Gamified learning refers to an educational approach that integrates concepts of competitive games with education. The learning environment is designed to mimic a contest or game and infused with popular elements of gameplay like a leader board, live match performance and relative scoring. Essentially aimed at inspiring learners to imbibe more by maximizing enjoyment and engagement, gamification of learning is the latest buzzword in online education.
Here are six reasons why gamification is a real game-changer, with a potential to revolutionize learning – be it for school kids or competitive exam aspirants:
Makes Learning Fun
The inclusion of game elements, such as interactivity, role-play, competition, team-building, and rewards, turns education into an exciting, entertaining activity that boosts motivation. Since games in themselves are achievement-oriented and designed to drive human engagement. Gamification induces a sense of thrill, pushing students to fulfil challenges and earn rewards and – in the process – learn more.
Minimizes Fear of Failure
Be it an eighth grader or a UPSC aspirant, the fear of failure always looms large. In the gamified learning space however, students are encouraged to re-attempt learning goals without shame or embarrassment. This persistence grows in tandem with their academic progress, fortifying grit, determination, and a never-say-die attitude in a learning environment.
Self-assessment, particularly while preparing for an exam, is critical to success. Gamification of learning makes sure progress is visible via points earned, goal-setting mechanisms, and progress bars, enabling students to take stock of where they stand. It also allows learners to work towards real-time, quantifiable targets and get valuable feedback.
Gamification creates personal experiences through role-playing and exploration. Moreover, the learning journey can be further personalized by allowing students to set the rules of a learning game, to control a character in a gamified learning programme, create goal-setting mechanisms, and set up systems to assess their own progress. This can ultimately result in giving the student a sense of ownership.
The more the brain is exercised, the stronger it gets. Studies have demonstrated that leveraging video game technologies in the learning process boosts cognitive activity. This includes greater spatial awareness, information retention abilities, faster and more strategic allocation of attention, and enhanced mental rotation abilities. This improved cognition leads to significantly better learning outcomes.
Fosters Team Spirit
The element of competition is entrenched in gamified education. While one-on-one competition could alienate students who are less competent, team-based competition balances skill levels of students in a group while improving teamwork, enhancing social learning, and fostering a strong sense of camaraderie through debate and exchange of ideas.
Though the advantages of formally adopting gamified learning as part of the school curriculum is still a subject of some controversy, initial studies have only been suggestive of its promising future. In India, Unacademy- the leading online learning platform has already introduced elements of this avant-garde approach in some of its courses, allowing students to taste its benefits while learning.