Institute of Information and Communication Technologies - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 7036-7044
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1686
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Nowadays, the teaching process is based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to a large extent. Thus, many diverse technology-enhanced approaches are enabled as well as digital tools transform traditional education. Further, with the rapid penetration of innovative technologies and ubiquitous digitalization, computer games are becoming an integral part of the everyday life of contemporary generation and the social culture as a whole. Digital games in all platforms (web-based, console, computer or mobile device) not only gain increasing popularity but also are a daily routine for adolescents and young adults. Notwithstanding most of the games are intended for fun and entertainment, their ability to attract users to play many hours can find another more meaningful application – effective facilitation of the learning process while providing an engaging and motivating experience. The process of integration of games into activity with the purpose other than fun is known as gamification. The massive penetration of games in all areas urges teachers to begin to understand their potential in teaching. Its better understanding is essential for the effectiveness of game-based learning (GBL) in all school subjects, not only in science, engineering, and mathematics but also in social sciences. Many studies explore and analyse the use of information technology by teachers and their impact on the educational process and teaching methods. Often, technology resources such as digital educational games are a source of information and knowledge and thus can substitute traditional textbooks or workbook, just as other e-learning resources. Games can have an essential impact on the education process, as they are able to present learning material in such a way that to engage and motivate learners. However, the role of gamification in school education is narrow explored and understand. Hence, there is a demand for extensive research on the issues related to the incorporation of educational games in teaching different learning subjects.

The data behind the current study are from two surveys, held recently in Bulgaria. Thus, the author investigates and analyses the findings from both national-wide surveys and addresses two main topics: First, the paper aims to explore the survey-based data concerning the need for games intended for school education in Bulgaria and to provide a meaningful understanding of the gamification potential as a way for promoting students’ learning. Second, the study examines and compares in particular, teachers’ and students’ views of game-based learning in history subject. The paper outlines some issues about the use of computer games in classroom practice and especially in history classes. The opinions of history teachers and middle school students concerning the regularity of the use of GBL in teaching, the frequency of playing educational games and assessment of their usefulness are presented. Statistical analysis on the impact of educational video games on many learning aspects and their appropriateness for the teaching-learning process in different school subjects is also provided. The study offers a discussion about the development of educational computer games and their integration in teaching practice as an innovative tool for motivating and engaging learners in the educational process.
Educational games, games-based learning, survey, history, APOGEE project.