It was a Monday evening. Your kid returned from school disgruntled with what the teacher taught him. Vocabulary building and pronouncing four-letters words were difficult. Same as the math class, the teacher introduced different confusing shapes. However, the kid took his lunch and settled for his favorite games. Right there, you wonder if his screen time could benefit him. What if these confusing concepts could be converted into games for your kid? Could there be an AI that teaches him how to pronounce those words? These are problems Minecraft, Archy learning, and Play2Learn answer via games.
Two out of three Americans play video games. Imagine the number of Americans playing games if all types of games are considered. This is because the benefits of games are numerous – from providing an immersive experience to teaching sheer persistence. Games can help in learning, like Walden immersing workers in the work of literature and vintage game consoling and teaching perseverance.
But what is gamification?
Non-game contexts can be fun and exciting like games – the concept of gamification, using game-design elements and mechanics in non-game experience. For instance, in-game mechanics and strategies like acquiring in-game assets after milestones can make learners calm and learn in relaxed and exciting ways. Again, gamification is activities and processes to solve complex concepts with game characteristics. Gamification is widely used in digital marketing, websites, productivity tools, and other software. Meanwhile, video games are built to captivate and entertain players; therefore, players are fully immersed in a game. Additionally, research has shown that video games increase dopamine production, the feel-good chemical that leads to game addiction. So extending gamification to education will make learning fun and exciting.
Gamified education – using games in education
Games are a powerful learning motivator and facilitator, whether by finding a game for students to play and stay motivated or by students designing a game to facilitate learning. In gamified education, games are created for entertainment and deployed to teach concepts. Additionally, educators use game designs and mechanics to enhance learning. Therefore, games show educational benefits as they educate on rewards, goals, persistence, and other narratives that are important in learning.
Using games in education is mostly regarded as breaking a game concept into different parts. The results might not be a game, but the lesson has been gamified. An example of such is scoring badges. Gamified learning keeps learning objectives intact with an exciting learning process.
Gamification theory in education
The major theory of gamified education is that learners assimilate better when having fun. They also learn better when they set goals, targets, and milestones to reach. Also, games intrigue all age groups and provide an immersive experience. Therefore, learning via game-based elements provides a similar experience. This gamified learning involves point scoring, score tables, peer competition, and others to drive engagements, help children learn, assimilate new teachings, and test their knowledge. Therefore, gamified education applies to school-based learning to demystify abstract concepts and is also used in self-paced courses and apps.
Gamified education improves intrinsic motivation – the desire to perform a task due to genuine interest in the task. This motivation helps learners perform excellently in learning due to keen interest. On the contrary, extrinsic motivation involves performing tasks due to external factors like rewards. However, the best motivation to learn is intrinsic, which every learning environment should achieve. This motivation is achievable via intrinsic motivation. Meanwhile, if a student is only extrinsically motivated, the reasons for performing a task will be because of rewards. Therefore, gamified education is a solution to prevent extrinsic motivation.
Gamification of learning
You can deploy numerous approaches to gamify learning. However, before gamifying your education, it is important to consider the best game feature that fits perfectly into your situation. Hence, be certain if you want your students to scale through competition, understand collaborations, or other features. Some gamified features you can use are
You can teach engineering, history, and other topics with avatars. Allowing students, who love playing games that allow them to create avatars, can help them build personalized avatars for different topics to achieve different goals. They can create clothes for the avatars to teach textiles. Avatars of different ages at each point of discussing history can be great for teaching ancient concepts and evolutions.
Printable badges or NFTs after completing assignments are rewards that students can design and earn. They can also earn rewards for staying focused in the class, imbibe the right learning habits, and resilience to learn difficult concepts are better than rewarding only grades.
Learning via quests
Competitive learning can motivate learners to participate in learning objectives turned into quests. For instance, read a book and collect an NFT or speak to a teacher and collect five facts about African shows. These quests offer children control over learning.
Classic games and school subjects
In most cases, schools turn chapter reviews into quiz game shows. But you can improve this by modifying a property-acquisition game into historical landmarks. Another example is rewarding some difficult vocabulary words in a word game.
Examples of gamified education
Minecraft education provides lesson plans and downloadable worlds for teachers to incorporate game design into the classroom. A professional learning community is also available for teachers to connect with others and share resources. You can teach history when students explore rooms like Roman Colosseum. You can teach students creative writing by retelling their Minecraft experience. Additionally, Minecraft features are great tools to teach shapes in mathematics.
Google’s Read Along
Google’s Read Along is a tremendous tool with Google’s speech technology to encourage elementary pupils to read and follow stories. With an in-built reading assistant, kids can read aloud while the assistant detects reading difficulties and provides help. The kids can also instruct the assistant to read some sentences to aid pronunciation. Additionally, the app has word games that children can try and collect prizes for skill improvement.