Gamification is defined as the instances where game elements are introduced into a non-gaming situation. When it is applied to learning, it allows learners to have fun while they learn. Gamification in learning is an educational approach where video game design and game elements are applied in a learning environment. The objective is to maximise learner engagement and motivating them to continue learning.
Gamification in learning helps develop an effective learning strategy where learners play out scenarios as well as challenges in a risk-free environment. It is a concept that evokes friendly competition and offers the learners a sense of achievement. That is why an approach such as gamification can be the perfect solution for transforming a learning programme into a rich and dynamic learning experience. Since gamification helps learners enjoy the process of learning, it proves to be useful even at times when the subject matter is dull or difficult for the learners to absorb.
Competition = motivation
A lot of us are motivated by competition. Gamification offers opportunities for learners to compete with others for rewards, leader board rankings and high scores.
The approach of gamification works to enhance the experience of learning (recall and retention). That being said, here are the top 4 ways in which gamification can help enhance the quality of learning:
- Offers Motivation Through Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement means offering something to a learner when he/she carries out a required action so that they can associate that very action with the reward and perform it more often. This is considered to be an effective way to motivate learners.
Positive reinforcement is an aspect of gamification. It is an approach that forms the cornerstone of the concept. The use of rewards is one of the best motivators for attaining good results. It helps promote healthy competition where learners can keep tabs on their progress and try their best to achieve top status.
- Makes Learning Fun and Interactive
Learners are more likely to retain information if they are excited about learning. One of the best things about gamification in learning is that regardless of the subject matter or your audience, it helps produce content that excites, educates, and entertains a learner. For example, having a series of quizzes structured like a board game creates a positive visual representation of their progress as they go through the different stages. It plays on the learners’ psychology in a way that engages them. It brings out their drive to compete, learn, and outperform themselves and others, which is one of the most common traits found in humans.
- Gives Learners the Opportunity to See Real-World Applications
We all know that learning on the job is one of the most effective ways of cementing skills. This is an area where gamification can help – learners see real-world applications and advantages of the subject matter they are studying. They get to know how the choices they make within the game result in either rewards or consequences. If they do not perform well, they do not get a reward for their action or are not able to go on to the next level.
- Provides Real-Time Feedback
Feedback is a vital part of quality learning. Gamification allows the learner to work towards significant, measurable real-time targets and provides feedback on the achievement of these very targets. We only improve when we are aware of what is required of us to do better. Gamification ensures that learners know what they should know.
The instant feedback provided facilitates better learner engagement and results in improved retention and recall.
Hence, it is fair to say that gamification offers an interactive visualisation of educational data which makes the process of learning clear as well as easy-to-perceive. With such an approach, knowledge absorption happens by default as the learner concentrates on achieving rewards and accomplishments within the learning program. Learners do not even have to handle the stress linked with learning as they are focused on enjoying and having fun throughout the process.
The possibilities for introducing gamified elements into your learning programmes are huge; it is just a matter of doing it right.