Advancement in technology has made gameplay traverse beyond the realm of entertainment and gain a foothold in the education sector. Helping students to complete a task at hand is one of the goals that nudge educators and researchers to introduce gamification in education. Boredom can completely kill a learner’s interest; they need motivation to carry on.
Now that smartphones and tablets have pervaded the lives of several 21st-century learners, it is easier to achieve the set learning outcomes using these digital platforms. The practice of inducing fear amongst kids to ensure learning is no longer a pertinent technique.
Gamification And Gaming
We have noticed a recent trend in teaching, using fun graphics, wherein concepts are concealed in stories. This camouflage might work for students of Grade 1, but is not a realistic methodology in teaching students of higher grades. For example, math problems might be hidden in the course of a story in a textbook or within a video module. The background might be fun, but ultimately it is just a trick because the student still has to solve the problems.
The end result is to learn a concept or gain a skill. If gaming is just about having a fancy background, it in no way motivates a kid.
Instead, if we prompt students to take their learning process a little further and supplement it with gamification, it might work wonders. A student can establish his agency real-time by challenging his friends on a topic they have been taught at school. Unlike gaming, where a student might just gain knowledge, which is abstract in itself, the process of gamification can yield him credibility if he is able to use his knowledge to gain points over his peers, which for any child has a quantifiable value.
At Next Education, we are trying to integrate gamification into the learning process. The process is underway on our product, LearnNext, a self-learning platform. Teaching and learning should not be confined to a classroom, thus the LearnNext platform allows students to supplement their education by watching videos, and participating in question–answer sessions and discussions.
Students are lauded for correctly answering the questions, and are not humiliated or penalised, even if they fail. Moreover,it also enables the students to book one-to-one appointment sessions with experts to clarify their doubts.
Points, Badges, And Challenges
Contrary to the deferred gratification obtained through end-term exams, gratification on a gaming platform is instant. The LearnNext platform has a point and level system, in which the more a user watches the educational video resources and participates in the question–answer sessions and discussions, the higher their level rises.
Furthermore, each student can select their own school listed on the platform and participate in the activities as a representative for that school. Each student earns points for the school and a few stalwarts are even awarded badges for good performance, which are then displayed on their profiles. The students are also offered an option to reimburse points or use them to buy goodies.
Addressing Specific Requirements Of Each Learner
Gamification appropriately addresses the human behavioural patterns and in addition to incentivising the learning progress itself, it also frees the students from boredom. Learners have different learning needs and a teacher may not be able to set practice papers as per the varying needs of each learner. Gamification of learning can address this problem by introducing activities as per the potential of each learner.
Lack of motivation, which is one of the primary factors that lead to dropouts in schools, can be addressed by gamification of learning.