Gamification of Learning
Today’s learners are immersed in technology at various levels from the television they encounter to social media and online learning platforms. With this, it only makes sense to ensure our learning environments adapt and grow to match the needs of our learners. This entails integrating technology into various points of the learning process and ensuring that there is authentic learning taking place. Gamification of learning has proven to engage students and has the potential to educate as well. Although there are many educators who prefer to stick to the conventional lesson with information being taught, practiced and then assessed, it is imperative that we look to alternate models of teaching if we want to work alongside the development of our students as they grow.
Additionally, there is a lot of research that highlights the effectiveness when gamifying a learning environment listed below:
Almost 80% of learners say that they would be more productive if their university/institution or work was more game-like.
Over 60% of learners would be motivated by leader boards and increased competition between students.
350 companies have launched gamification projects since 2010.
There are 183 million active gamers in the U.S.
There was a $5.5 billion gamification market in 2018.
97% of kids play computer and video games.
More K-5 teachers report using games than middle school teachers.
70% of teachers saw an increase in student engagement using educational video games.
This information is difficult to ignore when developing effective learning environments, especially if teachers are aiming to capitalize on student engagement and make education fun. This is a deviation from the norm and there remains push back from traditional educators, however the results speak for themselves and warrant the integration of this new teaching method.
However, it is important to ensure that technology is not simply being thrown into the classroom, but rather presented in a way that is set up for student learning. In many cases, educators use technology and the novelty of it welcomes surprise and engagement, however this is short-lived and when looked at for the impact on learning, it becomes evident that there is none. For example, many educators may use Kahoot to engage the students in quizzes, however overuse of it or having questions that are not engaging enough would be an unfortunate waste of a great resource.
When integrating technology and creating an effective online learning environment, some of the aspects to look out for are:
Using different forms of media, i.e. videos, audio, games, etc. to differentiate learning.
Understanding how to connect specific media to lessons and activities so that it supports learning.
How to present the technology to the students so that they are taught how to use it as well as the benefits it poses to learning.
Accessing a range of different technologies to serve various purposes in learning.
Using technology as a tool for collaboration to build on people skills rather than encouraging isolation.
To build on, the following are various aspects of Gamification that will be of focus throughout the program to ensure student growth and development:
Progressing to different levels.
Points and badges.
Real time feedback on performance.
Friendly competition (leaderboards).
To clarify, this training course does not focus on the creation of a gaming platform which requires coding and other software development skills. Prior to this step, is the development of relevant content and planning. This is the foundation of gamifying a learning environment/ learning goals and trainees will work alongside the trainer to develop a sample platform.
The timeline of this course is dependent on the trainees and the time needed to develop a sample online learning environment as a team to implement the concepts being discussed in the training. The kind of game content developed is dependent on the organization/company and a product of meetings conducted with the overall team.
Training from Step Up Academy of Learning for Gamification of Learning will look like:
Whole group meetings to discuss the layout of the questions and how to effectively develop a gamified environment.
1-1 support for trainees as they apply concepts discussed in the meetings.
Individual work period to develop content and grasp how to structure learning in an online environment.
Observation of students playing the game to gage the trainee’s success.
Review and reflection on what has been developed and its impact on learning.
The trainers at Step Up Academy believe the best way to learn how to Gamify Learning is through application of concepts. Therefore, throughout the training, rather than completing readings and learning in a class, students will be actively creating content for and developing a gamified learning environment on their own or as a team. The application of these skills will ensure that by the end of the program, they have been able to demonstrate their learning and are ready to work alongside their employer on the Gamification of Learning.