Gamification is the use of techniques and dynamics of play and leisure with the aim of promoting motivation in learning. In short, learn by playing.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this way of promoting learning, which for some time has seen its application increase, mainly due to the numerous tools and resources provided by new technologies and the obvious advantages it provides for the education of students.
Gamification is a learning technique that transfers game mechanics to the educational-professional field to achieve better results, be it to better absorb some knowledge, improve some skills or reward specific actions, among many other objectives.
This type of learning gains ground in training methodologies due to its playful nature, which facilitates the internalization of knowledge in a more fun way, generating a positive user experience.
The game model really works because it manages to motivate students, develop a greater commitment of people and encourage the spirit of improvement. A series of mechanical and dynamic techniques extrapolated from the games are used.
Benefits of gamification in virtual classrooms
Young people find the idea of moving through a virtual environment very attractive while reaching targets, collecting digital objects, or climbing a level ladder. If we are in an educational social network, we already have our virtual environment. And if we add a system of points, medals and levels to this virtual environment, we already have our gamified virtual space perfectly configured. Where students will earn points for doing homework, passing exams, collaborating in discussions, writing on their blogs, sharing content with their classmates … who will reach the highest level?
- Increase participation and interaction. In a game that everyone wants to participate, nobody wants to stay outside and see how others enjoy themselves. Gamification teaching we transfer that feeling of “belonging to a group” to the virtual classroom.
- Make learning fun. Playing is always fun while studying is not always. If we are learning and playing at the same time, the concepts are diluted and the feeling of studying is minimized.
- Increases motivation and encourages self-improvement. By performing certain actions, you get points with which you level up. The fact of wanting to improve day by day and compete against oneself drives us to reach higher levels. Study more to level up.
- The educational context is loyal. Entering the educational platform becomes something pleasant, where we will have a good time, we will have fun with our classmates.
- Improve memory. Games promote a series of visual stimuli that, associated with school content, stimulate the student’s memory. Therefore, gamification-based activities help the child or youth remember that the material worked more easily, since the absorption process is related to play.
- In addition, this strategy also improves the assimilation process of the students, since they more easily retain the knowledge acquired in the activity that uses games.
- More focused students The fear that games distract students and prevent them from learning the content worked on was a real concern for educators. However, with gamification in education applied strategically, what has been happening is the opposite.
- Improve student outcomes. Another characteristic that deserves to be highlighted in relation to gamification in education is the considerable improvement that this strategy promotes in the results generated by students.
As we have seen, the use of games helps the student to better retain knowledge, and this leads to natural motivation. During activities, each student is encouraged to seek more knowledge, and this feature expands into other areas, progressively improving grades and learning becomes more lasting.