More about the benefits of playing cards...
This research focuses upon using specifically designed card games and crosswords for educational purposes. With modern software and apps, all kinds of games and crosswords can be designed by almost anyone.
Games, especially education ones,
- foster group participation
- create a high level of student involvement
- make active rather than passive participants
- force decision-making, solving problems, and reacting to results of decisions
- help students slot concepts into place, i.e., association of concepts
- improve retention of facts (or math skills)
- increase levels of confidence
- interject fun rather than drudgery
- encourage group discussion
Games have been used and researched in
- business studies
- health-related areas
- biological sciences
Biological Games Mentioned in the Study (replicable if you are a game maker)
Some of the biological games mentioned were highly interactive. For example, the Animal Reproduction Game involved cards with the life cycles of five animals. Cards are exchanged until one player holds a set for one animal. Players must know the life cycles in advance. Could this be applied to Marvel Comics, its heroes and villains, or sports figures or teams?
Another was the Cell Game, in which cards depicted parts of a cell, names of structures within a cell, and functions within the cell. On a large sheet of paper, students drew the outline of a cell and arranged the cards as a collage to create a functioning cell. This could be applied to other topics, e.g., parts of a car, our solar system, etc.
The Digestion Game had sets of colored cards with anatomical structures within the digestive tract, antoher set with secretions involved in digestion, and another with components of a meal and its breakdown components. On a large piece of paper, students arrange the anatomy cards in a flow chart and trace the passage of food by laying cards where they belong in the process. This seems highly adaptable to many other topics, even more simple, fun ones.
Above are excerpts from this scholarly article. "This paper examines the role of discussion games and cross-word puzzles within the learning opportunities for a large group (1300) of first year biology undergraduate students." It also sites previous research, which we found interesting. In various ways, curriculum was embedded within all card games discussions and crosswords. We have not followed proper citation protocol.
Mentors don't need to embed education into their card and other games to form a relationship; however, creating fun ways to learn something have value.