In a world where technology is advancing and gaming is very popular, we must constantly re-evaluate learning strategies and processes. We must find ways to make education interesting and boost learning experiences for students.
One concept that is becoming quite popular in education is gamification. It’s not a secret that both kids and adults all around the world love playing video games, so why not use gamification as a way to complement and enhance traditional learning methods?
Let’s see what sorts of benefits and strategies come with combining games and education.
What is gamification in education?
Gamified education can be defined as a process of incorporating elements of gaming into educational models to enrich the overall learning experience for students.
Games can be a very useful and powerful way to motivate children, boost teamwork, improve communication skills and so much more.
Educators can adopt different game elements and features or they can use games meant for entertainment in educational settings.
Benefits of gamified learning
Some of the major benefits of incorporating gaming into education include improved motivation and engagement, positive learning experience, enhanced understanding, improved social skills, development of critical skills and so much more.
- Improved motivation and engagement
Gamified learning can capture children’s attention and actively involve them in the learning process. Educators love incorporating games that have scoring and reward systems.
These kinds of games can be very engaging and motivating for children. Educators from Insight Early Learning regularly incorporate these kinds of games and game elements into their learning settings.
In addition to boosting motivation and engagement, gamification can also improve children’s desire to advance, gain more rewards, have higher scores, and so on.
- Positive learning experience
Learning experiences can influence children’s attitudes toward learning and education. That’s why it’s important to create a learning environment that will influence positive learning experiences for students.
We know that children love games, and they learn best through games. That means that games and gamification can create positive learning experiences for many children.
Creating an environment in which students are cared for and where education is enjoyable for children, can also influence positive learning experiences. Their learning journey in the future will be much more positive if their early learning experiences are positive.
- Enhanced understanding
This benefit is directly connected with motivation and engagement. Motivated children are more likely to better understand and remember the information they are learning.
Implementing gamification into education can help children be more motivated and thus, understand better. On top of that, through gamification, they are more likely to retain the content and information that is being taught to them.
- Improved social and collaborative skills
Most classroom games are collaborative games that require children to work together to solve them. They also need to exchange ideas and communicate with each other.
This is a great way to improve children’s social and collaborative skills.
Through games, educators can encourage teamwork, collaboration, communication, and so on.
- Development of critical skills
Yet another skill set children can gain through gamification of learning is critical thinking. Gamification can boost the development of skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, as well as problem-solving.
Game tasks, challenges, and levels require children to come up with smart strategies and solutions, make decisions, analyze and interpret situations, and so on.
Different kinds of games can help children develop and hone these skills that will be very valuable to have as they are growing up.
Strategies for implementing gamification in education
There are many different ways in which educators can implement games into learning modules. Here are some great gamification strategies that educators can use.
Competitions and challenges
Healthy competition among students is always a great way to increase motivation and engagement. That’s why educators can use gamification to add competitive elements to their teaching programs. Through gamification students will be able to compete against themselves, other students, or anonymous players.
Similarly, games that feature challenges allow students to overcome them at different stages. Overcoming challenges is a great way for students to learn patience and persistence. So, educators include challenges that get progressively difficult so students can practice what they’ve learned and prepare for greater challenges.
Then educators can allow students to make classroom avatars. Each student can have an alter-ego that they can personalize and develop. With each solved classroom task or developed skill, they can get modifications or clothes.
Just like video game avatars they love to play.
Crafting a captivating storyline is a reliable method for grabbing learners’ attention and ensuring their engagement. This approach proves particularly effective in maintaining interest during immersive learning modules.
This is also where introducing avatars that represent each learner can add an extra layer of enjoyment to the gamification process.
This one is pretty straightforward. Students get points as a reward for completing tasks. This can motivate students and help them with their educational journey.
Award badges and leaderboards
Just like points, students can collect badges. After every completed assignment instead of points students can be awarded with badges.
However, teachers should keep in mind all students when deciding what sorts of badges to give to students. Positive learning habits, like maintaining focus or persevering through challenges should be recognized, rather than solely acknowledging high grades.
Leaderboard just like in the games can also be used in a classroom setting. Leaderboards allow educators to track student performances and students will be excited about advancing on the board.
Gamification in education can enhance traditional learning methods. Incorporating games and game elements and features can be very beneficial for children. It can motivate and engage them, help them gain different types of skills and so much more.
Plus, gamification, as you can see, is not difficult to incorporate.