Gaming as a Tool in English Language Teaching What is Game-based Learning, and how do teachers experience digital games as an educational tool?
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Helga Dís Ísfold Sigurdardóttir states that we need to take gaming seriously and that gaming should be given more space in today’s classrooms (Johansen, 2019). But what does gaming in the classroom look like? The aim of this study is to find out more about what game-based learning is and how teachers experience using a digital game in their teaching. Six teachers partook in this study. Two in grade 7, two in grades 8-9, and two in grades 11-13. The teachers’ in-service experience varied, but they were all curious and interested in trying a digital game. The criteria to partake in this study was to conduct a premade lesson plan with a provided game and to be interviewed about the experience after. The game that was used in this study was Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes by Steel Crate Games. The game requires the players to communicate and cooperate to disarm a digital bomb. I chose to do a qualitative study with a phenomenological approach and the data was collected through individual, semi structured interviews. All six teachers agreed that the game had educational value and stated that they would use it again. The teachers mentioned skills such as cooperation, teamwork, communication, citizenship, and problem solving to mention a few, as skills that was engaged during gameplay. They also expressed that they would like to incorporate more games into their teaching. However, the teachers regard their own lack of competence as a hinder to use more games in their teaching and they do not wish to spend their time on learning more about educational games. Nonetheless, the teachers agreed that it was a positive experience for both them and their students.