Game-based learning in schools: trainee teacher perceptions in implementing gamified approaches

David Wells, Panagiotis Fotaris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


Many children play games. Most notably, in the twenty first century, these games are digital in appearance and played across a variety of platforms. Gaming can form an immense part of a child’s identity development as they grow through their childhood and beyond. The digital games they play frequently offer continuous player feedback as well as propose challenge and clear pathways for progress. Additionally, the player learns to fail in order to progress within the game. Games capture fun, mystery, surprise, uncertainty, exploration and abstract risk. They develop resilience, mastery and problem solving capability in something that is voluntarily engaged with by the child. With all these qualities in mind, the synergy between games and learning would perhaps appear convincing. However, is this happening in our schools as a means to contextualise learning in a form that is familiar and engaging to our pupils? Do teachers know what is required to develop game-based pedagogy that has a tangible impact on the engagement, and inevitably the attainment, of their pupils? This paper presents the beginnings of a small scale study that considers twenty one, east London (England) based, computer science pre-service teachers and their perceptions of the knowledge and understanding needed to successfully incorporate game-based learning pedagogy into their practice. The study also deliberates barriers that pre-service teachers may face in trying to implement a game-based learning approach in their classrooms. The findings from this study suggest that trainee teachers are keen to experiment, adopt and develop new game-based pedagogies for learning with their pupils. They are keen to become change agents and support pedagogical shift in their schools but inevitably barriers are met and must be overcome for this to be successful. This research investigation will benefit both pre-service and in-service teachers who are interested in using video games as a means to enhance learning in their classrooms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2017
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218579
ISBN (Print)9781911218579
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2017
Event11th European Conference on Games Based Learning - The FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Science, Graz, Austria, 2017, Graz, Austria
Duration: 4 Oct 20175 Oct 2017


Conference11th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Abbreviated titleECGBL 2017


  • video games
  • game-based learning
  • pre-service teachers
  • pedagogy
  • secondary school teachers


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