Using Video Games for Assessments

There has been a movement towards using gaming for educational purposes. Incorporating gaming into lessons for the purposes of engagement has been the most popular use thus far. However, now a case is being made for using games for assessments. Kamenetz (2014) writes an interesting blog explaining the benefits of this non-traditional type of assessment.

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An excerpt from the article:

Imagine you’re playing a computer game that asks you to design a poster for the school fair. You’re fiddling with fonts, changing background colors and deciding what activity to feature: Will a basketball toss appeal to more people than a pie bake-off?

Then, animal characters — maybe a panda or an ostrich — offer feedback on your design. You can choose whether to hear a compliment or a complaint: “The words are overlapping too much,” or, “I like that you put in the dates.”

You can use their critiques as guides to help you revise your poster. Finally, you get to see how many tickets your poster sold.

This little Web-based game isn’t just a game. It’s a test, too.

The article also touches on Schwartz’s theory of assessment which focuses on choice. Schwartz argues that “the ultimate goal of education is to create independent thinkers who make good decisions. And so we need assessments that test how students think, not what they happen to know at a given moment.” I wonder how this form of assessment may change a student’s relationship with test-taking. I’m curious to follow this trend and find out.

Read entire blog here:

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/08/could-video-games-measure-skills-that-tests-cant-capture/

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