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Could Gaming Replace Exams?

The future of education is here
Anne Parsons
Could Gaming Replace Exams?© 2017 RebeccaPollard - Flickr

If you think today’s education system is antiquated, you’re not the only one. Jessica Lindl, general manager of GlassLab, at the Silicon Valley-based gaming company, EA (Electronic Arts) wants to bring tools like video games into the classroom to prepare kids for 21st century success.

She believes that we should be using the technology at our disposal to better engage and assess the skills of children. Video games provide choice-based challenges that can provide teachers with data about the competency and skills of children undertaking certain tasks, that would otherwise not be available.  

GlassLab have collaborated on an educational game with the developers of extremely popular game SimCity. EASimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge, is an educational version of the video game for teenagers, where they play the role of a city mayor. Faced with a series of challenges about pollution, the students must decide how best to treat the problem, while still maintaining economic stability in the city. The series of choices that the student makes will allow teachers to assess what has been learned from the game.

"there is a huge amount of game play data that you just don’t have access to in a traditional assessment"

While some of you may be reticent about the idea of allowing children to play even more video games than they already do, Lindl insists that it is a way of engage them at the level they are used to being engaged. She told the BBC that “what we find through game play, is that there is a huge amount of game play data that you just don’t have access to in a traditional assessment. And when you access that game play data and make inferences around the competency and skills of these kids the future is endless in what we can achieve.”

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