In one form or another, gamification can be found in many virtual course settings, primarily because it has the potential to positively impact education.
Learners often demonstrate various levels of persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail, and problem solving abilities when games supplement the course content.
Why is Gamification Popular?
Today, virtual games are a very important part of our culture. Children do not know a world without video games and apps. This alone is enough of a reason to incorporate educational gaming into a learning context.
For starters, gamification encourages progression. Usually taking the form of points or levels, a learner can visualize their success, which in turn is important for motivation.
As learners earn more points and gain new achievement levels, they start to gain a sense of pride in the work that they have put into the game. Some games require collaboration in order to complete tasks, which helps to foster a communal sense of accomplishment when goals are met.
Another added bonus of gamification is that the material can be delivered (unlocked) continuously. Using challenges, timers, loss aversion, and discovery simulations help the learner navigate through the learning and uncover new parts of the material, all on their own time.
The games used in education today are effective for a variety of reasons, but it isn’t the game itself that improves learning – it’s the implementation and delivery.
Without a proper plan in place, or a culture that encourages productive gaming, the technology itself will do more harm than good as it will quickly become a distraction.
If you are thinking about implementing some form of gaming into your learning, make sure you put in the research before hand before shopping for solutions.