Gamify Classroom to Ensure Students Learning

A new method of managing classroom instructions and delivering coursework is slowly making its way into the world of education, which is called Gamification. The term can be defined as the use of game mechanics and dynamics to achieve desired behaviors.

 

‘Gamifying the classroom’ simply means presenting the class content in an exciting and engaging way. To further increase motivation, the method makes use of a rewards system, badges and quests so as to enhance the experience levels of students and encourage healthy competition.

 

Why Gamify Learning?

As we all know, games, in any form, manage to engage users via interesting and innovative game techniques. If we look at the current education scenario, we notice a great lack of motivation at all levels- around 1.2 million American students fail to graduate from high school each year and at the college level, according to a Harvard Graduate School of Education study, only 56% of students complete four-year degrees within six years. In contrast, video games have proven to increase user engagement by a great extent; 28 million people take care of their crops on Farmville daily (Mashable, 2010), and over five million people are glued to World of Warcraft for more than 40 hours per week (Blizzard, 2010). So, by adding the excitement and fun associated with video games to the classroom environment, it can be expected that the motivation level of students will increase dramatically. Here are some examples of successful gamification projects:

  • Steven Johnson, an assistant professor of management information systems at Temple University’s Fox School of Business in Philadelphia, utilized gamification in his social media innovation course. Students take the course as a “Social Media Innovation Quest” where they can earn points for different activities and receive badges at certain levels, which include “rookie,” “ace,” “magnificent,” and “virtuoso.” Lee Sheldon is a professor at Indiana University. He has gamified his course by changing grades to ‘experience points’ system. Students’ grades are now determined by the number of points they have secured at the end of the course. Khan Academy has completely changed the dynamics of education by providing thousands of educational videos for students. As students watch these videos and complete problem sets, they are awarded points and badges.
  • Lee Sheldon is a professor at Indiana University. He has gamified his course by changing grades to ‘experience points’ system. Students’ grades are now determined by the number of points they have secured at the end of the course.
  • Khan Academy has completely changed the dynamics of education by providing thousands of educational videos for students. As students watch these videos and complete problem sets, they are awarded points and badges.
  • Mr. Pai, a 3rd grade teacher transformed the traditional way of classroom learning by introducing Nintendo DS, among other technology to his curriculum. His students practiced math and language through the use of computer and video games.

As gamification continues to gain popularity, it is bound to create a huge dent in the traditional education landscape. Educators need to realize the potential of gamification and work on research-based, gamification projects in order to add maximum value to their education systems.

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