Educational Online Gaming in the Classroom

Teachers use educational online gaming to supplement classroom instruction and increase student engagement. Increasing student engagement is especially important for students who struggle academically. Those students can be successful through playing games online. Online gaming in the classroom meets students where they are through real life simulations.

Today’s educational online games are developed using research-based learning principles, provide increased student engagement, have built-in differentiated instruction and personalized learning opportunities, teach 21st century skills, and provide authentic and relevant assessment. Online gaming benefits all students including both the remedial and the advanced learner.

Research-based learning principles

Today’s games also are developed with clear goals and provide immediate feedback to students. This feedback allows students to change their strategy to improve their performance and reach the goal/reward. Immediate feedback is important in good formative assessment.

Online games are especially valuable when new concepts are introduced as a logical learning series because the student must master a concept in order to advance to the next level. In an online game, students don’t consider repeating a level as failing and they are willing to try again.

Increased student engagement

Well-designed games encourage students to use their “tool box” (learning and teaching strategies) and challenge them to be active learners. Good online games are designed to make the task both hard and fun. Students may need to try many times to beat the level and with every attempt the student is discovering a new strategy. The persistence and discovery used in the game can then be applied in other areas in the classroom.

Teachers can help the transfer of skills gained in online gaming by leading pre- and post-game discussions connecting the strategies used in the game with concepts students are learning in class. Students can be encouraged to share and collaborate discussing different strategies they used in approaching a task.

Differentiated instruction and personalized learning opportunities

Online gaming provides an opportunity to personalize learning for students through differentiated instruction. Students progress through an online game at his/her own pace. Online gaming provides both enrichment and remedial practice.

It is difficult for teachers to quickly translate student performance into individual constructive feedback. In online games, feedback is immediate and teachers receive real-time data on student achievement. Student strengths and weaknesses are determined based on the their actions during the game.

21st century skills

Online games foster collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking, which are important 21st century skills. Multi-player and role-playing games support problem-based learning. These games allow players to see the consequences of their choices play out much quicker than they could in real life. The skills required for success in online gaming such as thinking, planning, learning, and technical skills are skills consistently sought by employers.

Authentic and relevant assessment

Assessment occurs naturally in an online game. Online games such as Bouncing Balls provide student feedback that is clear, immediate and reinforces motivation. Students are able to adapt to the feedback, and the game continues to adapt to the student. Assessments are integrated directly into the game, and with a push of a button, teachers have immediate access to relevant student data.


What is most unique about online games is the combination of student motivation and engagement, real-life simulation, student collaboration, and data collection. Online gaming supports academic content through clear goals, direct and immediate feedback, a balance between ability level and challenge, and sense of control. These factors increase student engagement, and when students are engaged, they achieve!

Review Game Zone

*Review Game Zone is a cloud based review game creation site where teachers can make educational games directly from their browser. To create a game simply input the question data, type the answer choices and that's it! The games are automatically created in the cloud and provide interactive review of classroom topics. The content in the games is fully personalized and customized to suit your student's needs. You can even track your student’s progress and results within the games. Click here to Sign Up for a free account.

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