Making Sense of Digital Game-Based Learning: A Learning Theory-Based Typology Useful for Teachers

Min Lun Wu

Abstract


Digital game-based learning (DGBL) has gained traction on various educational levels in recent years as educators continue to seek best practices and researchers keep conducting studies to investigate the affordances and constraints of such technology-mediated instruction. This paper discusses the intersections between the historical development of educational digital games and contemporary theories of learning. Resultant from the review, a typology of educational digital games consisting of four genres -- edutainment and educational game applications, serious games, commercial off the shelf and massive multiplayer online role-playing games, and educational game design tools--is devised to help teachers interested in digital games better understand the pedagogical processes and cope with challenges involved in implementing DGBL. The paper concludes with the importance that the implementation of different genres of educational digital games in instruction entails teachers’ usage of different pedagogical strategies in accordance with the chosen game genre and opportunities to teach subject area content.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v8i4.13022

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