Game-based learning in the Physics classroom: Possibilities and challenges

Serious Gamer

Thomas Breitweg

School students spend a significant amount of their free time outside of the classroom with playing computer games (Baek, 2008, p. 665). It seems that students are more interested in mastering the next level of their currently favourite game than achieving a good mark in school. As student interest and participation in post-compulsory science, in particular in physics, has deteriorated over the last decades (Tytler, 2007, p. 13) it leads to the question whether this negative trend can be reversed by engaging students in physics issues through the use of computer games within the classroom. This essay will critically examine the possibilities and challenges of computer based learning within a physics classroom environment. It will be argued that despite the student-centred activity with the computer a strong teacher involvement is paramount for a successful learning outcome.

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