Can games improve learning?

We’ve seen quite a few pronouncements about how games might increase learning in our schools, but we’ve not seen much research on the why they might work.

Recently, a group of educational psychologists from the University of Bristol in the UK, published a study describing how they observed increased activation of the working memory network (WMN) and deactivation of default mode network (DMN) regions of the brain when games were employed into a learning situation. Your DMN region is associated with inattentiveness… or daydreaming if you will.

Smartest Man AliveThe TL;DR version of the study is that by introducing  some game-based elements of uncertainty in scoring, students engaged in more more goal-directed behavior and demonstrated a decrease in the mind-wondering portions of the brain.

Read the whole thing at Frontiers – Gamification of Learning Deactivates the Default Mode Network



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1 Response

  1. Interesting…..I would say that games def have an impact, sometimes just in sparking an interest. I compare video games to yesterday’s comics.

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Can games improve learning?

by Ron Houtman time to read: 1 min