Motivation and Engagement, important factors of Game based learning environment

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As educator, our responsibility is to create surroundings where students are intrinsically motivated to learn as efficiently and enjoyably as possible. Bruner (1966) has suggested the model of instruction where he emphasized on the pacing of rewards and punishment. Careful pacing of rewards and punishments enforce learning. Bruner’s pacing is mirrored in digital game based learning to a larger extent where there is structure of awards while achieving different level of challenges and punishment is the failure of player to reach higher game level.

Two characteristics of intrinsically motivated environment are challenge and curiosity. Within virtual learning environment and in the context of gaming activity, students are immersed in problem situation that they define themselves and then they have to work towards solution. The desire and urge for problem solving will be undertaken for their own sake and they feel obliged to engage. When the learner is working in flow, he is self-motivated and they are wrapped up in activity in connection with problem.

Fantasy is another important factor that has both cognitive and emotional advantages in designing instructional environments. In gaming experience young learners cope with learning new things and link to previous learning. The games easily relate to children’s popular culture and thus make the learning relevant to them by creating fantasy. Though there is a distinction between extrinsic fantasies that depend only weakly on the proficiency used in a game and intrinsic fantasies that are closely related to the use of the skill.

University of Wisconsin game-based learning scholar Constance Steinkuehler talks about fantasy in digital gaming environment. She has commented

> “Games are really interesting place to work because, believe it or not, under the veneer of fantasy, you are looking at a very powerful form of cognition” (2013) >

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