The Benefits of Interactive Learning

“In fact, nothing happens until a player acts and makes decisions. Then the game reacts, giving the player feedback and new problems. In a good game, words and deeds are all placed in the context of an interactive relationship between the player and the world. So, too, in school, texts and textbooks need to be put in contexts of interaction where the world and other people talk back” (Gee 34).

Gee, J. P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 85(2), 33-37.

Before reading this article, I had never really thought about this interactive aspect of video games. However, no matter what game—whether it’s The Sims or World of Warcraft—the situations differ from player to player depending on what choices they make. Like Gee, I think it is crucial that educators incorporate this situational interaction within the context of learning to maximize the potential of students. If we only focus on conveying the information in a list-like format and do not allow the students to directly interact with it, we are depriving students of their maximum learning potential.

Moving away from the idea of video games, I think teachers can employ this interactive learning in a variety of different ways. Through simulations or even exercises like debates between students, teachers can get the students to work with the content at hand and think about it in new ways. Personally, I found classroom debates in high school to be challenging, but they really tested my knowledge of the material and helped me formulate my ideas in new ways. Furthermore, in conveying these ideas to other students, I had to be ready to create new arguments based on what other people said. In situations like debates, students can work towards mastering the material in their interactions with other students and teachers.

18 thoughts on “The Benefits of Interactive Learning

  1. I remember playing The Sims and doing things just to see what would happen. The game plays off of our natural curiosity and encourages us to try out new things and explore, that’s the whole fun of it. In foreign language classes, one challenge is getting students to try out using the language. Focusing on providing interactions for the students could make this a lot more comfortable and easier for students.

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