Out and about in town, it’s not unusual to see Fortnite t-shirts and lunch boxes in shop windows, joggers feverishly checking their Fitbits to see how many points they’ve earned after a run, and groups of smart-phone users gathered together in the pursuit of rare creatures in Pokémon Go. It’s fair to say that gaming is taking the world by storm!
Video games and apps present us with compelling game design and in-game rewards to keep us playing. With this in mind, lots of research is being done into how these elements can be adapted and used to ‘gamify’ education. The intention is to motivate students by increasing their engagement in, and enjoyment of, learning.
Enhancing education through gamification
There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that gaming can enhance education. A study by the University of Limerick found that pupils felt more motivated and achieved more when their studies were gamified.
Meanwhile, research conducted by Codish and Ravid suggests there are four types of ‘gamer’ who play video games for different reasons – for example, some crave in-game achievements while others enjoy the opportunity to play as part of a virtual team.
By using the incentives that appeal to each gamer type, all pupils can be more fully engaged in their education.
Final level! Gamifying the classroom
Classrooms around the world are already taking steps to gamify the classroom. Khan Academy in the USA is using tier-based badges that students can earn when they reach specific learning objectives.
A Professor from Indiana University marks assessments with ‘experience points’ rather than grades, so students are incentivised to gain as many points as they can as they progress towards a goal and gain practice.
Others are using tech to introduce gamification into schools in very exciting ways. Third grade teacher Ananth Pai has made it his personal mission to make learning fun in his classroom. Pai is an advocate of interactive learning games and combines traditional classroom teaching with technology into his daily curriculum.
It’s fair to say that gamification is a very exciting addition to the world of EdTech. Here at Doodle, while we don’t think technology can ever replace teaching, gamifying learning can certainly level-up education! If you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at the following videos:
- TEDx Talks: The Power of Gamification in Education
- Gamification and the Future of Education
- Gamification in the Classroom