Gamification is an approach which has gathered momentum in recent years, particularly in health and productivity to improve everyday processes. Gamification involves using elements of video games to make mundane activities more fun, competitive, and engaging. An example of gamification is the app Zombies, Run! Which turns every day running into an exciting game of escaping zombies, with added zombie sound effects to get you running up to 20% faster! In a world where 93% of children play video games, perhaps the education system could benefit from incorporating some video game elements into everyday teaching.
Everyone knows that video games are addictive, it’s too easy to lose hours playing games, even on smaller games for your smart phone. That’s because the player is extremely motivated to continue playing over and over, often more than they should! The most popular games are designed with human psychology in mind; therefore, elements are carefully picked which make the player engage. These include:
Applying gamification elements into the classroom dynamic can have a multitude of benefits for the students, such as improving overall engagement and the mood of a class. Of course, depending on the class itself, the benefits may not be consistent. Take a look through some of the potential benefits:
There are 3 main ways education can be gamified, these are by changing the language, adjusting the assessment technique or by modifying the structure of the learning environment itself.
Research in 2012 showed that gamification of education can have a great emotional and social impact on students as reward systems and competitive social mechanisms appear to be motivating for them. However, overall scores weren’t impacted by using gamification. This research was completed on university students, meaning it’s difficult to say how successful it could be to a younger audience such as those in a primary school.
What do you think?
Will we one day live in a world where elements of video games are picked up and used across many sections of society? Or do you think that traditional teaching methods will continue to be the preference for the foreseeable future?
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