The trend is sweeping the world and companies are using games as a way to engage and motivate its users. This post explores the role of gamification in education and tell bringing gamification to your classroom can help you.
By definition, “gamification” is the use of game design and mechanics to enhance non-game contexts.
Games, in any form, increase motivation through engagement. Nowhere else is this more important than education. Nothing demonstrates a general lack of student motivation quite like the striking high school dropout rates: approximately 1.2 million students fail to graduate each year. At the college level, a Harvard Graduate School of Education study “Pathways to Prosperity” reports that just 56% of students complete four-year degrees within six years. It’s argued that this is due to current systemic flaws in the way we teach; schools are behind the times.
The gamification of learning is an educational approach to motivate students to learn by using video game design and game elements in learning environments.
Gamification initiatives in learning contexts acknowledge that large numbers of school-aged children play video games, which shapes their identity as people and as learners.
Students experience opportunities for autonomy, competence and relatedness, and these affordances are what they have come to expect from such environments. Providing these same opportunities in the classroom environment is a way to acknowledge students’ reality, and to acknowledge that this reality affects who they are as learners.
Incorporating elements from games into classroom scenarios is a way to provide students with opportunities to act autonomously, to display competence, and to learn in relationship to others. Game elements are a familiar language that children speak, and an additional channel through which teachers can communicate with their students.
Some of the potential benefits of successful gamification initiatives in the classroom include:
• giving students ownership of their learning
• opportunities for identity work through taking on alternate selves
• freedom to fail and try again without negative repercussions
• chances to increase fun and joy in the classroom
• opportunities for differentiated instruction
• making learning visible
• providing a manageable set of subtasks and tasks
• inspiring students to discover intrinsic motivators for learning
• motivating students with dyslexia with low levels of motivation