Engaging primary schools in rural Malaysia with Game-Based Learning: Culture, Pedagogy, Technology

Luca Morini, Sylvester Arnab, Fitri Mohamad, Jacey Lynn

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Mustea and Herman (2015) suggested that social constructionism enables learners to explore new understanding and knowledge through social interactions. In the same theoretical tradition, Gee (2016) and Kafai (2015) have suggested that games and game literacy constitute a particularly powerful and engaging path toward the social constructionist pedagogical perspective, where creative social interactions are scaffolded by a playful context in which learners can interact with self-directed purpose and heightened interest. Following these theoretical groundings, this paper presents findings and experiences in bringing game-based learning to two primary schools in two different remote rural locations in Sarawak, Malaysia, and articulates both the challenges and the opportunities that emerge when introducing this innovative approach in a context that is very different from the standard, Western, urban, tech-centred classroom that is the “object” of most experimentations. Sharing similar (and, from a urban perspective, disadvantaged) socio-economic backgrounds, students at these schools were introduced to a variety of game-based learning materials (both digital and analog) which were designed in alignment with both the national curriculum for Science, Mathematics and English, and the cultural-technical specifics of their everyday living contexts. The paper discusses how context, intended contents and pedagogical approach informed the design, the deployment and the impact of these activities. The paper then moves to discuss the relevance of incorporating local values into the design of game-based learning for remote rural students, how games can enable critical and creative thinking to be encouraged in a playful social context, and the opportunity for students and teachers to become the designers of their own culturally informed game-based learning tools.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings from the European Conference of Game-Based Learning 2018
    EditorsMelanie Ciussi
    PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
    ISBN (Print)978-1-911218-99-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event12th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2018 - Skema Business School, Sophia Antipolis, France
    Duration: 4 Oct 20185 Oct 2018
    Conference number: 12


    Conference12th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2018
    Abbreviated titleECGBL
    CitySophia Antipolis
    Internet address

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