1 Peking University (CHINA)
2 National Center for Educational Technology, Ministry of Education (CHINA)
3 United Nations Children's Fund (CHINA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 319-326
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1080
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Game based learning is beginning to be used in classrooms in many countries, with research studies providing increasing empirical evidence to support the great potential of educational games in enhancing learning. International research has found that game based learning develops creativity, enables collaborative learning and develops abilities to solve problems. Also, teachers become supporters for studying rather than directors and students are endowed with more freedom to gain and express knowledge. This paper will use a case study of an innovative project in primary schools, mostly in rural Western China, entitled “Games into Classroom”, which has involved thousands of teachers. The project is a collaboration between China’s National Centre for Educational Technology (NCET), an independent body which is part of Ministry of Education, and UNICEF China. NCET has centres in every province and county in China and its mandate is to support educational technology and innovation in all Chinese schools. Currently, its work is guided by the national “2010-2020 Educational Informatization Plan”. NCET believes that as classrooms in China are being equipped with modern technology, and access to increasingly faster internet speeds, learning can become more effective and playful with the support of digital games and the project is being used to gather data to support this premise.

The paper will use the case study to explore game based learning and how to successfully implement it. Thousands of primary school teachers from both rural and urban areas in China have received training on game-based learning, during which, under the instruction of making game-based classes, teachers come up with ideas of applying physical and digital games for class activity design; a series of sample lessons have been videoed to provide reference for a larger scale practice; students also develop interest and advance learning skills in game-based learning process. In the Chinese Language classes in the case study, students are encouraged to make digital stories to present the knowledge about language and culture. Besides gaining experiences and knowledge, the “Games into Classroom” project also expects to improve students’ practical ability to use modern technology, and prepare them for learning in 21st century. Visualization of abstract knowledge is also emphasized in Game-based learning. To illustrate the conception of this possibility in Mathematics, students are able to gain knowledge when they play with a box of small balls, which consist of half white and half black balls.

In the future, NCET will try to introduce game-based learning to more schools and benefit more students in China. This paper will not only present the study findings on how to apply educational games into classrooms, but also make a discussion of the potential that digital video games can be used for teaching and learning in Chinese classrooms in the 21st century.
Game-based Learning, China, Educational Games, learning.