Why Curriculum Administrators Should Approach Classroom Learning Through Gamification

December 10th, 2019

In 2018, the value of the global gamification market stood at $6.8 billion. The popularity of games is such that this market is expected to grow to a value of a whopping $40 billion by 2024. One of the fields where gamification offers great potential for application is education. The good news is that this potential is being increasingly realized. In fact, the value of the gamification in education market is set to grow at a CAGR of 32% from $450 million in 2018 to $1.8 billion in 2023.

Here’s a look at how gaming elements in education can be incredibly helpful for students.

Impact of Gamification on Learning Outcomes

The potential impact of gamification on academic outcomes has been known for a long time. In fact, Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian scientist who was the first to publish the periodic table, has been known to be one of the first to make use of gamification to make learning easier. But any serious use and research on its impact have begun only in the 21st century. With advancements in EdTech, the K-12 education sector has started to adopt gamification, with the help of digital platforms, such as MagicBox™. Here are some of the benefits that can be gained through gamification:

1. Better Attention Span

It is no secret that attention spans are fast declining. Being born into a world of multi-tasking and smartphones, the attention span is even worse when it comes to the younger generation. Can you imagine today’s youth concentrating through a 30- or 40-minute lecture or even reading long, text-based content, without breaks? A good solution to this problem comes in the form of gamification in teaching. Games have proven to hold attention quite easily while adding a fun element that keeps students involved.

2. Greater Engagement

Student engagement is a key factor in academic success. It has been found that the cognitive, behavioral and emotional engagement of students improves with the use of gamification, according to a study done by Samantha Adams of Stellenbosch University. At the cognitive level, problem-solving and decision-making abilities improve, while at the emotional level, the student learns to wire positive emotions, such as feeling competent with learning. At the behavioral level, knowledge construction is facilitated by means of interaction with other students.

The study used game elements, such as badges, points, and leader boards. It was found that such rewards increased engagement levels as well as the desire to collaborate among the students.

3. Greater Motivation to Learn

There are always some subjects that students don’t really enjoy that much, with mathematics probably topping that list. These are the subjects for which students find it difficult to motivate themselves to study. The use of gamification in learning improves motivation in many ways. In fact, 67% of students find courses with gaming elements more motivating than traditional courses. Firstly, it makes the content much more fun. Then, it creates competition among different students. Getting the high score or reaching the top of the leaderboard can be very gratifying.

4. The Benefit of Micro Learning

With the help of gamification, knowledge can be efficiently delivered in form of small nuggets. These nuggets, which take around 3 to 5 minutes to consume, are especially attractive for the younger learners. Micro learning has been found to increase the amount of information retained, while also improving its application. When students are focused on small packets of information, it also improves engagement.

Micro learning, on its own, can seem disjointed at times. But, with the help of gamification, a unifying framework can be provided to these different segments. A great example of this is the leveling up mechanism. Once a student learns a new skill and completes the required test, pathways to new segments can open up. This ties the different parts of learning seamlessly. 

5. Instant Feedback

Feedback is vital for improvement. It is even more effective when it is provided instantaneous. With gamification, learners can instantly find out where they did great and where they need to make improvements. In addition, the entire process of getting feedback becomes incredibly fun. There can be leaderboards that show how a student ranks compared to other classmates.

6. Subjects That Evoke Dread are be Turned into Fun

For most students, studying can be the opposite of fun. There is an element of fear students associate with learning, which can be counterproductive to their growth. Fear of a subject can lead to negative learning outcomes. In fact, research shows that the ability to learn new skills can be increased by 40% by making the process fun. What better way to make things fun than games? Gaming elements that have been found to be most helpful in making studies enjoyable for students are receiving badges (14.1%), profile updates (53%), awards (5.4%) and getting points (27.2%).

It has also been found that learning games that have “rapid uncertain reward schedules” or give pleasure promote the release of dopamine in learners. Dopamine, one of the feel-good hormones, motivates learners to continue learning. 

7. Aids Mental Development

Gamification has also been found to increase activity in certain regions of the brain and promote development. These games have been found to improve the rate at which information is processed and maintained by the brain. In addition, gamification allows students to experience real-life applications of concepts learned in class. It also promotes problem-solving skills.

How a Learning Platform can Facilitate Gamification in the Classroom

The most convenient way of integrating gamification in education is through a robust digital learning platform that supports such interactive elements. For instance, MagicBox™ enables existing content, such as print textbooks, to be quickly and conveniently converted into eBooks. In addition, this learning platform allows for various multimedia and interactive elements to be integrated with the eBooks, taking learning to a whole new level of engagement. At the same time, it helps track student learning progress through robust analytics, while safeguarding intellectual property rights through powerful digital rights management tools.

With this cloud-based publishing platform for eBooks, students also gain the freedom to access content both online and offline, on the device of their choice and from anywhere. In addition, with the introduction of gamification features, such as points, badges and rewards, students can be kept motivated to continue to learn and move ahead in a particular syllabus.

In short, gamification has a lot to offer in the field of education. It has the ability to make the understanding of complex concepts easy for all, including people with disabilities, such as dyslexia or learning disability. In fact, scientists have found gamification incredibly helpful in teaching students with autism as well. In addition, gamification has proven to offer benefits for students with ADHD, while also reducing disruptive behavior in the classroom. The visual and auditory elements of learning games are retained much better by students than text-based information. Integrating gamification into education becomes convenient with advanced learning platforms, like MagicBox™, which have been designed specifically to make the addition of interactive element simple.

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