The application of elements found in game playing such as scorekeeping and competition with others, also known as gamification, is growing in popularity in many prominent industries around the world, namely education, marketing, and enterprise.
As far as education is concerned, gamification is proving itself to be a powerful tool among students of all ages. Teachers and professors alike have begun to realize the tremendous benefits of utilizing technology in the classroom. This method of learning is incredibly harmonious with human nature as it plays on our natural desire to socialize, share learnings, compete, establish status, and receive awards.
There are many applications that are gaining traction among younger learners. Teachers are able to harness the power of technology to engage students of all learning levels. Many timid or underperforming students are finding that they respond well to a more “hands-on” approach. In contrast, for those students who are already performing well, using technology is only furthering their learning and allowing them to reach mastery levels. Applying technology in the classroom helps educators reach all of their students and ensures that even the quietest student has a voice.
One educational tool that is using gamificaion to engage elementary school classrooms is Storybird. Their mission is to improve childrens’ reading and writing abilities. The application uses illustrations to inspire students to use their creativity to write stories. Other features of the app include lessons and quizzes to supplement their learning.
Gamification techniques in higher education include strategic decision making in order to complete the games successfully. Generally speaking, there are four core elements in higher education games. These include narrative, challenge, progression, and feedback. Narrative refers to the stories that are given to the studies to engage their learning, usually a real-world scenario presented in the form of a case study. A challenge relates to developing a strategy and undergoing the decision-making process. Progression pertains to the flow of tasks that engage and motivate students through their learning process. Lastly, feedback is used to deliver frequent and targeted feedback that rounds out students learning.
A notable application that uses gamification to engage and motivate university students is Medica Scientific. The teaching simulation game places students in a decision-making environment based on real-world business cases. Through successes and failures, students develop confidence and precision in their critical thinking and analytical skills. University classes such as Operations and Supply Chain Management use it to strengthen and develop their students’ understanding of operational concepts such as forecasting, lead time management, and inventory control. The classroom becomes an engaged and creative learning space fueled by competition and strategy.
Learners of any age can advance and develop new skill sets through the use of gamification. Education technology allows students to learn with technology the same way they’ve been living with it their entire lives.
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