Gamification and its educational potential
written by Ph. D. Wojciech Glac.
Gamification is a method that uses elements of game mechanics and dynamics to create a space that raises motivation, engagement and is a source of positive emotions. Elements that effectively invite players to play games and are the source of their unflagging motivation to participate in the game are transferred and adapted in another environments or processes so that persons who are part of these environments or are participants in these processes are motivated to stay in, be active, and have fun.
Gamification in education may have the form of a role-playing game in which the student, i.e. the player, becomes the main character of the created story with numerous challenges and the goals to achieve by player to win the game. Gamification is an engaging story in which students do not witness the events, but create them themselves, completing missions and point step by step towards the satisfying final of the story.
Gamification has great educational potential, because it opens up the chance to make the learning process an engaging game, in which the unmotivated student has the opportunity to generate and maintain high motivation to learn, and the motivated student gains additional emotional value in the process of acquiring knowledge and skills.
How is gamification constructed in school conditions? Let us imagine gamification as a role-playing game in which knowledge and skills related to a given issue (for example, the gravity in physics, the anatomy of the human body in biology, chemical reactions in chemistry, etc.) enable the performance of tasks that are missions in the game. For completing missions, instead of grades, students – players receive specific items or other goods (for example, map scraps, code elements or wood to build a ladder) that bring them closer to win the game. The fabula takes students into the game world, making them, for example, a treasure hunter, a braker of mysterious alien civilization code or a knight who wants to free the princess from the castle tower.
In gamification, the players know all the rules at the start of the game, know what they should do to win the game (for example, how many pieces of the map they needs to reach the treasure, how many code elements will be allowed to encrypt message, or how high the ladder must be to reach the window, from which the despairing princess looks at the knight) and knows when and what nature the missions will have and what can be gained for its correct completion. The players can also track their progress in the game, illustrated, for example, with a progress bar or visualization of owned goods. In gamification, we can use a huge number of additional games elements, such as badges for special competences, skill tree to developing skills, trade to exchange goods, secret and unexpected missions that motivate students to additional work.
It is extremely important for gamification in education that every player can win. Unlike the classic game, anyone can stand on the podium with a gold medal, not only the first or the best. Anyone who meets the criteria can be a winner in gamification. Gamification does not have to mean competitions, rivalry, or contest. On the contrary, gamification is a great tool to support cooperation. If the fabula of the game and its rules are constructed in such a way that only good and harmonious cooperation will allow the players to reach the treasure, break the code or defeat the dragon guarding the princess, gamification can perfectly support teamwork.
Gamification has great potential in education, and more and more examples of its use in schools, universities and in other form of education show that it allows to stimulate and maintain strong motivation to learn among students. Gamification has great potential due to the great flexibility of its forms, the great variety of game elements, stories, game mechanics and rules that can be used to create an interesting and motivating game. And finally, gamification works regardless of the educational level, form, and subject, making it a universal method with a wide potential for use in education.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.