Sugata Mitra – Four Implications for Games Based Learning


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I recently listened to a Discussion by Sugata Mitra in the Education Technology Conference at Leeds.

I am confident you have all encounter Sugata Mitra — he is widely known for his Hole in the Wall experiments performed in India, which the motivated Vikas Swarup to write his debut book Q & A, which later became the film Slumdog Millionaire.

1. Games based learning can create a whole lot of interest. I will not repeat those points here, but what I’ll say is that games may suffer from being overly interesting.

2. The role of the instructor: Again, quoting Arthur C. Clarke Sugata explained that “A teacher which can be replaced by a machine; ought to be.” It’s worth noting that Sugata does not feel that educators can be replaced ( not yet), but he does think that teachers should not be the purveyors of mere details. He believes that’s exactly what Google is for. Instead, they ought to inspire and help students analyse what they have discovered. Teachers can provide scaffolding and experience, this especially true in collaborative games based learning products like games-ED. As game decisions are entered into the game (in a course level) the instructor can ask questions such as, “Why did you buy that?” Game reports could be analysed by the students and the instructor — “What worked, what did not and how are we going to improve things this around?”

3. The technique of the grandma:  Inspiration can come from unusual quarters. Both in experiments in India and Gateshead, Sugata found that pupils could achieve remarkable results (20% growth in test scores) by simply being promoted by an adult — “wow that looks good can you show me”. Again, this is not to say that teachers are not required, but it shows how significant inspiration is in the instruction process. Games based learning can motivate learners by introducing both an intriguing narrative and a competitive challenge. The function of the instructor, as previously stated, is to give scaffolding and experience, but they should also only nudge the players together rather like a grandma. By moving away from rigid traditional instructional method, teachers enable the students to work together to build their understanding.

4. The power of cooperation: Crucial to Sugata’s learning ideas is the power of cooperation. In his experiments, he encourages the pupils to work in groups of four with a single pc. He believes that the secret to delivering improved education outcomes is creating conversations. I totally agree and as I composed previously in a website titled “The Art of Conversation”, collaborative games based learning anchors conversations and empowers students to learn complex subjects immediately.


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Shashank Jain

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