Gamification in Education

June 21, 2016

Gamification in Education

gamificationˌ ɡeɪmɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/ 

The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity.

education, ɛdjʊˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/

The process of receiving systematic instruction.

Traditional Education System

The traditional education system has been around for centuries. While it started with the purpose of ensuring smooth flow of learnings through generations, it has evolved into something entirely different. While some enjoy this method and are motivated to pursue it, there are many who run away from it. Learning is in our genes and its reach can only be widened by fixing the problems it faces today.

Some of the primary reasons for dropouts from the existing educational system are lack of engagement, boredom and other distractions that one finds more interesting. To ensure every individual engages in learning willingly the practice must evolve to cater to the ones who are not enjoying the experience.

A lot of educators have been working towards this with various approaches that would bring about this change that will take education to the next level. One such approach is gamification in education. Today, new technologies to make lives simpler have been evolving rapidly.

“The use of technology must be exploited to cater to the educational industry.”

Influence of Games

A survey shows that more than 60% of the population in the US play games either to take a break from the daily chores or to feel challenged. Gaming has evolved from being a source of entertainment to also being a medium for socialising.

It is said that people playing games are involved in a lot of intellectual actives. Contradicting our traditional education system in human behaviour, individuals who play games are highly motivated to move on to another more challenging activity after completing one.

“A few common traits observed in people who play games regularly are: Optimistic Attitude, High Productivity, Social Engagement”

Most importantly, games encourage people to explore as much as they wish to without the fear of making mistakes or failure. Ever since the birth of mankind, it has been this attitude that has lead us to great inventions and discoveries. The world we live in wouldn’t have been the same hadn’t it been for Graham Bell who took a bold step without the fear of failure.

Check out a Fun Kids App about the Solar System which follows the rules of Gamification in Education here!

Applying Gamification in Education

The five step guide to introducing gamification in education:

Step 1: Identifying the Audience

In order to gamify educational content, it is important to first understand various factors about your audience – age group, current skill-set, age-group etc. The approach would also change if the content was to be presented to an individual vs a group. One must identify the source of motivation for the audience in order to ensure higher engagement.

Step 2: The Goal

Whether you are trying to explain a concept or expect the student to perform a task at the end of the session, it is important to define what you wish to accomplish.

Step 3: Design the Structure

Just like in games, there must be smaller milestones through the entire session. These milestones provide feedback to the student at various stages during the session and ensures high levels of motivation throughout. Each milestone should also be more challenging than the previous one to keep the student engaged.

Step 4: Track the Progress

During each phase of the process, it is important to track the results and evolve the next phase accordingly. Overwhelming results could either mean that the structure was very well organised or maybe, it is not challenging enough.

Step 5: Rewards

A game is never complete without a reward on achieving the objective. Instant rewards at every achievement keeps the student motivated to work harder for the next phase in order to achieve a better result.

“Given the benefits, do you think applying a similar approach to education could drive us towards a brighter future?”

Epilogue

Gamification in education if applied wisely will revolutionise the way education is pursued in the world today. However, failing to deliver the right content to your audience will have no impact on the results.

If you have ever applied gamification in education, please do share your experiences in the comments section below.

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