Officials from British trade organization ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association), and the UK Department for Education and Skills (DfES) have annnouced the launch of a new report examining the role of video games in education.
Named “Unlimited Learning: The role of computer and video games in the learning landscape”, the report aims to explore the benefits of using video games as a teaching tools and provide a resource for teachers, educationalists, games developers and publishers.
The report also includes a number of exclusive case studies, including a college in Nottinghamshire, England, which has seen achievement in key skills increase to a 94 percent success rate, compared to the national benchmark of just 22 percent, through incorporating the commercial game Neverwinter Nights
into its teaching plan.
The report is backed by Lord Puttnam, who commented, “Increasingly video games are being recognized as a powerful tool for learning. Yes of course they are entertaining and a lot of fun, but they’ve also the ability to inspire and motivate. They hold out the tantalizing prospect of personalized, responsive and thoroughly enjoyable learning experiences, irrespective of age, or our ability. They can promote ideas, they can stimulate conversation, challenge thinking and, critically for the future of our highly skills-dependent economy, they can encourage problem solving.”
Professor Stephen Heppell, director of Heppell.net added: “I first started researching all this a very long time ago. What we saw was intellectual engagement, absolutely, without exception. What we also saw was a hunger to engage in the process. People didn’t just play, they engaged and reflected.”
The report follows a seperate UK report
created with the support of publishers Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive, which also claims positive results in the use of commercial video games in schools. An electronic version of the ELSPA/DfES report is currently available online as a PDF file