Have you tried numerous ways to motivate and engage your learners? Do you feel gamification of education can motivate them to perform better in the classroom? Before you get excited and jump into designing the layout, understand the basics of gamification and how it can encourage your learners.
Gamification is more than just adding points and badges to learning materials or courses. Just adding points to the courses without explaining their significance may disengage your learners. As a result, they might get demotivated, and your experiment will not prove to be fruitful. The key to use rewards, points, or badges is to motivate and engage your learners in studies or encourage a specific behavior.
What is gamification in learning?
Gamification or game-based learning means borrowing certain gaming principles and applying them to the learning process. It helps students remain engaged and motivates them to perform better in the classroom. Gamification is more than creating games for students to play. It aims to design learning activities that introduce concepts and guide users toward an end goal.
Importance of gamification in learning
The key advantages of motivating learners through points, badges, and other rewards are:
- Encourage learners toward desired behavior
Gamification motivates learners to complete the required tasks to get rewarded. When teachers define the learning outcomes and design games accordingly, students are more likely to achieve what is expected of them. They perform the tasks with great enthusiasm and retain more information than usual.
2. Helps retain information
When students are interested in learning, they are more likely to retain information for a longer time. Moreover, they pay attention to detail and can put theory into practice. Well-designed games help learners apply their skills and knowledge whenever necessary. Designing relevant and engaging activities, providing constructive and timely feedback, and using stories in the learning process makes learners understand the concept in detail.
3. It should not be the only tool to motivate learners
Gamification is an excellent tool to motivate learners to study well, but it should not be the sole tool. It is not the end-all solution to engage learners.
4. Games must be tied to an objective
If the games are not tied to an objective, they are of no use to the learners and educators. Well-designed games should fulfill an objective.
These objectives are only fulfilled when students learn something valuable. If they cannot add something new to their existing knowledge, the whole point of gamification becomes invalid.
Steps to increase learners' motivation through gamification
Some of the ways to enhance the motivation of students through gamification are:
- Set clear objectives
Getting cold feet before starting something new is normal. Likewise, students may feel overwhelmed when learning a new topic. Gamification helps them understand the subjects clearly as they are mentally invested in that topic. Each game session sets a clear goal before students and rewards them for reaching that goal.
2. Increase focus
Students may lose attention when they do not enjoy a particular subject. In such cases, attracting students’ focus becomes difficult for you. As a result, you need to try new and improved ways of focusing students’ attention on relevant topics. That’s when gamification comes into play. It helps students focus their attention on studies without making the lectures dull.
3. Put a fun twist
Try to add fun elements to learning through gamification. Game-based learning helps students lean into their studies.
4. Engage students in new ways
The attention span of a human being is only eight seconds. If you cannot grab your students’ attention in this short window, you may fail to teach them valuable concepts. That’s why getting students involved in the learning process is a constant struggle. However, you can solve this problem by adding points and rewards to the learning process.
5. Create a comfortable learning environment
If students do not feel comfortable, they may not share their concerns with you. Moreover, they may hesitate to ask their queries in front of everyone. Therefore, creating a comfortable learning environment is crucial. Game-based learning makes a comfortable environment in the classroom because it has an added layer of privacy for quiet students.
Following these tips may help you design a well-balanced game-based learning environment for your students. So step up and motivate your students to perform better through gamification of education.
Suggested Read: The Role of Critical Thinking in Curriculum Development