How It Helps Boost Online Learning


It has been a confusing two years with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on our daily lives.

This global crisis has also been an extraordinarily trying time for education.

The biggest challenge of teaching online is how to maintain the learner’s level of engagement and interest. Therefore, there is a need to embrace technology and seek other pedagogical adaptations to aid online education.

Photo above by Soumil Kumar from Pexels

What is gamification?

Gamification is the application of game design features and ideas to non-game situations. It can also be defined as a set of actions and procedures that utilize or utilize the features of game components to solve problems .

It aims to engage customers, workers and partners to encourage them to cooperate, share and interact.

The art of gamification

The art of gamification is the application of video game mechanics to a non-gaming environment or system to increase the engagement, participation, and loyalty of its users.

In theory, this means applying the general principles that video games use to drive the player and game experience in other contexts or environments. Gamification itself is nothing new. It predates video games.

An example of this is rewarding Scouts with badges for completing a task that normal kids wouldn’t seek out or participate in. Same as loyalty cards to earn points to redeem.

All humans feel the need to be competent or to succeed. It is an intrinsic desire to seek control and mastery over a particular moment, action or situation. We yearn to be validated. We want to be rewarded for a job well done.

This perpetual desire to achieve a sense of growth, accomplishment and reward is what psychologists call the psychological need for competence.

Video games excel in this area.

The use of high scores, badges, points, and rewards are typical video game elements used in video games to reward players.

Over the past few decades, video games have successfully used a reward-based mechanism to promote positive player engagement.

The theory is that reward-based elements can be used in virtually any setting and make gamification an effective method for promoting learner engagement.

How does gamification work?

Gamification works by using game mechanics and dynamics to provide proactive instruction and feedback to the audience, which helps achieve business goals and objectives.

An engaging gamification experience taps into a participant’s emotions and simply illustrates the best actions an audience can take to contribute to mutually agreed upon goals. Students who interact with gamification software receive quick feedback on their performance and are guided towards new goals.

picture by Garrett Morrow from Pexels

Benefits of gamification

Here are some reasons why gamification is beneficial for learning:

  1. It makes learning more enjoyable and participatory

Gamification of learning can help you generate innovative, educational and entertaining material, whatever your audience or topic.

It’s not designed to turn work into play, but taps into the psychology that motivates people to participate.

One of the main benefits of gamification is that it makes learning more exciting and informative, thanks to its interaction.

Role-playing and competitive components provide an immersive element that, when done right, can make learning enjoyable.

  1. Allows students to experience how the real world works

Learning on the job can be an excellent method of consolidating skills by using them in real-life situations.

Gamification of learning helps students see the real applications and benefits of the subject.

They can see first-hand how their in-game actions affect the repercussions or rewards they get.

  1. You can get instant feedback

Students can work towards real-time, quantifiable, and relevant goals and receive next-level feedback as they achieve them, through gamification of learning.

After all, you can’t improve until you understand what you need to work on or how to improve your skills.

  1. Reduces fear of failure

Failure is an inevitable part of learning, but it is often seen as a cause of shame and humiliation in the classroom.

However, research has revealed that gamification motivates students to fail and retry learning activities without feeling embarrassed. This perseverance is linked to academic success, and it also fosters the courage and resilience that our students will need as adults.

  1. Makes learning a more personal experience

Making learning more personal using gamification increases engagement and reminds students that their learning journey is their own.

You’ll notice this change when they start asking you if they can do other things for practice or get good grades at home, even if you haven’t given homework.

How can gamification be applied in education?

Learner engagement is a crucial factor in ensuring that what is taught is absorbed and that learners’ desire to learn is present.

The truth is, traditional in-person teaching models do not translate into an effective remote learning environment.

The key question then is how can teachers and educators ensure that learners are consistently engaged?

Many teachers have explored simple gamification tools to accompany online classroom apps such as Kahoot and Quizizz. Gamification has made a comeback in the past two years since the pandemic forced many teachers to turn to online platforms.

I know a lot of people have used the term “gamification” to apply the concepts of reward-based mechanics in their classrooms. But true gamification is about more than the use of leaderboards, badges, and tools.

Rewards aren’t the only thing that makes a video game appealing.

There are other elements such as challenges, social interactions and competitions between players, which are arguably factors that distinguish a great game from a mediocre one.

How does UOW Malaysia KDU apply gamification?

I champion the concept of gamification using these advanced game design principles in applying gamification to online courses.

Social interactions through a competitive player versus player environment is the very thing that makes party card games like UNO, Exploding Kittens, and Unstable Unicorn so effective at being fun.

The element of social competition and interaction are some examples of what makes video games successful.

A few lecturers from the School of Computing and Creative Media experimented with gaming gamification and came out with a proof-of-concept called a horizontal gaming system, which uses player versus player and collaborative social gaming mechanics to push the level of gaming. commitment of our students.

the School of Computing and Creative Media conducted a survey to compare the effectiveness of a purely rewards-based element of gamification versus the more holistic game and horizontal society-based game system.

We also compared student efficiency and productivity in a non-gamified online classroom, a traditional gamified online classroom only with rewards, and an online classroom using the horizontal game system.

The results have been phenomenal. Homework and weekly tasks were completed faster with greater ardor in the online class using the horizontal game system.

The level of student engagement in the classrooms was higher with a more social, competitive and playful system in play.

Research has shown that a horizontal game system improves interaction between learners and creates a more immersive learning environment.

Final Thoughts

Online courses using horizontal game system techniques have proven to be significantly more effective than online courses that simply use simple reward-based gamification systems.

So, are you ready to gamify your online courses?

This content is provided by UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College Sdn Bhd.

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