Gamification (article here) has been one of the most effective learning methods for over 15 years now. Gamifying the learning experience increases learners’ levels of goal achievement, engagement, interactivity, and motivation. What more would any teacher ask for?
- Resembling real-life situations and experiences.– The game has to contain the essential elements of gamification, including goal-setting, an instant feedback system, interactive competition, virtual rewards, and “leveling” up within a program or application.
- Overcoming prejudices and accepting that traditional teaching needs to change. Play is important for learning. When children exploring the world, they literally kill themselves out of curiosity. If we destroy their natural curiosity, they will become unengaged and cynical. A traditional education system wastes a tremendous amount of human potential and it’s time we upgrade education system to the 21st.
- Getting learners involved and learn by doing. Students learn by doing, and can experience frustration in the process of finding out what works. They experience the challenges and dilemmas that all the learning process has.
- Illustrating progress, increasing engagement and creating challenges. Gamification can make learning beautifully intuitive. For example, building in “levels” is not just a great way of showing progress; it also allows you to start with the basics and get more complex as their understanding of the content develops.
- Empowering learners to feel like heroes. Play is the highest form of research. We have new cultural and global problems to solve and educators agree that there is room for improvement in engagement levels; this is where education and games diverge. The main way gamification reshapes learning is by permitting learners to set and understand their own goals; by re-defining failure; and by changing feedback to be fair, frequent, granular, and not fully contingent on the teacher.
- Asking students to practice outside the classroom. Besides teaching regular content CV in a class, teachers can ask students to practice at home and send snapshot of their performance. Although not all of them may like this kind of competition, most of them could feel that this is a motivating factor for more hard work and participation outside the classroom.
- Deconstructing games and reverse-engineering what makes them successful to engage, challenge, and keep focused. Games are artificial learning environments. There is no game without a challenge. Humans love to be challenged. Our brain is a learning engine and it was developed only for this one purpose. Why blame a game for being so engaging and motivating that school seems to be so damn boring in comparison to it? Shouldn’t we learn from the best and try to fix what’s wrong with education? Or in a nutshell: Don’t blame the gamer, blame the “game”.
- Motivating the acquisition of tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is that we cannot describe and is not a realm of formal study. However, this is the most impactful on productivity and retention. Game mechanics help attract, direct, and engage people in behaviors that drive organizational learning and the spread of tacit knowledge. The existence of games is incredibly effective in motivating behaviors designed to encourage the spread of tacit knowledge.
- Providing ongoing motivation in order for learners to stay engaged in a long-term endeavor. The game’s challenges and feedback kept them highly engaged.
Do you already use any of those ideas in your classroom?
Share your experiences with us!
By Ángela R.
*Source: E-learning industry