When it comes to education, the key to gaining knowledge and skills and retaining them is the desire to learn. However, the typical classroom set-up thwarts this desire and rote learning gets in the way of true, meaningful learning.
In the past, the source of knowledge used to be our teachers and textbooks. Now, it is the Internet, web courses, and a global peer group. But the standardisation of educational content continues here too. What we need are innovative approaches to learning, like gamification.
How it helps
Gamification of learning involves applying the mechanics and dynamics of games to enhance learning outcomes. Traditionally, teachers encouraged students to learn by recognising their effort through grades. The idea of gamification is to replace the grades with scores awarded at each step of learning. Students can earn badges as a visible symbol of achievement once they collect enough points. By achieving a new score or a new level of mastery when they complete a sub-topic, assignment, or test, students are motivated to learn and make progress.
Games are also designed to be interactive and responsive. Players get to see the real-world applications and importance of the subject matter. Unlike traditional classroom learning, in gamified learning, players are presented with immediate consequences of their actions. With instant feedback, they can identify their mistakes, explore and discover new pieces of information, and strategies to progress towards their goals. Students are not only encouraged to learn but, by applying their knowledge in a real-time, interactive set-up, they are able to retain it as well.
Gamification also promotes teamwork. When students are divided into groups that compete against each other, they are encouraged to learn from each other through sharing information and ideas.
Games can be localised by language, geography, age group, giving everyone equal opportunity to learn a topic. Moreover, with personalised competency-based learning powered by ed-tech, students can learn and acquire skills based on demonstration of learning outcomes. Gamification allows a flexible, more effective, structure where each student can advance at their own pace.
Finally, since gamification increases engagement and interest in the subject, it becomes easier for educators to do their job. Moreover, with multiple learning paths within a course, they’re empowered with multiples ways to evaluate learning outcomes instead of one exam. Thus they are able to better understand the learning needs of each student and help them progress in the course.
As gamification continues to find a place in elementary schools, higher education institutions and training and skill development courses in workplaces, it is set to open the doors to new-age learning.