The concept of using esports to improve student performance within schools and other academic settings may still seem unusual to some educators, but it is a realistic aim. To reap the rewards from an esports program, you need structure and a plan of action.
Continue reading to learn more about how esports can boost performance outcomes. You may also check out ViewSonic ELITE’s series of professional gaming monitors.
Esports, or competitive video gaming, is still an emerging concept within schools. Although the overall popularity of esports has exploded in recent times, the idea of using esports to improve student performance is still not particularly well understood by educators in general.
Nevertheless, esports can help teach valuable skills and useful ways of thinking, which can assist students throughout their education and employment. However, to get the most out of esports clubs, schools and other institutions need to work with students to develop these skills, rather than leaving them to their own devices.
In this article, we will take a more in-depth look at five specific goals for improving performance outcomes for students. In doing so, we will also explain the important role that esports can play in making those goals achievable.
Goal #1: Using Esports to Improve Student Performance by Building Confidence
When it comes to academic achievement, confidence plays an important role. Studies have demonstrated that the effect of confidence on performance outcomes in examinations can be as much as 12 percent. However, one of the big problems educators face when attempting to solve this problem is confusion between confidence and self-esteem.
With regards to academic performance, confidence should be thought of as the student’s perception of their ability to accomplish the task at hand. This perception is likely to be influenced by experiences throughout their lives, and that is where using esports to improve student performance becomes viable.
Through esports, students can develop confidence in a few ways. For instance, through trial and error or strategic thinking, the process of overcoming obstacles can help to reinforce the idea that problems have solutions and that students should persevere when they meet obstacles, rather than giving up or losing interest.
Goal #2: Using Esports to Boost Overall Student Engagement
Another common goal when attempting to improve academic performance in schools is to boost student engagement. While student engagement is most commonly defined as engagement with learning activities, it is important to know that some definitions of student engagement emphasize engagement with the academic environment as a whole.
A natural extension of this line of thinking is that students should be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities they enjoy. This could help them to form a better relationship with the school as a whole and to develop a sense of belonging.
Some potential knock-on effects could help to improve learning outcomes. For example, participation in the esports club may help some students improve their attendance by giving them something to look forward to. Improved attendance then means a better chance that students achieve their academic goals.
Goal #3: Using Esports to Assist with the Use of Gamification in Lessons
The concept of gamification in education is not especially new, but teachers are finding new ways to utilize it in schools. The idea behind gamification is to make lessons as enjoyable as possible, for as many students as possible, by introducing game design elements into the classroom.
Making lessons more enjoyable can boost performance outcomes, and one of the ways esports can assist with this is by introducing more students to video gaming concepts. This enables them to better understand the various gamification elements introduced into the classroom and may help them to excel in those sessions as well.
While video gaming is a popular activity for school-aged children, not everyone in the school will have a video games console or a gaming PC at home. For some students, the esports club will represent their only real opportunity to regularly play video games and familiarize themselves with video game concepts.
Goal #4: Using Esports to Encourage Students to Meet Academic Goals
In many schools, colleges, and universities, traditional sports teams and clubs are used to help students stay motivated and responsible for their academic progress. This is often achieved by insisting that participation hinges on meeting or exceeding agreed academic targets, and this is something that can be done through esports too.
A common message promoted by schools and colleges is that sports are extracurricular activities, and participation should be seen as a privilege and not a right. When this same principle is applied to esports, members of the esports club gain an understanding of the fact that they need to earn the right to take part in competitive gaming sessions.
This provides a clear incentive for students to try their best during lessons and exams, to keep their grades up, or meet other academic goals set for them. For this approach to work to its full potential, it is also important that the esports club is made as fun and inclusive as possible so that people want to take part.
Goal #5: Using Esports to Develop Specific Useful Skills
Finally, esports within academic settings can also help students develop some specific skills or abilities that can be applied to their wider studies. Competitive video game playing can help to improve fluency in key areas like science, mathematics, and technology.
This can be especially useful in academic institutions that emphasize STEAM education – science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. Beyond this, esports can help students to develop teamwork or collaborative skills, which can be useful across a range of different subject areas.
Problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and communication skills can also be enhanced through esports, while the social skills developed through the club will also serve students well in all areas of life. The best esports clubs will work with students on an individual level, helping them to address weaknesses and identify areas of strength.
As the popularity of esports continues to grow and it becomes more widely embraced within academic settings, more educators are going to want to understand how to use esports to improve student performance. After all, proponents of esports in schools insist on the fact that it offers benefits that extend beyond the esports club itself.
An esports club can help students to build confidence, and it can improve student engagement with the academic environment itself. The club can also play a role in helping students to become familiar with gamification concepts, and participation can be used to encourage students to meet their academic targets.
Moreover, esports can help students to learn skills that will help them not only while they are in school but also later in life. However, for these benefits to be fully realized, the esports club needs to be carefully managed, and participants should have one-to-one sessions where specific areas of strength and weakness can be addressed.
Setting up an esports club in high school can bring a whole host of other benefits, you can read more about it here and learn how competitive video gaming can help students. To kickstart an esports program at your school, discover ViewSonic ELITE’s range of gaming monitors.