Gamification

The gamification of learning is an approach within education which ideally is used to motivate students by using elements from gaming and video game design to enhance the learning environment. Hall, M. (2014) explains how the outcome is to capture the enjoyment of students and increase engagement within the classroom to ensure that the students interests are being picked upon to encourage them to learn more.

Gamification consists of the process in which the elements that make gaming fun and enjoyable and motivational, to be used within a non gaming context and in an educational context so that students behaviour can be influenced. In an educational context, gamification is used to potentially influence students to attend class and take more interest and initiative within their learning. Hall, M. (2014) explains that the purpose is to ensure that students remain motivated throughout their learning life and gamification can be used to enhance the overall experience of a learner throughout an activity or task.

Different businesses such as banks, twitter, facebook and gumtree offer labelling systems to enhance advertisements and a form of gamification is used here as colours and displays are able to be manipulated in order to attract people.

Varenina, L. (2015) explains that gamification can be created to make the user have the possibility of failure and the opportunity to start again to retry, however this creates a barrier of shallow learning which is a term used to explain when the efficiency of gamification isn’t as productive and outcome aren’t met. If a student is trying to get past a specific stage, sometimes trial and error may not simply allow the information to process which creates an issue of gamification not being effective.

Jackson, M. (2016) states that Gamification within education must consider whether a game is needed to be created for the topic that is being addressed, as well as this the likes and dislikes of the consumers who would be the students must be considered in order to have a target aim of what the game is intending to do, this way the game which is being created to enhance learning can be more effective as it will engage and encourage students to be more involved to ensure that the target audience is being met.

Dilip, S. (2013) explains how a  vital factor within gamification includes that motivation of a pupil must be present to a basic standard as the student should want to play the game without pressure and social interaction will display when peers want to use the game or tool on their own initiative to help recollect information and knowledge. Its effective to ensure that the gamification offers rulings of failure and rewards for winning to ensure that students don’t misuse the idea of the gaming tool and ensure they concentrate when actively using the game.

Although games are fun, limitations of gamification include students can sometimes be distracted which results them moving away from the learning objective, as well as this not all games are designed in ways to engage students, therefore poor layouts can lead to negative engagement and confusion.

Gamification can be used in various ways as a learning resource and websites that offer online software such as Kahoot allow users to create a game which consists of questions, time limits and answers which allow teachers to offer something to groups of students to compete in to actively engage the whole class. Teachers can use this software to enhance learning and to create question and answer games based upon the topic which students have learned, and once this is created the user can share the online link with peers and students to join in and use. Kahoot involves ruling which states that students are given time limits to answer questions and who ever answers the questions most efficiently and promptly will gain a higher score when the results are shown. This aims for pupils to become aware of the rulings and to not answer questions incorrectly so that they are prompt with answers and aim to gain the highest score which involves a reward mechanism to motivate students to want to win. The competing element of Kahoot involves a reward system which offers essential motivation to engage and include students to want to continue playing the game or to try again to achieve a better score which essentially will be benefiting their knowledge in a more engaging fun way. By implementing online softwares and gamification in a nongaming context within the classroom I feel this can benefit students and it promotes engagement and will result in intrinsic motivation for the students.

Here is an example of how the setup of a Kahoot online game is created and how a kahoot game looks when finished:

Image result for kahoot gamification

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Skinners operant conditioning can relate to this idea of gamification within education as rewards, labels and sounds are used within Skinners model to transfer knowledge. The effectiveness of gamification provides a change in the learning of a student and can help motivate the student to learn knowledge in a different more enthusiastic way. Dilip, S. (2013) explains how it can be suggested that gamification has a mean to connect with students and in some cases students may not want to learn without the platform of a gaming tool. So to conclude gamification it can be used to definitely motivate pupils who are more active when learning in a gaming format as it not only will reinforce knowledge to the students but will also help in increasing knowledge.

References:

Dilip, S. (2013) A Practitioner’s Guide to Gamification Of Education.
Research Report Series , Behavioural Economics in Action. Rotman School of Management University of Toronto, Canada. Available on-line at:
http://inside.rotman.utoronto.ca/behaviouraleconomicsinaction/files/2013/09/GuideGamificationEducationDec2013.pdf

Hall, M. (2014). What is Gamification and Why Use It in Teaching? | The Innovative Instructor. [online]  Available at: https://ii.library.jhu.edu/2014/05/13/what-is-gamification-and-why-use-it-in-teaching

Jackson, M. (2016). Gamification in Education. [online] Available at: https://www.usma.edu/cfe/Literature/MJackson_16.pdf

Varenina, L. (2015). Gamification in Education. Historical and social-educational ideas, 6(6_2), p.314.

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