Gamification has been a big buzzword in education in recent times. Using game-style methods to incentivize students to get their learn on can be fun and effective teaching and learning methods.Take a look at these 25 things that all teachers should know about gamification.
From the most simple questions (like, ‘what is gamification, anyway?) to the more complex ideas (goals and structure of using gamification in your classroom) and the history of its use (The Oregon Trail), these 25 bullet points will get you started in the right direction.
1. In a school setting, Gamification is simply the use of educational games for kids.
2. In the marketplace, Gamification is the use of game-thinking in non-game contexts to encourage participation.
3. The core strategy of Gamification is giving awards, such as badges or certifications, for accomplishing tasks.
4. Competition is another element of Gamification commonly used in the business world and the educational sphere.
5. Gamification has been criticized in marketing strategies for leaving out the narrative element of gaming.
6. Gamification has also been criticized for encouraging unhealthy expectations and habits in the marketplace and business world.
7. In a classroom setting, Gamification can be implemented in a variety of ways on a spectrum of intensities and strategies.
8. Test scores have been shown to improve dramatically in classrooms where Gamification has been implemented in the form of video games and online competitions.
9. Other classrooms have been structured to allow students to make their own education games for kids to aid their learning. This has also been proven effective.
10. While not-yet popular in schools, Gamification has gained quite a lot of momentum outside the classroom in other educational settings.
11. Gamification is designed with the assumption that players aren’t initially interested. This means games are exciting and engaging enough to capture the attention of an uninterested student and carry them through to the end.
12. These educational games for children encourage the competitive nature in students, teaching them not only to play the game, but to win it.
13. Video games designed to be educational games for kids encourage them to think like doctors, lawyers, city planners, and business managers.
14. Even the first games used for this purpose, such as Oregon Trail and SimCity, make kids practice the skills of an urban planner and learn the history of the American West.
15. Gamification can allow kids to practice manipulating a virtual world, encouraging them to use skills they will need to impact change on the real world.
16. One goal of Gamification in the school setting is to allow kids to be creators of their own knowledge, allowing the teacher to be an assistant to the child’s learning journey.
17. Educational games for kids can also teach students skills such as cautious risk taking, business strategy, and critical thinking.
18. Gamification models are being used in other educational settings as well, such as job trainings and seminars.
19. Essential to educational games for kids is the narrative effect of storytelling to carry the student through the game and allow learning to be completed.
20. Another important aspect is that of collaboration between the students, encouraging teamwork and preparing them for real-life situations.
21. Mentoring is at the heart of Gamification in the classroom, as the teacher is meant to serve as a guide and assessor throughout the students learning process.
22. Implementing educational games for kids as a strategy for teaching requires careful planning, and asking for help from experts on the subject is encouraged.
23. Important to understand is that implementing Gamification is not a quick fix, but an involved, time-consuming project in order to be used to it’s greatest potential.
24. Gamification seeks to harness human motivation through the observation of why humans play games, playing on the idea that humans play games because they are intrinsically rewarding and entertaining. Points are an added bonus, a way of keeping score, but not necessary to the heart of the game.
25. Close observation of individual students using educational games for kids is necessary to track progress. Careful attention should be paid to how the competition aspect encourages or detracts from the learning process.
Dr. Patricia Fioriello is the founder of DRPFConsults.com – the place to discover the latest hot topics in education and ways to deal with current education issues. DRPF Consults publishes articles and school eBooks addressing critical topics about the education problems in today’s schools.