of metacognition and point to a consensus in certain points.
- Integrate and value diversity within a group: the courses have become much more diverse, both by the level of prior knowledge and by the social, cultural, ethnic and/or generational levels from which its members come. Training through games is concerned with attending and considering the different learning styles given that scenario. Playing is a method that adapts to the differences between the participants, especially their differences in rhythms and learning styles.
- Promote the advantages of active learning: it has been proven that passive strategies do not produce effective results in student learning. Current research suggests that anything that can and should be taught, it is advisable to do through methods that require the active involvement of students so that they discover the meaning of learning that.
- Facilitate the participation of introverted students: the most introverted students usually feel threatened when they are forced to participate by answering a question or solving an exercise in front of the rest of their classmates, which generates an emotional block and the consequent loss in their learning potential. For this reason, the games allow all students to integrate and get involved by being able to participate in small groups that avoid being exposed to the whole course, unlike traditional systems that, in short, only focus on those students with more personality or self-confident to participate.
- Link education with entertainment: today more than ever, students want to have fun and have a rewarding experience while learning new skills and knowledge. Given the development of new technologies, training processes are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to attracting students' attention and focusing them on a task. Therefore, it is necessary to offer resources and activities that are attractive and that integrate a variety of stimuli, a greater dynamism and an active participation of the students.
- Encourage peer-to-peer learning and collaborative learning: A proven strategy for effective learning is to encourage participants to learn from each other, that is, to enhance peer-to-peer learning. Many games point to this and allow to develop a wide range of personal and social skills and abilities: when an advanced participant teaches a beginner, both gain in their mastery of new skills and knowledge, such as the ability to dialogue, tolerance to different points of sight, empathy and teamwork among many others, in addition to increasing the complexity of the reasoning and the depth of understanding, since the intrapsychic reconstruction of what is experienced intrapsychically is greatly enriched with different perceptions and opinions.
- Help to take advantage of free time: a game is an effective alternative to model the behavior of students towards the practice of active dynamics in replacement of passive actions such as watching television or playing video games, which entails a series of advantages such as improving the physical, mental and social health of the player.
- Allow quickly adapt the changes in the contents: many games use templates, brochures, videos, recordings, flipcharts, boards, etc. for the different activities, resources that can be adapted and updated easily according to the changes in the contents. In that sense, it is possible to keep the structure of the game intact and update the content to provide the latest information. In addition, this greatly facilitates the design and planning of a class for different courses and levels of learning.
- Provide a periodic and systematic evaluation of learning: through games such as crosswords, team competitions, bingos, etc., it is possible to effectively and concretely evaluate the impact of teaching on student learning, encouraging participation and involvement. of all. In this sense, they allow periodically checking the mastery of content and the development of skills in students, and thus have an effective diagnosis to plan the following classes.
- Offer instances to apply content: participation in a game requires that the learners frequently make decisions and execute certain activities, applying the contents in different ways and in different contexts, and placing a strong emphasis on the active role of the students.
- Allow a large-scale participation: many games make it possible for large groups to actively participate in a class, interacting with the various members regardless of the amount. In this way, they facilitate the organization and structuring of a class aimed at many students and allow everyone to get involved and actively learn.
- Encourage a "facilitating role" on the part of the teacher: This allows them to carry out more dynamic, interactive and dialoguing classes with the participants, being able to share different points of view, creating closer affective bonds and, ultimately, achieving more meaningful and lasting learning in the students.
- Promote teamwork and its associated abilities: in today's world, the so-called "soft skills" or "non-cognitive abilities" such as empathy, assertive communication, tolerance, openness to experience, peaceful resolution of conflicts, etc., are fundamental to perform adequately within increasingly complex and changing organizations. Most of the work today is carried out in teams that require the integration of diverse perspectives, experiences, and professions, based on a multidisciplinary approach. A great advantage of collective games is that, among other things, they point precisely to the development of these skills and are a powerful instance of teamwork.
- "Human beings are the most 'playful' species of all": in addition to other essential aspects, one of the characteristics that most differentiates us from the rest of the animals is that we are the species that most plays and has fun playfully, what to play constitutes a central activity in human life
- Provide appropriate practice and feedback: the best way to acquire fluency in most skills is to repeatedly practice appropriate behaviors and receive feedback or immediate feedback to identify strengths and aspects to improve. The main objective of the games is to put into practice, through entertaining and motivating activities, content and skills that are directly associated with the strengthening of learning, which makes it possible to get instant feedback both for the teacher and the effectiveness of their methods of teaching as well as for the student and his level of learning.