Gamification is one of the most recent technological ideas in modern education, as game-related activities are part of human interaction. Before children start taking their first steps, they get known to their environment by playing games, exploring, and just having fun. That is why it is necessary to integrate games into teaching and learning. Game elements can also increase students’ involvement and help them develop some 21st Century skills. Let’s briefly discuss these game elements and how gamification can make learning fun.
Gamified versions of learning systems aim to interact with the user (student) and use various elements to make the process more appealing.
- Leaderboards: Everyone likes to compete to a certain level. Healthy competition between friends, colleagues, or classmates can help a lot while making learning fun and motivating them to work harder and reach the top of the ladder.
- Levels: This is arguably the most common game element used to define how much effort one has put into the process of doing something. It works by providing a sense of achievement, which boosts the user’s confidence.
- Missions: Users are trained to be meaningfully engaged, as they are expected to tackle challenges daily.
- Incentives: This is another game element that makes learning fun and engaging. Students will be more motivated to take on a task when there is a reward waiting at the finish line. It may not be something big, but the motive is to encourage students’ efforts.
- Avatars: Customizing one’s profile or virtual character gives that sense of complete ownership. And the user naturally has a growing desire to improve his/her virtual character. In education, allowing students to create a customized version of themselves virtually is a fun way to engage and propel them to be creative.
One good thing about these elements is that they are all available in modern games and have been proven to bring huge benefits. So, it is a great idea to introduce them into the educational system.
Importance of Gamification in Learning
Every game element has its unique impact on the user. Since every student is different in terms of—talent, capabilities, and determination—it is essential to acknowledge the importance of an individual approach. While this process might seem extremely hard or even impossible to follow in public schools or universities, the digital age has its strengths. Let’s see why gamification is vital in making learning fun as well engaging:
- It gives the student full autonomy: Autonomy is the free will to act, and it is necessary, especially for teenage students. This is because they are closer to adulthood; hence, it is wise to start teaching them how to live independently. Giving students the freedom to make their own decisions naturally raises the feeling of responsibility.
- It adapts to every student’s needs: Gamification in learning allows students to choose levels so that the ones who are having a hard time understanding a particular topic could take their time in mastering it.
- Makes learning fun and interactive: Regardless of your audience or subject matter as an educator, the gamification of learning can help you to create exciting, educational, and entertaining content. Gaming does not turn work into a game, but it helps students psychologically and drives human engagement.
- Gamification allows learners to see real-world applications: As an educator, you can allow your students to play games related to the subject or course. That way, they get to apply what they have learned to practical scenarios. Teachers can also monitor the learning progress of students and get real-time feedback on their performance via game activities.
- It boosts retention: With games, students are naturally excited about learning. And if they get excited about learning, they are more likely to retain information as they engage in practical sessions in-between lessons.
- Gamification facilitates collaboration: Students in gamified learning programs can work towards group goals by cooperating with a team within a competitive environment. This encourages the sharing of ideas, debate, critical thinking and improves strategic thought processes.
Making learning fun is an easy task only when you use the right methods. It is essential to understand that different kinds of students also require different education types. But having fun and making them feel more engaged in the activity with the help of gamification in learning is likely to increase their interest in academic activities.