By CB Arun Kumar
Is it possible to learn while having fun? Traditionally, fun and games are not associated with serious learning outcomes. However, this changes considerably. As more teachers face the problem of students with low attention spans, the use of gamification as a method to keep learners engaged is gaining momentum. But what exactly is gamification and how can you use it effectively to deliver superior learning outcomes?
Gamification is the use of game elements in non-gaming environments, such as workplaces or learning centers. In academic settings, gamification involves the application of game-like elements in the teaching process without affecting academic achievement. The idea here is to increase student engagement and motivation with an incentive-based approach that is often used effectively in successful games.
Gamification of a learning experience is about creating a gamified curriculum framework. The idea here is that the students are all players in the “learning game” and that a victory in the game constitutes the achievement of a learning objective, and the points scored, or the tokens collected or the badges earned are all indicators of the student’s competence in the chosen field.
The gamification process typically begins with the teacher creating a storyboard that guides the student through different levels of experience. This often involves changing commonly used educational terms that have negative connotations like quizzes, homework, or class projects to more playful vocabulary. Homework could be assignments, quizzes could be mortal combat, and class projects could be team projects, etc.
The important thing to consider in gamification is to make the game doable for anyone who tries it, while incorporating enough Easter eggs to make it exciting for highly talented students. This way, we can effectively engage actors from diverse backgrounds. Keep the game simple as complex scenarios will detract from the experience and hinder successful outcomes and the rules of the game should always be properly explained so that it feels like a fair challenge for all students.
Gamification presents additional challenges when the material to be taught involves creative subjects rather than technical subjects like math, physics, chemistry or coding. In particular, creating a playful learning experience for students in arts, design or animation is complex. Here, the expected results can often be more qualitative and subjective compared to science. This makes the process of weaving an exciting story around the playful experience essential to linking the curriculum to meaningful micro-experiences that stimulate students’ creativity and encourage them to excel in the creative game.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that gamification has today become a major design strategy to improve user motivation (Dichev and Dicheva 2017) and that gamified learning leads to higher motivation and results among users. students in general, but the process is still complex and difficult to execute compared to the traditional education system and poor gamification can lead to worse results than no gamification. The process remains heavily dependent on the skills of the program’s gamification team of instructors, which is why talented game developers can be a great resource to collaborate with on the gamification process as they have a fair sense of which triggers persistence. behavior and increased motivation among players. For a good gamification exercise, it would be essential for the program team to understand the principles of game design or at least interact with experienced game designers to understand the fundamentals of what makes a game successful and addictive to play. . But by cracking the code of gamification, any program can reap rich rewards in terms of student motivation and successful academic achievement.
The author is Academic Director, EDGE by Pearl Academy. The opinions expressed are personal.
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