Relative Advantage of Game-Based Learning


Artifact Introduction: During our eighth week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to review a serious of resources reflect on the advantages of utilizing digital games for content area learning in the classroom. We were then to apply this information to our own classroom and chosen content area and reflect on the relative advantage of utilizing game-based learning.


According to Ed Glossary:

In education, student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.

That being said, Marzano states that “Research shows that student engagement is an essential ingredient in effective schools.” Student engagement can be increased by appealing to students emotions, interest level, & the percetion of efficacy & importance of the task. Increasing student engagement by utilizing game-based learning is correlated to increasing student learning. According to Marzano, “A synthesis of a number of studies have found that when teachers use games and game-like activities, students have made a 13 to 18 percentile point gain in their achievement.” Engagement is one of the major advantages of utilizing game-based learning.

In the fourth grade classroom, utilizing gaming when teaching language arts has advantages such as increased engagement and motivation. Specifically in reading, games where students can manipulate the outomes can increase student engagement in the narrative story of the game.  Dr. Justin Marquis (2012) states that “the incredible versatility of games and their ever-increasing ability to provide rich, realistic simulations of any environment, interaction, or situation could make them as or more valuable than traditional reading, particularly if it is shown that they can be used to activate the brain in new ways.”

Games have been around for a long time and children are the main “players”. However, in the 21st century, game-based learning has taken a front seat in education, instead of fighting children’s instincts to play and explore, game-based learning embraces them & utilizes this to increase learning. Integrating games in the elementary classroom ensures that students think critically, demonstrate creativity, are engaged throughout the process and have fun all the while learning and applying their knowledge.


Hidden curriculum (2014, August 26). In S. Abbott (Ed.), The glossary of education reform. Retrieved from

Marquis, Justin. (2012). Building Social Skills and Literacy Through Gaming.OnlineUniversities (2012). Retrieved from

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Heflebower, T. (2011). The highly engaged classroom. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research.

Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection:  This assignment required me to really delve into my curriculum and analyze the relative advantage of using gaming in my classroom on a regular basis.  I got the experience to really become familiar with the benefits and various uses of various games, some ways that I was already familiar and others in novel ways that I had never heard of before but want to implement.

  • AECT Standard 2.1 Creating: To write about the relative advantage of game-based learning, I needed to apply content pedagogy to create and reflect upon appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes.
  • AECT Standard 2.2 Using: To write about the relative advantage of game-based learning, I thought of ways to implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy.
  • AECT Standard 2.3 Assessing/Evaluating: I demonstrated an inquiry process that assessed the adequacy of learning and evaluated the instruction and implementation of educational technologies and processes grounded in reflective practice while reflecting upon the relative advantage of utilizing game-based learning in the fourth-grade classroom setting.
  • AECT Standard 3.2 Using: In order to effectively reflect on the relative advantage of using game-based learning in the fourth-grade ELA classroom, I needed to make professionally sound decisions in selecting appropriate processes and resources to provide optimal conditions for learning based on principles, theories, and effective practices.

About jasminequezada

I’m extremely lucky to call Boise Idaho, an outdoor haven of a beautiful little city, the place I call home. I teach 4th grade dual language. This means that I teach native English speakers, Spanish, and native Spanish speakers, English, by using both languages to teach the regular 4th grade curriculum to nine year old’s. I also have an extremely creative and inquisitive seven year old son who keeps me playing, laughing, and on my toes all day long, he is my favorite person. My boyfriend’s name is Victor and he is my partner in discovering the outdoors, which is why living in Boise is perfect for us! While I enjoy being outdoors, I also love technology and all of the doors it has opened to humanity to learn, grow, and evolve. This is why I consider it vital for myself as an educator to delve deeper into this technological world so I can continue to serve as a guide for my students, in their discovery of the world.

2 responses »

  1. Do you find that it is extremely hard finding worthy ELA games for 4th grade? I teach 3rd grade and I feel that it is almost impossible to find sites that are truly engaging and allow the students to actually learn something.

    I like how you brought up the qualities of curiosity and optimism. I didn’t really consider that games would make students want to continue learning and be more positive because of it. But thinking of success in the games would lead students to have a better outlook. Very insightful post.


    • Hi Kelsey,
      I found a wealth of games BUT I meld a lot of my ELA with history and science to address the informational standards-at least that is what I built my lesson on. I know there are a lot of “practice” games that allow for students to practice and mainly repeat knowledge (not advancing to higher order thinking skills). Like I said, my success was found in melding my history/science standards with ELA and finding resources that way…I used ICivics and loved their games…I feel like they were actually learning and applying the knowledge. 🙂


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