The Melding of Instruction, Practice, and Feedback

Video games require that content and procedural learning are nearly always coupled with practice. Contrary to stand-alone instruction, the immediate opportunity to engage with and use concepts in vivo immediately communicates the usefulness of a given concept. Further, learners are provided with instant feedback regarding their practice. Practice and feedback are interlaced throughout many video game experiences—players practice a task, receive feedback, and practice again until they reach a point of mastery. Practicing to the point of mastery is predictive both of how much one remembers and how long it will take to relearn something at a later time (Gentile & Lalley, 2003). Traditional class instruction instead must include wide gaps of days or even weeks between the time when students receive instruction, practice the learned concepts and skills, and receive feedback. More important, class instruction rarely provides everyone with the practice time they need to master the material.

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