Computerized Gamification in the field of education has been going strong since the 90s. Children could play computer games designed to reinforce the skills they were taught in school. The games require players to answer questions in order to move forward in a story or a geographic area. Other games teach kids how to properly type, and today users can download apps that use games and point systems to teach both children and grown-ups basically everything.
Want to learn a language and have fun doing it? There’s also an app for that. And while many traditionally-minded people may not be too comfortable with games and learning merging into one activity, the power of Gamification in E-learning cannot be underestimated.
But before we delve deeper into the topic, let us briefly explain what the term Gamification actually stands for.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of applying game elements to non-gaming situations to engage and motivate users better. The uses of Gamification are practically universal and can be applied in any situation or business. It can increase productivity in the workplace, encourage physical activity, boost customer retention and loyalty (especially in the case of iGaming), and much more.
Gamification aims to inspire people to engage with content and find pleasure and meaning in what otherwise might be seen as the most mundane tasks.
Some companies tend to be untrustworthy towards gamification due to a lack of clarity about what it can do for them, how to implement it, what it benefits them and their customers, and what they can actually gain from it. However, when it comes to Gamification-related benefits, the sky’s the limit.
How Gamification In Education Works
By applying Gaming elements into education, the process of learning becomes much more enjoyable while also encouraging learners to come back for more.
Furthermore, people are much more focused on learning when they have specific goals and achievements to work towards, while having fun in the process.
Due to their addictiveness, video game elements lure in both kids and grownups into doing things they might usually find boring. And we all know how addictive a video game can be.
When applied to education, Gamification elements such as scoring points, individual and team-oriented competition, and reward systems, help students stay on task and assimilate information more effectively. It can be incorporated into school subjects, but is also broadly used in learning apps and courses.
Benefits Of Gamification In Education
The advantages of Gamification in Education are plentiful, and below we’ll take a look at some of the most beneficial ones:
- Learning Becomes More Immersive: No matter the topic, Gamified learning can help you create exciting and immersive content. It doesn’t take away from the learning experience, yet it makes it more engaging.
- Learning Becomes Addictive: While enjoying the learning process through Gamification, students also become hooked on learning new things. Thanks to this, students are also able to focus on the details and advantages of the subjects they learn about.
- Gamification Stimulates Cognitive Development: Gamification has the ability to stimulate critical thinking and reasoning skills. According to a
study conducted by the American Psychological Association when working in conjunction with Gamification, these abilities become more enduring and adaptable to achievements in different professional areas. The authors have also found that gaming elements also help children develop their problem solving skills.
- Gamification Enhances Learning Experiences: Gamification can help students memorize what they’ve learned as they will associate the material with pleasant feelings. By using numerous smart methods of imparting information (often quite complex), Gamification makes dull classes seem much more fun than they actually are.
- Gamification Helps Release Happy Hormones: Various studies have shown that mood-enhancing chemicals are released into the brain when Gamification is successfully applied to learning. As a result, learners become more motivated to study and naturally their grades also improve. The chemicals in question are:
1. Dopamine – the release of this chemical is triggered when you are surprised. It also plays a crucial role in learning associations.
2. Oxytocin – a chemical heavily involved in the effectiveness of Gamification. It helps human beings form connections with others, even if they’re imaginary. This is also one of the reasons why Gaming relies so much on storytelling.
3. Serotonin – this chemical plays a central role in the way we feel; whether we’re happy or anxious. Immersing ourselves in Gamified experiences gives us the chance to feel good about ourselves, and this increases serotonin levels.
4. Endorphins – these are basically the happy chemicals that are released into the brain anytime we find something funny and laugh or achieve something of value.
How To Incorporate Gamification In The Classroom
If you’ve set your mind on Gamifying your learning business and are keen on making the most of it, you should familiarize yourself with the principles and practices that have proven effective over the years, and there are quite a few options to keep in mind when making these crucial decisions. So without further ado, here are ways you can incorporate Gamification in a learning environment:
1. Online Competitions
Creating a competitive environment for learners is a bulletproof Gamified solution that can work wonders. For example, a teacher can set certain rules and standards, and any time a person from the class adheres to the rules and standards, the entire class earns a point. Should one student fail to do so, however, the entire class loses a point. If the class earns enough points to win the game, the teacher can reward the class with a prize of their choosing (e.g., a treat, a fun activity, or a longer break pause).
Leaderboards are a perfect way to list the points students have earned during their course.
There are, however, some things to keep in mind before setting up a leaderboard. The benefits of healthy competition are dependent on the player’s drive to perform better than others, or if they just want to avoid falling. If they’re competing to improve themselves, their performance will also increase. But they’re in it just to pass, competition can reduce their performance.
The drive to win only boosts a student’s performance if the game being played can give them a sense of heightened accomplishment and mastery but it is not sufficient to protect them from the downsides of competitive social situations. If that is the case, you could set up the leaderboard in a way that makes everyone feel worthy and accomplished, no matter the size of their achievements.
3. Learning Badges
You can set up different types of badges that can be earned through strong performance. This could even be used as a substitute for traditional marks. It will make for a more fun learning experience, and the badges will motivate students to do their best in order to earn the shiniest badge. Badges should be awarded based on overall performance, timing, and homework completion, among other things.
Roleplaying is one of the most exciting aspects of video gaming. By giving learners the opportunity to step into the shoes of different professionals such as a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, etc. you can unleash their hidden potential as they put their imagination to the test. In the process, they also learn new skills and increase their empathy levels.
For example, through roleplaying, you could train a group of future nurses on how to handle stressful situations in the hospital. Two people could be playing the role of a panicked mother and her son who needs urgent medical care, and the other could be playing the part of the nurse. In this situation, the nurse would be able to test her reaction skills, as well as her ability to remain calm under pressure.
Gamification in education is an exceptional tool for strengthening student commitment to learning. The goal is to create a positive learning environment, give learning a fresh perspective and purpose, and connect with learners on a deeper level. Gamification has taken the world by storm and is here to stay. By Gamifying your learning environment, you can improve your learning environment with never-before-seen speed and efficiency.
Best of luck!