The ability to capture information from everyday experiences changes the way we think of assessment, learning, and education.
Games are part of students’ natural activity — the latest Pew research tells us that 97 percent of students aged 12–18 play some kind of digital game. Unlike tests and other schoolwork, students aren’t afraid to fail in games. They understand that progress in the game happens through experimentation, failure, and adaptation.
Games provide the opportunity to foster student engagement and rich learning, and they can attract learners in ways that many other classroom activities cannot.
In a traditional assessment environment, educators often get one thing from a student: their final answer. On a multiple-choice test, this is an option selected. On a fill-in-the-blank test, it may be a word or a number.
Teachers often tell students to “show your work!” This is so teachers can accomplish the time-consuming task of examining each step the student made and identifying where he went wrong in order to help correct his mistake.
In the digital age, educators can gather more information about student interactions — and do it automatically — taking some of the grading burden off teachers’ shoulders.
Not only that, but digital learning tools can actually help assess things on a large scale that would be very difficult to measure in a paper-and-pencil world.