E-learning is quickly evolving and is changing at very high speeds. E-learning has opened new doors for education. And we still haven’t realized the full potential that technology could bring to education. One of the new trends that technology brought to education is the gamification of learning. Gamification is using video game design and elements in learning environment. This increases the student’s engagement and enjoyment. It also captures the interest of learners and motivates them to continue learning. A common misconception is that gamification involves playing games or turning education into games, which is completely wrong as gamification doesn’t have anything to do with playing games. Wikipedia defines gamification as “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems”. Some of the benefits of gamification are:
- Boosting productivity: Gamification motivates students to study and work more. Since most gamification models contain scoring and reward systems, it makes students more competitive and motivated to get rewards. Some models also contain virtual currencies and virtual stores where they can buy virtual items. The currency could be gained finishing lessons or assignments. This is also makes students more motivated to study.
- You can see your progress: Some gamification models include leveling systems which gives students instant feedback on their progress and how they compare to their fellow students. It also makes students more competitive with each other and makes them work harder in order to “level up”.
- Missions and Achievements: Having missions, badges and achievement gives students a sense of accomplishment. Which increases the student’s engagement and motivation with the content. It also gives the student a sense of being recognized for his/her achievements and work.
- A better learning experience: Gamification creates a better learning experience for the student. It makes learning more fun, interactive and competitive. Which results in high levels of engagement, recall and retention.
As you can see the recurring theme with gamification is motivation. It’s more motivating to study and get badges, achievements and virtual money than studying to a report. It’s also more fun to level yourself up.
Written by: Osama Waheib