The 2012 Horizon Report states that game based learning will be widely adopted in the next two to three years out. Games can be an effective instructional technology because they often embody theories of learning and instruction (Becker, 2007). One theory of instruction games embody is Robert Gagne’s Nine Events of instruction. Robert Gagné proposed the Nine Events of Instruction. These events are external steps an instructor follows to facilitate learners’ internal processes. Below is a synthesis of how games might meet the nine elements.
Nine Events of Instruction
|Gain attention||This can be the “attract mode,” when the game seems to be playing itself; elements of the game are on display, attempting to entice play. This can also be the introduction, the scenario exposition, the trailer of a game, as well as motion, noise, music, attacks, or death during the game.|
|Inform learners of the objective||The objective of the game is often a description of how to achieve victory and reach goals. This can be the problem set up, part of story line’s background, documentation, or introductory movies.|
|Stimulate recall of prior learning||The opening sequence may describe what the players should know, or the background story often provides this information|
|Present the stimulus||A game’s stimuli should encourage, challenge, and provide choices in a manner that keeps the player engaged. A game with poor stimuli fails to hold the players’ attention and is not well received. Stimuli can include characters, environment, and objects.|
|Provide learning guidance||The game itself acts as the facilitator by providing cues, directions, hints, speeches, partial solutions and help throughout the game|
|Elicit performance||This is the crux of the game; without performance and response, there is no game. Players must demonstrate what they know to move forward|
|Provide feedback||Games provide a variety of feedback: scores, queries, verbal feedback. Every action has immediate feedback (even if this is no activity|
|Assessing performance:||Most games are some sort of contest. Assessment is movement through the game, with success and failure screens. Players must demonstrate all that is learned.|
|Enhance retention and transfer||In order to progress and/or reach higher levels, players must show that they have mastered skills, knowledge, and strategies. What is learned in earlier games returns in different, more complicated ways. Players know that what they learn will be used later|
Becker, K. (2007). Pedagogy in commercial video games. In D. Gibson, C. Aldrich, & M. Prensky (Eds.), Games and simulations in online learning: Research and development frameworks (pp. 21-47). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.
Gagné, R.M., Briggs, L.J., & Wager, W.W. (1988). Principles of instructional design (3rd. ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Gunter, G.A., Kenny, R.F. & Vick, E.H. (2006). A case for formal design paradigm for serious games. The Journal of the International Digital Media and Arts Association. 3(1). 93-105
Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012).The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas. The New Media Consortium.
Van Eck, R. (2007). Building artificially intelligent learning games. In D. Gibson, C. Aldrich, & M. Prensky (Eds.), Games and simulations in online learning: Research and development frameworks (pp. 21-47). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.