Games have the quality to grab student’s attention which is why they are being preferred as a pedagogical tool by many educators around the globe. They are very popular with children, and these games when applied in education would act as an effective medium in making learning enjoyable rather than tiresome for students.
The gamification is an educational process to motivate students to learn through video games or other game elements in a classroom scenario. It is a new rendering of learning where the major motive is to engage maximum learners and drive them towards knowledge by adding an element of fun to it. In this way, the students would be able to adopt learning techniques which not only will give them a fun-filled experience but also a new learning dimension.
Merits of Gamification
It Turns Fear into Fun: gamification allows students to take delight in studying. There is a natural tendency for students to harbour anxiety about their studies which affect cognition and reduces the learning outcome. Gabe Zichermann, the proponent of game mechanics is of the opinion that creating a jovial work environment would increase the employees’ interest by 40%. Zichermann is the chief marketing officer at Boonty Inc. an online platform for downloading games.
A Shift from “I have to” to “I want to”: One of the famous certified neurologist Dr. Judy Willis has conducted a research on how learning happens in the brain on a chemical level. She found out that dopamine, a neurotransmitter, responsible for feelings of pleasure and contentment, is released when people perform tasks wherein they enjoy the activities.
Learning by taking challenges: What better way to educate students than by throwing challenges at them? Otherwise, there won’t be enough fun in learning and imbibing the subject or topic. In gamification, the challenges could be in any form like solving a puzzle for unlocking a lesson in the course. When students feel challenged and accomplish victory, the brain naturally releases dopamine.
It inspires, motivates and rekindles the learning atmosphere: learning needs one’s attention and concentration for acquiring knowledge about a wide variety of subjects. The activities or games inspires students to engage in them more intently as they want to hold on to the blissful learning experience.
Socrative: It contains features where the student would be racing spaceships when they answer questions correctly. It is called ‘space race’. There is also an option to customize the space ship.
Kahoot: MCQs where the students have to answer them with a catchy music playing in the background. The leader board appears on the screen and they get a shout out if they get a good score.
Play Brighter: a volley of 20,000 questions will appear and students need to answer them correctly. On each right question they will earn currency.
Classcraft: a fantasy-based game where students can be warriors or magicians. A team is formed and they can earn rewards based on classroom performance and behaviour. It can also be customized where the students would be fighting battle against the questions framed by the teacher.
Goose Chase: an app for creating videos and taking pictures which is relatively text based. Completing riddles, solving puzzles are other activities.
Breakout EDU: allows to create digital puzzles, games to advocate critical thinking.
Minecraft, education edition: customized apps to collaborate on projects or share portfolios. There is also a live game where teachers can assign homework.
Learning should be an exercise where the input from both teachers and students should happen simultaneously. The modern education asks for students to engage in the class more rather than simply paying attention. So, the gamified learning apps generates an increase in their involvement in a much easier manner.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.