What do you do when you are bored?
You check your phone for messages or you open some other social media platform on your phone to keep yourself entertained and sometimes you play games like candycrush etc.
But do students have this option when they are sitting in long and boring lectures they are not interested in?
Sometimes they do but at their own risk, if they are caught then they have to face the consequences depending on the mood of their professor.
So what should be the solution to this?
The solution is simple
The single biggest untapped resource in education are the students.
We ask every single person what students need except them.
Students of all age groups enjoy playing games not only because it is entertaining but also because the scope of creativity and imagination is endless.
So why can’t games and education can go hand in hand.
Today’s learners are digital natives and cannot be expected to learn the same way our parents and grandparents learned .They grew up with digital technologies and have different learning styles, new attitude to the learning process and higher requirements for teaching and learning.
Recent studies have shown that the average smartphone user checks their phone over 100 times a day. This is forcing a dramatic rethink of the stratergy of how we can help people to learn, comprehend and retain the knowledge they need to take their lives and careers to the next level. In a world full of distractions, it seems that providing a dynamic, immersive, engaging and social experience is the key to accelerating learning.
Modern pedagogical paradigms and trends in education, reinforced by the use of ICT, create prerequisites for use of new approaches and techniques in order to implement active learning. Gamification in training is one of these trends.
According to Gabe Zichermann, the use of games improves the abilities to learn new skills by 40%.
When you play a game, you are not alone; there is a social element combined with a competitive element that forces you to both engage and concentrate, and that is a powerful combination if you want a student to learn something. It is also a way to make education and training fun as well as creating a personalized experience.
Game approaches lead to higher level of commitment and motivation of users to activities and processes in which they are involved. Games, in any form, increase motivation through engagement. Nowhere else is this more important than education.
WHAT IS GAMIFICATION?
Gamification in education is the use of game mechanics and elements in educational environment. E-learning, based on modern ICT, creates favorable conditions for the implementation of gamification as well as the processes of processing students’ data and tracking their progress are automated and software tools can generate detailed reports.
HOW CAN GAMIFICATION BE A PART OF EDUCATION
1) Being informed of your learners’ characteristics
When teachers think of new ways of teaching it is essential to know about students’ characteristics beforehand in order to determine whether the new tools and techniques would be suitable. This will help the students to interact with the learning content and to participate in learning events with competitive nature.
2) Determining the learning objectives
The learning objectives should always be specific and clearly defined. The purpose of education is to achieve the learning objectives, because otherwise all e-learning activities including gamification activities will be pointless. The objectives determine what educational content and activities to be included in learning process and then selecting the appropriate game mechanics and techniques accordingly.
3) Creation of educational content and activities for gamification The educational content should to be interactive, engaging and rich in multimedia elements.
Let’s try to draw an analogy between games and elearning .
Multiple lives : the learning activities need to be designed so that students can get multiple attempts to win and get their answer right and repeat them in case of an unsuccessful attempt.
Increasing difficulty level – Like some of the most popular EA Sports games have different difficulty levels (beginner ,amateur, wordlclass etc) similarly in elearning content each subsequent task is expected to be more complex, requiring more efforts from students.
Multiple paths – in order to develop diverse skills in learners, they should to be able to reach the same objectives by taking various paths. This allows students to build their own strategies.
Points and unlocking new levels: . The performance of tasks leads to accumulation of points, transition to higher levels, and winning awards. All these actions are aimed at achieving predetermined learning objectives.