Learning should be fun!
Gamification is a concept at the forefront of digital learning. Fundamentally, this is applying game-like principles to a system in order to drive its interaction and appeal. This can be done in several ways including game-based and simulation-based learning, points, badges and leaderboards. Some basic examples of this would be a league table for students learning their times tables, or on a larger scale, the National spelling bee in the US.
However, to ensure long-term effectiveness from introducing gamification educators and teaching establishments must employ thorough implementation – as with the majority of technological advances. If the game is too abstract, then the knowledge becomes secondary to the game. Learning must always be prioritised, and games must suit the subject matter being taught. Educational games should also be streamlined, or else the game can take up too much time, or can prove too costly, and so the correct balance is key.
Lynsey Jenkins, Marketing Director here at LapCabby, highlights this with Education Today in their latest views and opinions columns.
“Most people will have experienced some form of gamification during their lives. The popular language learning app Duolingo springs into mind as a modern example of this, which uses a points-based system of progression.”
Utilising gamification in this way allows educators to provide context and repercussion to enhance the understanding and knowledge reflected on the student. Lynsey went on to discuss the importance of adding gamification techniques to the digital classrooms of today.
“They (the students) directly interact with the data and don’t see it as an abstract “thing”, but as a meaningful concept which is strengthened by immediate results and feedback. Giving students such context gives them another opportunity to improve retention and comprehension rates. A study by SRI International / GlassLab’s showed this, describing a “moderate to strong” effect on learning with digital games, compared to the same learning without. So it is no wonder that the same study found that Higher education has been the primary user of gamified learning for some time.”
Get the full discussion with Education Today here, just head to page 13 for the article.
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