How is gamification being used in everyday life?
Game elements are being incorporated to things such as education in order to encourage learning. Karl Kapp, a scholar, writer, and expert on how games, learning, and technology interact, says gamification is defined as “the use of game based mechanics, aesthetics, and game-thinking to engage people, motivate actions, promote learning and solve problems” ("Gamification in Education"). Educators are using game elements to increase student’s learning. Gamification is also being used in other areas. Gamification is being used by businesses to try and increase engagement from both workers and customers. They believe that adding competition through game elements creates better ideas and more motivation. (Lynch) Teachers adding gamification to their classrooms are using it in the same way that it is used in business. They are hoping to increase motivation and ideas. It is important to know what elements from games are being used in education.
What elements from games are included when applied to education?
Depending on the game, game creators include activities a better way to learn. Most games do this by teaching students how to follow rules, testing certain skills, adding an element of competition, and giving feedback. A systematic mapping study by the Journal Of Educational Technology & Society identifies that the game elements in an educational context include visual status, social engagement, freedom of choice, freedom to fail, and rapid feedback (Dicheva). These are all elements that are originally from games that are now purposefully being implemented into classrooms. There are many different types of games used so each game has different elements. Some teachers use smaller experiences/online tools to gamify portions of the learning experience. This includes games such as kahoot or class dojo while other teachers create entire virtual worlds for students to explore. They can experience and interact with the learning throughout their journey. It is up to the student how far they want to take it. Examples include Class Craft, The Land of Egdelwonk, and Minecraft EDU ("Gamification in Education"). The smaller games use different game elements than the virtual realities. For example, the smaller experiences are used for rapid feedback much more that the virtual realities are. There are many benefits to gamification.
What benefits are there to gamification?
Games are used by teachers to try and increase students interest in a subject. Games can trigger the release of chemicals in the brain. Games can release dopamine which is a compound that gives off a rewarding and pleasurable feel (Lynch). Teachers believe that this release of dopamine makes students more motivated to learn. Many of these games are very interactive which leads to an increase in participation from students. Role-play games can be effective since they completely immerse the students. These games are highly interactive and students have to often use their whole body which is believed to be helpful in learning (Brandt). Whole body involvement improves the retainment of what they learned. While there are many benefits to incorporating gamification to education there are also some negatives.
What negatives are there to gamification?
There are many games that aren’t beneficial for learning purposes and games can sometimes be a distraction from the intended content. Because of the growing gamification market there is an abundance of games available. Jennifer Roland, an expert on how technology impacts education says “there are many poorly designed games created simply to cash in on the game-based learning trend.” Teachers have a difficult time finding beneficial games since there are so many games that aren’t truly academic. Teachers are also worried about the distractions that games could add to their classroom. There are often many other things that make up the game so it’s not just the information that is needed to be learned. Because of this, directly reading the content is seen as more beneficial (Brandt). Games can be believed to be a distraction from the intended content. These things make it difficult for teachers to use games effectively. It is important to know what role technology plays in gamification.
How is gamification linked to technology?
Technology is very helpful in adding gamification to education. Gamification technology is a growing market. The gamification market is meant to reported to grow by 64.34% before 2019 (Dicheva). People are constantly creating new technologies to enhance the gamification of education. This is why there is a growing market centered around the gamification of education. There has been an increase in the demand for tablets in the academic sector because of the benefits associated with them. In fact, tablets are becoming more popular than notebooks and PCs because of their large but mobile screens as well as the surplus of academic apps available on them (“global education”). Since tablets go so well with gamifying education there has been an increase in demand for them. As technology progresses there will continue to be new opportunities for gamification.