Gamification sounds a bit familiar especially for those who are into gaming, even addicted to it. You may be wondering if it really has anything to do with gaming. Well, it is. As technology has become more and more sophisticated, it seems that we really use every result of technological advancement in our daily lives.
So what is gamification?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines gamification as the process of incorporating games or game-like elements into something (such as a task) to encourage participation. Gamification is actually taking the elements of game design and the general principles and theories and applying them to other contexts. Growth Engineering says the same thing, that gamification is how you apply the mechanics of games to non-game environments to make your difficult tasks easier. Instead of stressing over the hard task, you feel like a character in a game – you get the experience point, you level up, and you win! Gamification is also used to solve problems. Some of the problems that gamification can help solve are:
- Learner engagement in workplace training
- Sales staff performance
- Finishing the chores
- Performance at gym
- Organizational productivity
- The ability to enter “flow”
- Knowledge retention
- Recruitment issues
- Customer retention
Can gamification be used in the learning process?
Absolutely, yes! It has been used in the learning process to incorporate game-like elements into the learning process. It aims to encourage and motivate students by using video game design and game elements in the learning environment. It aims to maximise enjoyment and participation by engaging learners and inspiring them to continue learning.
There are some elements of games that can be used to motivate students and facilitate learning, such as
- Progress mechanics (points/badges/leaderboards, or PBL’s)
- Narrative and characters
- Player control
- Immediate feedback
- Collaborative problem solving
- Mastery and levelling up
- Social connection
How do we create gamification in the classroom?
It is a simple way to do it. We can start by changing the terms used in the classroom. For example, creating a course presentation can be changed to ‘embarking on a quest’, writing an exam can be ‘defeating monsters’, and creating a project can be categorised as ‘completing a mission’. For grading terms, we could use experience points (XP) instead of letter grades. Students start at level one with zero points and then earn points by completing missions. We can use a chart that can be developed to show how many points students need to earn to get an A. To make it really like the game environment, we can link the point to virtual rewards such as badges or trophies.
The structure of the course and the role of students and teachers can also be integrated into the gamification. For example, the student can be an avatar or the main character of the gamification. They navigate the games through the learning tasks. The teacher can also organise the students into teams or guilds and invite them to go on learning quests with their fellow guild members. This can be a way of developing students’ collaborative skills. They can help other guild members when they have mastered a learning task. Meanwhile, the teacher’s role in gamification is to design the environment to make it as realistic as possible, guide the students and prepare the rewards. The teacher needs to track the students’ achievements using a web-based platform such as Open Badges, the WordPress plug-in GameOn or an online spreadsheet. PRS