GAMIFICATION IN EDUCATION: THE 3 PRINCIPLES BUILT INTO GOOD GAMES

Wouldn't it be nice to learn while having fun? No one likes to learn in a boring environment. Therefore, learning is best when it has a touch of fun and excitement. When it is, students stay more focused in class without feeling bored. As a result, Gamification is an excellent addition to classroom learning. Hence, it has come to stay.

Valentina Umeri

Gamification is simply the use of gaming elements in schools and institutions of learning. It is a set of activities that solve learning problems using gaming elements.

It is aimed at making learning fun and more engaging for students. It uses game design elements and principles in the classroom to enhance learning. It is a series of activities and processes that solve problems using games' attributes such as competitions, rewards and interactivity. Whether in or out of the classroom, Gamification is very effective. With it, students can increase their attention span and enhance their academic performance. 

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Ways teachers can use Gamification in the classroom are:

  • Awarding badges to students
  • Using leaderboards to display the points earned by students
  • Creating competition within the classroom
  • Using levels and other methods of progression
  • Creating playful barriers

Games motivate students and make them more focused on and engaged in the particular topic they are learning.

The three basic principles built into good games are:

1. DEFINE LEARNING GOALS: For every time the teacher uses Gamification in the classroom, there should be specific goals that the students should reach as this gives them something to focus on. The teacher must clearly state these goals so that the desired achievements of that particular lesson are not misplaced. The learning goal of a particular course determines what the students will learn. When this is in place, Gamification becomes easy to implement.

2. CREATE COMPETITION AMONG STUDENTS: Competitions are part of any learning process and make the students work even harder towards achieving set goals. When the teacher introduces competition in the classroom and promises a reward for the winner, it constantly challenges the students to reach milestones and become winners. With this, learning becomes even more interactive and exciting. The reward for reaching a particular milestone could be additional points for the winners. When the teacher sustains this over time, students become more excited about learning at school.

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3. TRACK PROGRESS: Gamification is not only for fun. It also tracks the progress of students. The teacher can use levels, points, and bars clearly showing the students' academic levels. By doing so, each student can see their progress, and the teacher can view each student's progress and quickly address and encourage students who are not doing well to improve. In addition, Gamification serves as a checkpoint for assessment and evaluation; hence, when the students know their progress in school, it motivates them to work even better and perform better than they already are.

Would you consider introducing Gamification in your school?

 Which ways of introducing Gamification in the classroom would you like to adopt in your school? 

 We would love to hear from you in the comment section. 

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