Assessment is a crucial part of the educational process and has specific methods and scopes. It takes place through a variety of processes and teachers use various ways to collect data on the development and effectiveness of the learning process. In other words, through questions, assignments, exercises, tests, etc., teachers try to collect as much data as possible. They try to understand what their students learned, understood (and to what extent), how effective learning processes are and how to continuously improve them. One can easily understand the complexity and breadth of the data that the teacher must collect and decode in order to be able to shape the appropriate content and activities to support the students. An experienced teacher can easily understand what is described above and how much effort is needed.
But is it possible to reduce the needed effort for the assessment? Is it possible to realize the assessment through gamification or through game-based educational procedures or even through video games?
Assessment through gamification can be implemented using tools like “Kahoot”, “quiziz”, “Socrative”, or “mentimeter” and many similar tools. These tools can be used almost in any type of assessment and many of them have structured procedures such as the “exit ticket”. On the internet we can find many videos with the application of such tools in the classroom and watch the happy faces of children who are being assessed by playing. You can find examples in the following videos:
Also, important contribution to the assessment procedure is the game-based type assessment. There are several implementation examples that someone can find in the following videos:
- Building Formative Assessment into Game-Based Learning
- Keenville: A Georgia Game-Based Assessment Initiative.
Concerning the use of video games for the purpose of assessment, this could be implemented either indirectly or directly.
Indirectly: using video games that will lead students to answer questions related to the lesson and after they play will fill in e.g., at answer sheets or will refer to them during a discussion session.
Directly: using video games that include in their gameplay the appropriate questions related to the learning outcomes or student skills, in which students answer while they are playing the video game. This is something that usually can be achieved using a serious game. “Serious games are games with an educational purpose. In these games, players develop their skills by facing a number of challenges, and students are assessed according to their game playing behavior” (Caballero-Hernández et al., 2017).
An implementation example of a serious video game in the category of formative assessment, is the video game created in the context of the final thesis of Manoltza and Mitroudi (2021). In their final thesis, a role-playing video game was developed. Each student (apart from the typical gaming difficulties which referring to a variety of skills) at the end of each level must answer to a small number of questions related to the computer science course that preceded it in the computer lab. The questions can easily be created by the teacher through a widget and the answers from the students are at the teacher’s disposal for further educational use in a handy way.
Snapshot 1. Questions and Answers, Manoltzas & Mitroudis (2021)
Snapshot 2. Results Widget, Manoltzas & Mitroudis, (2021)
Relevant research (Akhtar & Saeed, 2020; Mastromonaco, 2015) has shown that the use of exit tickets can help significantly in the process of formative assessment, learning, continuous improvement of teachers’ performance and effectiveness of the learning processes.
So, we could say that assessment enriched with video games and game-based activities, could be made easier, more efficient, and certainly more enjoyable for our students, and potentially could enhance the learning process by enriching teachers’ methods and tools facilitating the overall teaching and learning effort.
If you are interested, you can find more information here:
Akhtar, M., & Saeed, M. (2020). Assessing the Effect of Agree/Disagree Circles, Exit Ticket, and Think-Pair-Share on Students’ Academic Achievement at Undergraduate Level. Bulletin of Education and Research, 42(2), 81-96.
Caballero-Hernández, J. A., Palomo-Duarte, M., & Dodero, J. M. (2017). Skill assessment in learning experiences based on serious games: A systematic mapping study. Computers & Education, 113, 42-60.
Kapsalis, G. D., Galani, A., & Tzafea, O. (2020). Kahoot! As a Formative Assessment Tool in Foreign Language Learning: A Case Study in Greek as an L2. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 10(11), 1343-1350.
Manoltzas, M, & Mitroudis S. (2021). «Multi-sensory theory in learning -Creation of a video game based on this theory». Final Thesis. Department of Computer Science & Telecommunications. University of Thessaly. Greece.
Mastromonaco, A. (2015). Exit Tickets’ Effect on Engagement and Concept Attainment in High School Science.