In today’s high-tech world, there are a huge number of ways to interest students. The use of computers, audio, and video materials, as well as various gadgets, has firmly entered the learning environment. But, as a result, some have lost sight of one of the most effective and inexpensive learning tools: board games.
This article will discuss the benefits of board games for students, as well as tell you about the most popular board games to explore.
Benefits of Board Games in Education
Most educators would agree that games improve learning outcomes. The University of Belgrade conducted a study, which found that students demonstrate better involvement and assimilation of new material during gameplay. Games, especially those using academic and soft skills, can even be more efficient learning tools than technology or lectures. They focus students’ attention on each other, thereby requiring teamwork, cooperation, and some risk and responsibility for their decisions. These skills are essential for students in many aspects of their lives.
Edgar Dale’s learning cone clearly shows that active participation in the learning process leads to the acquisition of sustainable skills.
Now try to remember how you learned in traditional school. Did the teacher give a lecture or demonstration? What level of the Cone is these methods on? Of course, the lower two levels look tempting; this is practice. But usually rote memorization of academic material does not really captivate students. Is there an alternative? Yes! Games!
Games are used in teaching to help students gain different experiences, develop new skills, and increase their contact with learning content. This is not just a dry text, but a fun task that is associated with emotional memorization, muscle memory, and previous experience.
Perhaps the most famous economic board game today is Monopoly. But for students of economics, it would hardly be of real use because it’s a family game and not realistic. Therefore, there are many other games that successfully imitate real business situations. They interpret the laws of supply and demand, as well as demonstrate that it is necessary to specialize in a particular market and to produce at a minimal cost. Thus, players can learn from their own mistakes, but without losing their own actual money.
It is worth noting that board games are useful not only in the student environment but also in the professional field as well. More and more companies train or educate their employees in a playful way via games. Gamification is the application of gaming technologies to solve non-gaming problems. One of the modern “gurus” of gamification, Kevin Werbach from the University of Pennsylvania, found hundreds of companies involved in gamification, many of which have been doing it for a long time but simply did not know what to call it. The main element of gamification is the search for ways to motivate people. In marketing and sales, gamification allows you to captivate customers with certain products, stimulating consumers to visit certain services and sites more often. Gamification can also be used within the organization. It is a great way to motivate employees to work more efficiently, to see more meaning in their work, and to be more innovative.
Most Popular Business Games
In 1883, George Parker published the board game “Banking.” Since then, economic and financial topics have become one of the leading for board game developers.
LEAP – The Business Model Game
LEAP is a relatively young entrepreneurship game, but nevertheless has already gained some popularity. Many European institutions have included LEAP in their economics and entrepreneurship curricula.
LEAP is a source of learning in a more interesting and joyful environment. This game helps learners use innovative and creative ways to improve their learning skills with real business scenarios through gameplay. Students’ technical and critical thinking skills are improved by connecting their theoretical and practical knowledge with LEAP. This game allows students to create and run different types of businesses, face setbacks and challenges, overcome obstacles, and then earn rewards in a more dynamic but risk-free environment. LEAP is a great addition to course materials and really helps students to test and develop their skills, better preparing them for entrepreneurial projects.
The Playing Lean board game was created by Simen Fjør Jørgensen and Tore Rasmussen, two start-up experts from Norway. They posted their project on Kickstarter in June 2015, and after 10 hours they collected the necessary amount to finance the game. The essence of Playing Lean is to create a new product that the market needs before competitors do. The game helps players to understand the lean manufacturing methodology, see how it affects business development, and look at traditional tasks from a different angle. It is useful for entrepreneurs, economics students, and anyone involved in product development. The game helps players learn the value of experimentation and of understanding the market.
Playground for Entrepreneurs
The Playground for Entrepreneurs board game gives a comprehensive overview of entrepreneurship learning materials for students and aspiring entrepreneurs. It is designed to refine and empower the work of coaches, mentors, or teachers by helping students practice the skills they are taught. This game can help students learn about different business models and how to create innovative ideas in business, all so they can start thinking in ways to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Moreover, it provides a good idea of start-up business models and effective thinking.
While the world has changed, most mainstream education systems continue to teach in the same standard way. In modern times, a much more dynamic approach to teaching and preparing students is required. Business board games are a creative and dynamic form of learning. Board games like LEAP, Playing Lean, and Playground for Entrepreneurs allow students to practice the process of creating and implementing a business model. These games can be used as a form of consolidating previously studied material as well as a way to increase interest in economic disciplines.