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Applying game mechanics and design to non-gaming contexts such as learning is the foundation of gamification. Moreover, the goal of gamification is to provide a more fun and engaging experience in traditionally conventional contexts. This promotes engagement, participation, and loyalty. Thus, the implementation of gamification in learning and teaching has been of a source of great interest for educators worldwide.

This post introduces the concept of gamification in teaching and learning, and also offers certain implementations of gamification techniques.

Gamification in Teaching and Learning

The applications of gamification are now observable in a plethora of scenarios. It is implemented based on the context it is applied to. Moreover, gamification is being adapted by a variety of entities. These even include the U.S Army, multinational corporations, and the field of education.

A few aspects of gamification that have attracted the scholars and policymakers of our society have been listed below.

1. Positive reinforcement approach is the cornerstone of gamification. The use of rewards is a great motivator for achieving results. Additionally, this promotes healthy competition, where the students can track their progress and try to achieve the top status.

1. A clear reward-based system provides a motivating platform for improvement, making activities and quizzes more exciting. Adding motivators to the classroom increases the level of learner engagement. These motivators serve to elevate learner experience and curiosity.

1. This approach makes it easier for students/users to retain what they are taught. Having fun while learning is a proven strategy for information retainment and retrieval.

1. Expect instant feedback after and during every activity. As a result, every task or activity undertaken can be modified and improved on the fly, at every step of the learning journey.

“Learning games provide context, engagement, challenge and the thrill of mastery.”

Karl Kapp – a world-renowned professor who has published multiple books in the field of Gamification

Gamification Contexts

Gamification is already a part of modern classrooms. Creating a leader board/starboard in the classroom is also an implementation of gamification in teaching and learning. The top scorers of a test, the students who perform well in activities, or the ones who create the best art project get a star on the board or a badge. This turns the classroom into an interactive space where games function as ancillary tools for learning.

1. Rewards Galore!

A reward system can be setup where successfully answering a difficult question, scoring the highest on a test, or being the most active class participant earns you a reward. As an example, Khan Academy is a widespread platform that has gamified online learning – you gain points and badges in order to track progress as you watch more and more instructional videos and solve various problems.

The grade every student receives at the end of a semester can correspond to the experience they collected throughout the course period. Submitting projects on time, being regular to the class, and actively taking part in classroom activities are some of the ways to gain experience. This tracks student progress and motivates them to collect more experience as it leads to higher grades and other rewards.

3. Introduce Competition.

A bit of friendly competition brings out the best effort in students. Moreover, learners often find tasks that involve competition highly engaging. The class motivation towards studying and participation goes up with the use of gamification techniques.

4. Boost Informal Learning: Gamify Homework.

The hope of educators involved in gamification is to try and make games translate learning into informal environments outside of classrooms. What’s more, they feel that the hours spent in classrooms are often inadequate for learning. Gamification allows and inspires curiosity for learning, even after the school bell has rung.

Students can receive certain quests that they complete as a part of their homework. Additionally, these quests may involve activities that upon completion, offer some rewards in the form of extra marks.

Conclusion

One of the most critiqued aspect of gamification in teaching and learning is its use of rewards as a motivator. The naysayers of gamification point out that relying on games can be counter-intuitive as it harms the essential thirst for learning present in every student. Also, receiving rewards for a task is insignificant if the skills that are associated with that badge are ignored.

From our standpoint, the use of games is not a replacement for pedagogy, but rather an auxiliary resource that is in place to boost learning.

Sources used for research:

1. TopHat blog page

2. TeachHub

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