Today, many schools or language centers face serious problems with the motivation and commitment of students. However, approaches such as educational gamification are increasingly being used due to the benefits they provide. It is difficult to know the reasons why this method is used without knowing its exact definition.
Gamification is defined as the use of mechanics, dynamics, and frames to promote desired behaviors. In other words, it incorporates elements of game design in a non-game context. That’s how it can be applied in educational environments to make the most difficult things more fun; motivating students to learn better and making them more committed to both the subject and the study center. A practical example of the above would be to award badges or tokens to students for completing tasks, much like the rewards a player receives on a games console.
Even though gamification can lead to better learning outcomes, defending its application in the educational setting requires more than intuition. Therefore, in this article we will explain in detail its main benefits and how both teachers and parents can use it to increase students’ concentration and knowledge.
The main benefits of educational gamification
It is true that gamification in education is still a growing phenomenon (it became popular in 2010), although it has been widely used in this sector in recent years. Its application in the educational environment allows students to learn better while having fun. Moreover they also engage in higher quality learning by having goals, objectives and targets to achieve. At Dexway, we would like to detail some other benefits of educational gamification.
It offers resilience against failure
Educational gamification reframes failure as a necessary part of learning. It shortens feedback loops and provides students with an environment where effort pays off. Students find themselves in a more relaxed atmosphere when it comes to failure because they may see it as an opportunity to try again rather than being a fearful and overwhelming experience.
Students feel that they own their learning
The activities that are used in gamification allow students to try out new roles and make decisions based on different points of view. This allows students to identify themselves as academics when playing.
Gamified learning makes progress visible at all times and the student will be able to access the points they have earned, their academic achievements or personalize goal setting mechanisms.
A well-designed gamification system will make it easy for students to assess the required next steps and take stock of how much progress they have made in their learning, at any given time.
It improves the level of participation and motivation of students
The same students who hardly ever bother to pick up a pen in class to jot down notes are often the ones who show an interest in techniques like magnification in e-learning. Why? It’s very simple: games generate high levels of motivation and participation.
Through games, students can learn about their weaknesses and try to excel by demonstrating their mastery over the challenges of the game. Additionally, students are often motivated by the relationships and team building involved in games.
The freedom to experiment, explore different options, or fail are factors that come to the forefront in educational gamification because they motivate students to keep striving for progress even when the going gets tough.
Educational gamification helps cognitive development
Games that promote critical thinking and problem solving can improve students’ information processing and retention skills. Most educational games fit into this category.
Gamified learning takes advantage of the cognitive benefits of these games in an increasingly digital world.
They increase enjoyment and feel familiar
Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the part of the brain responsible for pleasure, is released when we play. This not only stimulates the enjoyment of problem solving, but helps to build a positive attitude towards the subject that has been gamified.
In addition, students will see gamified learning as an intuitive and familiar system that does not have great complexity and therefore does not require much explanation from the teacher or trainer. It is based on simple rules that only need to be followed; therefore gamification is relatively straightforward from a classroom management perspective.
Educational Gamification with Dexway
At Dexway we apply game dynamics to their language courses because we consider that gamification or the gamification of teaching is one of the most effective classroom tools to maintain student motivation and engagement.
In our language courses we allow you to have a gamified plan for motivation and coaching through a virtual campus or LMS (Learning Management System) with a system capable of setting objectives, measuring achievements and communicating them to students.
If you want to discover how we use gamified learning to apply playful dynamics to language courses which enhance student motivation, contact us.