Gamification of Classrooms
Teachers have always faced the dilemma of how to engage with their students in classrooms. Over a period of time, we have seen the emergence of a variety of different strategies employed by teachers to keep their students enagaged. A more recent concept of improving classroom engagement is through the gamification.
In simple words, gamification of classrooms is the process in which teachers use the gaming principals to enhance learning outcomes in the classroom. The effects of gamification will surely yield the results that teachers want. It moves away from the conventional point monger system to a more interactive session in the classrooms. With gamification, you would be able to increase student engagement, students would have a class-wide enjoyment of academic lessons, and high levels of interest, even from your most reluctant learners.
History of Gaming in the Classroom
For teachers not familiar with the concept, and are reluctant to consider this as part of their class might never know that they grew to witness early versions of gamification of classrooms. The process of using games to create awareness and learning has long been around. Since the invention of computers many games were released for students to become familiar with the computers, these were used by schools to make their students more familiar with computers and comfortable with them.
Today’s world is a lot different since the days when home computers were first invented. Students are now more involved in the use of computers and other gadgets than ever before. The strategy of gamification is to bring the same interesting components in the classrooms.
How to begin gamification
For gamification of classrooms, teachers must take into consideration a few things. The first is the content that will be taught? What subject are you trying to teach? Prior planning for gamification of a classroom is very important, you will need to create units and plan an assessment of students. Teachers also need to consider the students, most students today are tech-savvy, and have a lot of prior knowledge of the gaming logic. Moreover, teachers also need to take into consideration the students that require extra attention, not everyone shares the same level of information. This is also going to affect the way classroom is assessed. To have every learner on the same page teachers should consider putting together a training manual or some other support system for students who may need extra help.
Components of Gamification the Classroom
Teachers can use the gaming logic used in the games to build up interaction. The way games are made today is considerably different than what they used to be. This is because games today are being built using various components that keep the players engaged in the games. Teachers want the same engagement in classrooms, and in order to do so, they can certainly adapt to the logic used in games.
Points: In most of the video games today, players gain points as they complete the tasks, missions or as they travel more through the game. As a player spends more time they invest in the game the more points they earn in the form of experience or stars depending on the game. gathering certain items, or finding a new item during the quest makes the players more powerful and earn more points. To gamify the classroom, teachers can replace the usual grading system with the points. To make them explore the subject more and contribute more in the class, teachers can reward them points. Class participation can be turned into experience points, and the more the students take part in the classrooms, the more experience they will be able to gain.
As in a game, players work to make their character look powerful and stronger, students will engage in classrooms more to make earn those points and healthier competition would be promoted in the class. At the end of the day, students who are unable to perform well, will not be seen low graders, and this would also help in maintaining their self-esteem.
In games, to engage players badges can also rewarded other than just points. There are certain achievements that can be unlocked by players as they progress. Badges are rewarded when a task has been completed. In games, players want to collect all the badges before their friends do. Students when given the chance of earning badges for doing difficult tasks, it would make other students be more competing and complete the tasks in order to earn those badges rather just some marks.
Games start from the easiest levels and then start getting more difficult as players progress through the games. Making it easier for them improve their skills and move ahead through the levels. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the classrooms. Topics do not start with varying levels of difficulty.
Teachers can incorporate this in the classroom by gradually taking students through the difficult topics rather than just beginning with new topics once each is completed.
Games today are more diverse than ever. You have open world options, where you can connect and play with any online player. This helps players in completing certain tasks, playing with their friends remotely, meeting new friends. Classrooms tasks can also be designed in the same manner. Students can complete tasks on online portals, connect with their peers online, and help each other through the portal. This will not only promote learning other than conventional way but also promote learners to bond with each other, and look after each other. This helps in polishing their team building skills.
In any game, bonuses help players get ahead than the rest of players. To get these bonuses players are busy with the games all day long. In the classroom, bonuses can also create complete attention of students for rewards. These bonus points can include a homework-free day, recommendations, and other key benefits that students are looking for.
This feature in a game allows players to begin the level again if they lose it. They do not have to start the whole game again if they lose on a level. For classroom motivation, and maintaining stress of student’s teacher can use the similar concept for gamification classrooms. They can allow students to reappear the test, exam, assessment instead of giving them an F and making them repeat the course or subject again. Taking such steps will encourage students to try harder next time rather just losing hope in a system which is supposed to provide education.