Teaching has since moved from the model of giving loads of information to a static lecture hall or classroom to student-led partnerships and group discussions. These new models are strongly encouraged because they promote the creation of new ideas and critical thinking.
One approach that has complemented the use of student-led collaborations and group discussions is the concept of gamification.
As a concept, it has been in existence for a few years, but only in recent years, it has been applied in learning circles. According to initial surveys done on the results of formal learning conducted on gamification, there have been several positive results.
What is gamification in learning?
First, let’s clarify.
Gamification is the introduction of game elements- things that make games work in non-gaming situations. Therefore, gamification in learning is an educational approach of integrating video games design and game elements in the education environment. The target is to increase engagement and enjoyment by capturing the interest of learners and motivating them to continue their adventure.
Gamification is available in two forms: the altered content method that adds subject matter and structural approach where the subject matter does not change. Games applied in education are serious games where the learning process is centered on serious stories.
The stories are “impressive in quality” and features a thoughtful process that helps learners achieve learning objectives.
In the context of education, some of the desired student behaviors that gamification has the potential of influencing include class attendance, focus on meaningful learning tasks and taking initiatives.
Although the full list may be much longer, we have compiled the most compelling benefits of gamification in learning.
Makes learning fun and interactive.
Gamification in learning can help you create compelling, educational, and entertaining content regardless of your audiences or subject matter. It does not turn learning into play but uses game psychology to increase the learners’ engagement.
Thanks to its interactivity, one of the major benefit of gaming in learning is that it makes the learning process more exciting and informative. The competitive elements and the role play adds a fascinating aspect, which, if used well, can make learning fun.
1. Improves knowledge absorption and retention.
The most important goal of learning is to instill new knowledge in learners. However, unless the knowledge is retained, it cannot be useful. And most importantly, learners must be able to access this knowledge for application in real-world situations.
And a rather surprising benefit of gamification in learning is the addiction it gives to students and the impact the habit has on knowledge retention and absorption. Naturally, our brains release dopamine when it wants to reward us; thus, when we win a game or acquire something really important to us, we feel good.
Gamification in learning helps us learn about new things, which, for many, is a satisfying experience that promotes the release of dopamine. This increase in dopamine levels help learners absorb and retain knowledge better.
2. Enhances the learning experience.
Gamification in learning give learners the opportunity to interact with content in effective, informal learning conditions.
Scenario games are a major element in the game-based learning model. The students advance through a scenario, taking actions, and making decisions as they move along. They succeed by displaying the behaviors or skills needed by the game designer.
This allows learning with the experience of the game, without the unwanted outcome that often occurs in learning through life experience.
3. Provides real-time feedback.
One of the components of learning is feedback. You cannot improve if you cannot find out what areas you need to better yourself on.
With a gamified curriculum, learners get real-time feedback on their comprehension of the course contents. Students get to see how they are doing and the areas they need to improve. Additionally, by using leaderboards, students can see how they are ranked compared to others in the class.
Gamification in learning not only provides instant feedback, allowing for effective learning, but it should also be realistic and memorable.
4. Gives learners the opportunity to see real-world applications.
On the job training is one of the most effective ways of cementing the skills acquired by using them in practical scenarios.
Gamified learning allows learners to understand real-world applications and the importance of the subject matter. Learners get the first-hand experience on how their choices in the game can result in consequences or awards.
5. Encourages behavioral change.
In any learning approach, one of the biggest challenges is to ensure that the process results in actual behavioral change.
Gamification in learning integrates the work environment into a learning activity. Learners practice the behaviors you want them to exhibit as they work on different gaming scenarios, increasing the chances of continuing with the actions later.
On the other hand, gamification can be used to extend learning into the workplace, where employees get rewarded first for learning how to do things and then again for applying them in the same way they understood it.
6. Provide a framework for micro-learning.
Micro-learning is a process of learning done in small portions, which takes 3-5 minutes to finish. Micro-learning is very attractive to millennials and modern businesses. When learners concentrate on these little nuggets, they become more engaged and work harder and motivated, which increases productivity.
One challenge of micro-learning is that it looks fragmented with scattered information that is not together. However, gamification in learning can provide a unitary framework and create learning pathways that connect the segments.
If you are searching for ways of changing your teaching curriculum into a dynamic and reach learning experience, gamification in learning may be the perfect solution.
And, now that you have learned about the benefits of gamification in learning. You should try and incorporate it into your next learning deliverable for a chance to get the full interest of your learners in whatever you are teaching.