The term “gamification”, which in Greek has been attributed as “playful”, has recently appeared in the technology industry. Its first recording appears to have been made in 2008, but its acceptance and wider use is only observed in the second half of 2010. (Fuchs et al., 2014).
The field of play is new, rapidly growing, and therefore there are many different views on what exactly we mean by the term. (Van Den Boer, n. d.) The term may, of course, be a neologism with relative difficulty in rendering meaning, but it refers to something that is not new at all, it refers to the game,which was and remains one of the primary psychological needs ofman.
Kapp in his book “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education “, lists some overlapping definitions of gamification and finally combines them to come to the following conclusion:
“Gaming poetry uses game-based mechanisms, aesthetic game thinking, in order to attract people, provoke actions, promote learning and solve problems”(p. 10).
We conclude, therefore, that the aim of playing in education is to give the learning process the satisfaction and joy that the game offers. If we remember that according to the theory of behaviour, the acquisition of knowledge arises as a result of the interaction of the stimuli received by the individual from the environment and his reactions to these stimuli, then the relevant criticisms can only be taken into account both in the selection and in the application of play in the educational process. , in order to limit
the possible manipulation for which behavior has been blamed; praise, grades, etc., as well as internal ones, such as spontaneous and deliberate participation, benefit the students involved and have a positive impact on the learning process. Whereas,on the contrary, in the traditional learning environment students are often discouraged and lose all motivation in the face of failure or even in the faceof a potential failure. The above contrast is what prompted us to see in practice the applicability of play to the Mathematics course. The following are two examples.
Gamification with an application
Electronic games penetrate dynamically into the field of education. There are, however, easy-to-use and simple platforms that enable anyone who wishes to experiment by modernising and enriching their teaching practices.com, which enables the teacher to use in their lesson one of the thousands of ready-made quiz they contain or create their own, with whatever content they choose. The number of possible choices in each question is determined by the teacher, depending on the educational goals they set. In addition, there is the choice of the individual mission of quiz to each student as work in the house, which offers the option for differentiated teaching. I quote from a quiz of my own fifteen questions in fractions, where the educational objective set is the basic repetition of elementary terms and procedures, while pedagogy is the involvement and active participation of the largest percentage ofstudents.
For more information visit: https://quizizz.com/profile/5d1650098548cd001a68cae8
Gamification without application
Although technology is undoubtedly considered to be essential in the modern teaching classes, purely traditional methods can, with some appropriate modifications, stimulate new trends in the educationalprocess. Such an example will be presented at the same time, as a result of the “Science Inspired”, Erasmus+ program, run in Greece by the Science Centre and Technology Museum Thessaloniki, NOESIS implemented without the use of technology.
The educational objective of the intervention implemented in a course in the 2nd Gymnasium was the repetition of basic concepts and/or procedures that had been taught during the school year, such as: the variable, the resolution of the primary equation, the Pythagorean Theorem, the inextricable numbers, the corresponding amounts, the areas, etc. To this end, nine exercises were selected commensurate with the level of the pupils concerned. Then, nine points of the court space were selected, each of which was pasted, more or less visibly, one of the nine different questions. A worksheet was used with images that referred to the respective points of the courtyard, at the beginning of which the process and the purpose of the game were described in detail.
The intervention was not intended to change the content of the teaching act, but to reverse the formality, which when done in the classroom is static and not always interesting. In this intervention, the typical course was dressed in team play characteristics that required movement, search, combinations and strategy development in order to complete the process at the optimum time. The exploitation of the elements of the game, emotionally involved all the students in the process. He, then, had to replace each number he found with the corresponding letter of the Greek alphabet and finally put the letters in the correct order in order to find the word “key”. The whole process was enriched with the “external motivation” of the grade, which although anti-pedagogical, as already mentioned in the criticism of behaviorism, is what directly motivates students. The rule in this game said that each student in the team who finished first would have an increase of 20%, the second by 15%, etc.
In the evaluation that followed immediately after the completion of the “game” the vast majority of children expressed their enthusiasm and called for similar actions to be repeated in the following school year.
The play of the standard repetition has even affected the pupils who participate little or no in the typical course.
Thoughts and Reflections on the Use of Toying
From the brief presentation of the theoretical framework, it seems that the adoption of this new trend in math courses by teachers has to add significant added value, as it greatly reinforces the required emotional background of the students involved, creating a playful learning environment, reducing stress, increasing both the interest and perseverance of the children to reach a result, in order to win the game. And that is why they are not discouraged and do not let go, but they insist, they seek the solution and move on.
On the other hand, teachers who employ play take into account the psycho-emotional processes that take place during the learning process, as during the “play” phases children strongly externalize all their emotions and become more receptive. In addition, the teacher who chooses to use play to motivate their students has the opportunity to design and assess what is offered to them as a logistical infrastructure and as a student potential and in this way to enhance their personal interest and experience new experiences in the context of their “typical” daily work.
In short, there are several reasons why we should try to play games when teaching Mathematics. The examples presented, of course, relate to repeat courses and, therefore, require knowledge of the basic mathematical concepts and methods, so they come as an alternative to complement the formality. Whether toying can completely “reverse” the traditional teaching of Mathematics or simply strengthen, support and modernise it, is an open question, which presupposes answering others, such as whether the introductory teaching of a mathematical concept can be designed and implemented through discovery and/or cognitive combination in terms of play.
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