Gamification is an important part of the future of E-learning and development. Through the use of VR and E-Learning courses, implementing gameplay into learning can have many benefits but it can also come with some precautionary effects that are worth paying attention to.
You have probably come across articles that talk about how gamification has revolutionized how we sell, train, and market products. Another revolutionary use of gamification is how digital games are being used in learning and discovery processes to build knowledge around school subjects and keep students on course. This piece will focus on gamification in education and discuss its pros and cons. But before we do that, let us explain what gamification is.
What Is Gamification?
Gamification is defined by experts as the application of typical elements of game playing and principals in non-game contexts to encourage participation, improve engagement, and increase loyalty. Simply put, gamification refers to the process of taking something that already exists and integrating game elements into it to increase engagement. Gamification gained popularity, and educators are now using it in classrooms. But, does it really improve learning?
When people write about gamification and education, most of them talk about how it’s used to keep students interested and entertained. But, it turns out that there is more science to this instructional method, and it might provide more benefits beyond just getting students entertained and interested in the subject matter. Here are the benefits.
Today’s students are used to playing digital games, completing hard gaming challenges, and sharing their wins with friends. The challenge of beating gaming obstacles can keep them engaged until they win. Gamification in education employs the same concept. Educational games that are based on appropriate instructions at all levels will help educators improve student engagement in class. This, in turn, helps students learn more, work effectively, and achieve their potential in class.
Activating The Brain’s Pleasure Centers
Playing games, whether inside or outside the classroom, signals the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the pleasure centers of the brain. The release of dopamine helps students enjoy the game even more and creates long-lasting affinity for the topic they are studying. Dopamine also helps students find enjoyment in solving difficult problems, even outside the game.
Gamification in education provides a good environment for educators to praise achievements, which motivates students to engage more and do more in class. If students are praised and motivated, they develop an optimistic mindset that makes them believe they can succeed at any task they are given. Gamification helps educators transform their class into a class that is stimulated by new encounters and responds to failure with optimism.
Gamification not only gives your students something to look forward to in class but also helps improve their self-confidence. The more confident your students are, the easier it is for them to learn because they feel more relaxed and comfortable. Confident students will naturally grow stronger and more confident when faced with challenges, rather than feel crippled, defeated, and weakened by them.
Improving Knowledge Adsorption And Retention
Even more important than helping students find enjoyment in school, gamification helps improve knowledge adsorption and retention. How? Dopamine not only helps students enjoy in class but also move what they have learned into long-term memory. Improved retention skills can translate to better performance in class and improved ability to connect to new skills and information.
Providing Immediate Feedback
There are other tools that educators can use to know if their teaching strategy is working or not. However, some of these tools are not effective and don’t provide immediate feedback. Gamification is an effective tool and provides immediate feedback, which can help educators come up with better and more effective teaching techniques. Gamification also helps students identify their strengthen weaknesses, which helps them know which topics they should focus more on. Students can also use the insight they get through gamification to come up with more effective learning techniques.
The motivation that provided by gamification may only be superficial and may not help a student prepare for the real world. For this reason, it’s essential for educators to ensure that they combine gamification with other educational tools that will enable students to solve real-world problems.
Money Oriented Educational Games
This is something that is negatively affecting gamification in the education sector. Some educational games are poorly designed and money oriented. Such games cannot help earning in any way. To avoid them, teachers should ensure they go for educational games that are based on appropriate pedagogy at all levels. They should avoid money oriented games and go for games that are created by respected curriculum companies or educators so you can be sure they will help your students further their learning goals.
Your Students May Focus More On Winning Than Learning
The purpose of gamification is to motivate people towards the right direction. However, if implemented incorrectly, gamification may lead your students towards the wrong direction, making them focus more on winning than taking advantage of the learning opportunities gamification provides. Teachers should, therefore, avoid using games all the time and only use them when necessary. This will help your students focus more on the subject matter rather than winning.
Watch this video on gamification and its beneficial use in our world.
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