Gamification is the primary method to engage learners and can be implemented into various aspects of their education, e.g., conveying important information, teaching valuable skills, and boosting team performance.
What is Gamification?
Gamification describes strategies that bring elements, often used in and associated with games, into a non-game environment. Those can be badges, leaderboards, quizzes, points & scores, levels, or challenges. (Source: Huotari & Hamari, 2012)
However, gamification is not only about turning the learning process into a game. Its rather about motivating learner, increase their learning output, simulate real life situations and supporting experiental learning. Gamification techniques tailor game mechanics and motivational methods to add competition but as well collaboration and tram building.
Gamification thus can be used to educate, motivate, and engage learners, optimize workflows, and attract (young) learners. It typically utilizes four different levers to show its potential:
Motivation: Learners are motivated by the opportunity to get rewards and recognition.
A sense of control: Gamified tasks give learners the feeling of being in power, which taps into their intrinsic motivations. In simulations, they can experiment, fail and search for alternative strategies in a safe space.
Cues to action: Learners are prompted to complete tasks. Gamification features within an app or a platform can help them know where they are and where they are going.
A sense of competition and collaboration: People are competitive by nature. They like to set goals and compete with themselves or others. At the same time games can connect teams, provide space for new thoughts, reflections and co-creation.
Benefits of Gamification
When done correctly, gamification can boost learners output and engagement significantly.
Gamification can be a powerful tool to foster a more positive learning environment. The effects it can have on participants can differ depending on the gamification methods introduced to the environment:
• Increased motivation: usage of goals, achievements, and rewards systems encourages motivation, increases satisfaction, and sequentially performance.
• Strengthens communication: communication between different teams and learners often improves and becomes more fluid.
• Favors learner engagement: gamification features increase the sense of belonging into the team and also the identification with a goal.
• Introduces innovative dynamics: game-based learning to develop skills helps the growth of the learners, ultimately resulting in potential innovation.
• Develops specific skills: gamifying training programs helps learners learning effectively.
• Transparency of individual performance: leaderboards, scores, levels, and badges help to showcase accomplishments and improvement especially in areas where its hard to measure performance, e.g., learning and skill-building.