The Importance of Teacher Bridging in Game-Based Learning Classrooms

Jodi Asbell-Clarke, Elizabeth Rowe, Erin Bardar, and Teon Edwards
Asbell-Clarke, J., Rowe, E., Bardar, E., & Edwards, T. (2020). The Importance of Teacher Bridging in Game-Based Learning Classrooms. In M. Farber (Ed.), Global Perspectives on Gameful and Playful Teaching and Learning (pp. 211-239). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-2015-4.ch010


Advances in game-based learning and educational data mining enable novel methods of formative assessment that can reveal implicit understandings that students may demonstrate in games but may not express formally on a test. This chapter explores a framework of bridging in game-based learning classes, where teachers leverage and build upon students’ game-based implicit learning experiences to support science classroom learning. Bridging was studied with two physics learning games in about 30 high-school classes per game. Results from both studies show that students in bridging classes performed better on external post-tests, when accounting for pre-test scores, than in classes that only played the game or did not play the game at all. These findings suggest the teachers’ role is critical in game-based learning classes. Effective bridging includes providing teachers with common game examples along with actionable discussion points or activities to connect game-based learning with classroom content.