Are your students always asking whether they can use the computer lab?
Are they obsessed by Minecraft and other super cool games?
Do students line up for the school computers before school, during lunch or even after school?
Are they totally engrossed in their games?
How can you tap into that energy and engagement for learning?
The answer may be to bring gaming into the classroom.
Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts. Gamification’s primary goal is to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.
One of the most difficult things as a teacher is learning how to motivate your students and we all know that motivated students are more excited to learn and participate. Gamification can be a means to motivate students in learning and promote inquiry.
In their research, Huang, Wendy Hsin-Yuan, and Dilip Soman highlighted that many teachers apply gamification to prompt a behavioural change in students, particularly in the form of student motivation and engagement. They found that for students, gamification minimises the negative emotions usually encountered in traditional education. They can approach tasks in a learn-by-failure technique, popular in game-like environments, without the embarrassment factor often found in the classroom.
For teachers, learning objectives can efficiently be achieved and student progress can be tracked through various data points. In a lot of cases, gamification uses points or badges to promote learning and track student engagement.
The applications for gamification and the opportunities it presents for 21st century learners are endless.