A Review of Theories for Developing Student Experiences through Pre-Instructional Activities with Digital Game-Based Learning
Abstract: Experience plays an important role in the learning process – from time spent in the ZPD through cognitive apprenticeship. It helps build one’s schema and later connects prior knowledge to new experiences. Csikszentmihalyi (1990) investigated feelings of “optimal experience,” which are times when a person encounters feelings of steadfast concentration and deep enjoyment in the moment. Experiencing new situations allows one to learn. The idea of experience in video games is nothing new. Gee (2007), suggested that in order to learn, one must experience the world in a new way. Using video games in pre-instructional activities, learners can experience otherwise intimidating academic endeavors within the safe confines of game play. This brief paper provides a review of theories that support developing student experiences through pre-instructional activities, also called activating strategies, with games and simulations.