Gamification in Education

gamificationAnyone who has ever played a video game or a pinball machine understands the thrill or racking up the most points and gamification in the classroom is no different.

And teachers are now leveraging the principles of gamification to create an instructional model that provides differentiation, student independence, collaboration, and improved learning.

Gamification in education is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. A gamified classroom engages learners with achievable, incremental challenges, designed to build the skills and knowledge necessary to meet more difficult challenges as the learner progresses through the levels within a unit.

But first teachers must learn the principles of video gaming to create a learning environment in which differentiation is effortless and the students are inspired to continually challenge themselves.

Gamification in business has been widely applied in marketing as well as customer engagement – think grocery store monopoly-style games or fast food promotions where prizes can be won. It is also used in corporate training. Similarly, in a classroom environment gamification is used with the intent to make education more engaging and relevant to modern kids.

Gamification in education

The idea behind gamification is that games promote learning or learning that occurs in groups of practice during immersive experiences. Oftentimes, playing games are the first method children use to explore higher-order thinking skills associated with creating, evaluating, analyzing, and applying new knowledge.

Examples of using gamification in the classroom can include creating challenges or activities or a teacher giving badges instead of grades. Students can also be allowed to set their own goals and track their own progress in a visual way. Competition can also be established between teachers and students. Students who obey get points and if they don’t the teacher gets points. Pushing this competitive angle results in students wanting to win and therefore they are prone to do what the teacher expects. Talk about a classroom management tool.

Grading backwards – racking up points like one would in a video game is also a way to keep kids enthralled by creating a competitive environment.

Games are commonly structured for players to solve a problem; an essential skill needed for today and tomorrow. Many games promote communication, cooperation, and even competition amongst players. Some of the most immersive games have a rich narrative that spawns creativity and imagination in its players. Finally, depending on how they are designed, games can both teach and test their players. They are incredible packages of teaching, learning, and assessment.

The structural elements of games are also especially suited to serve this current generation of learners. This approach of adding game elements such as storytelling, problem solving, aesthetics, rules, collaboration, competition, reward systems, feedback, and learning through trial and error into non-game situations has already experienced widespread implementation in such fields as marketing, training, and consumerism with much success.

In the education realm, gamification is starting to pick up steam and the potential for gamification to spread to more classrooms is almost a given.

Learning about gamification

Teachers interested in learning about how to apply gamification in their classrooms can sign up for an online course that takes them through both the theories behind gamification and the application of specific models they can use. They will then learn how to create an interactive learning environment.

Participants will explore how others are leveraging the principles of gamification to create an instructional model that provides differentiation, student independence, collaboration, and inquiry learning.

A gamified classroom engages learners with achievable, incremental challenges. It is designed to build the skills and knowledge necessary to meet difficult challenges. Participants will use the principles of video gaming to create a learning environment in which students are inspired to continually challenge themselves.

Participants will have opportunity to examine the history of Gamification and the rationale leading to its success. They will learn to identify the various methods of Gamification and analyze the simplest way to convert traditional methods to Gamified lessons.