How To Increase Success In Education With The Use Of Gamification
Learning by playing is like a motto of gamification, but what exactly is this educational phenomenon?
Over the past years, the capability of technology has shown us that eventually, it might take over most of our day-to-day hustles. In the current education system, we can already see some digital methods used in daily learning processes. Although the modernization of daily activities has made it easier to achieve certain goals, another problem has been revealed as a result. Due to the massive flow of information, the engagement crisis has peaked like never before.
This is one of the major problems that online courses have to face. It is crucial to understand that not everyone is going to commit to the course 100% if it is not relevant, useful, interactive, or fun. A study from a few years back made by a widely acclaimed education and technology researcher, Katy Jordan, shows an alarmingly low percentage of students that finish their online courses. On rare occasions, it can exceed the 40% mark, but the average number of learners that complete their program is only 15%. Today, these numbers are even lower and that’s why action needs to be taken as soon as possible.
Applying gamification elements to the learning process has created a breakthrough in online education. Some studies have shown, that added game elements can increase students’ engagement to the course, and make the journey of learning a lot more amusing. Gamification is already successfully used in such fields as marketing, healthcare, work organizations, and environmental initiatives.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of applying game elements to the activities that are non-game related. Subtly placed components like levels, avatars, experience points, progress bars, and other game-related characteristics can bring a lot of interest and fun. To explain it thoroughly, the main elements of gamification consist of — levels, progress bars, custom avatars, daily challenges, and virtual goods.
A great example of gamification elements used in learning would be the Space Doggos course created by BitDegree. The course aims to teach students HTML and CSS by making them practice writing code from the first lesson. Instead of simply watching a lecturer explain the theory, students learn by trying the theory out right away. If you manage to do it successfully, you are rewarded with experience points and tokens. The course has a lot of gamified elements, it is easy to interact with and easy to follow. And it’s entirely free.
What Does Gamification Bring to the Table?
Gamification in education is presented to students as a way to shift regular studying patterns to new interactive learning ways. Many scientists have tested the benefits that the gamified learning experience brings to the table, and most of them show positive results. Although there is no guarantee that it will increase the completion rate to 100%, the positive effects of gamification are hard to deny.
Looking from a technical perspective, gamification provides:
- Immediate feedback on the results. The students do not have to wait until their work is checked and can quickly make conclusions about whether their effort is enough.
- Collaboration between students. Online learning platforms not only allow students to compete against each other but also allow them to form communities and learn from each other.
- Cashing-in on rewards. Just like in computer games, e-learning offers valuables – in-game goods that can be helpful for further processes like additional courses or extra material – for every accomplished quest.
A study made by a couple of experienced researchers on IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) compared gamified and non-gamified online course completion rates on online learning platforms like edX and MexicoX. The results showed that gamified courses had a double completion rate compared to the other ones. In their conclusions, the authors wrote that the gamification process enabled a slight competition among users and that it could have influenced new learning communities.
It is important to understand that the main goal of any learning platform is not to make the completion of the course rate reach 100% but to make the course as interesting and fun as possible. Gamification in online courses is a great way to achieve that goal, and with the current and upcoming studies, it’s clear that this solution is still growing and evolving. Having fun when doing something is what drives most people to be engaged and interested, it fights procrastination and helps people stay original.
Full name: Andželika Žukauskaitė
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