Issues and Challenges of Enacting Game-Based Learning in Schools

  • Mingfong JanEmail author
  • Ek Ming Tan
  • Victor Chen
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


In this article, we postulate the issues and challenges when we bring game-based learning from an informal setting to a formal school setting. The understanding will contribute to the design of game-based learning programs in the mainstream classrooms. We highlight the issues and challenges by re-situating a successful game-based learning program designed to foster problem solving and argumentation—Mad City Mystery—from an outdoor learning setting to a school setting. We first delineate the conditions and mechanisms through which Mad City Mystery was made possible as a plausible twenty-first-century learning experience. Through the analysis, we unpack the enablers and critical conditions that made Mad City Mystery a plausible twenty-first-century learning experience. From there, we examine the plausibility and applicability of these critical conditions in the classroom context. In conclusion, we articulate eight critical challenges/enablers that sustain game-based learning programs like Mad City Mystery in the classroom. Among the challenges, pedagogical, technological, and logistical issues are Grade Two challenges—issues that can be solved when research and financial resources are in place and are more likely to be solved. Curricular, performative, social, and temporal issues are Grade One challenges—which are more resilient to changes even when external resources pour in.


ICT integration Game-based learning Augmented reality games 21st century competencies Argumentation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Learning and InstructionNational Central UniversityTaoyuan CityTaiwan
  2. 2.English Language Institute of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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