Will gamification play a key role in the future of online learning? – FE News


Education has always been willing to test new ways to keep students engaged. Thanks to research by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, we can see that there has been a decrease in the student drop-out rate, up to 5.3% of students who started their first degree in 2019-2020. This is the lowest rate ever recorded. Maintaining engagement and ensuring that students are actively enjoying their studies can help further reduce these percentages.

But how can we be sure to keep students interested and encouraged to contribute and perform well on assessments? Education gamification, where you make learning more enjoyable and engaging for students using game design features, could be the answer.

In this article, we will look at gamification in the world of education. This will include what it is, its overall benefits, and how it could greatly help online learning in the future.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the process of applying game concepts to teaching to better engage students. Video games have become a leading form of entertainment for all ages, and what makes them enjoyable can also apply to learning environments.

The idea of ​​play being used as a learning tool has been around for a long time, with theorists like Jean Piaget and Leonard Vygotsky proposing in 1962 that there is an important link between cognitive development and play.

Video game design has a lot of attractive features to engage students with. These range from complex environments that require decision-making and problem-solving to progress, to the confidence to experiment and take risks to gain insight into all sorts of outcomes. The story and narrative elements of games are also beneficial for maintaining consistent engagement as they help increase investment in character and theme developments.

There are many examples of gamification in education, such as an educator in the Houston Independent School district who created “quests” for his 250 students that were extra homework. These students voluntarily followed 27,000 of them and saw their talk time increase by 300%.

Benefits of gamification

Incorporating a playful learning environment into academic structures can offer students who may struggle with traditional teaching methods a new and improved option that could enhance their learning and engagement. In fact, a ScienceDirect study found that students who experienced a learning environment that mixed traditional learning with play saw their performance increase by up to 89.45% in some cases.

E-learning could reap huge benefits from playful learning, as tools and technology such as apps and games are accessible remotely. No matter where you are in the world, online study can be made more interactive to encourage greater involvement in conferences or seminars.

The digital nature of the tools means you can track progress over time with more ease than paper-based methods. Data from student assessment scores can be extracted into a document so teachers can accurately review and comment on their progress and better understand what can be done to help with further development on an individual basis.

To look forward

With technology in a constant state of evolution and flux, education is almost guaranteed to find more ways to incorporate it into teaching strategies. Younger generations are brought up in a world of technology and apps, so they should embrace these new ways of learning with greater ease than any that have come before them.

If the evolution of gamification in learning continues and becomes a more widely accepted concept for teachers around the world, the technology used for gamification could also grow to better accommodate emerging technologies. Virtual reality and the metaverse are a topic of conversation in the world of technology that could greatly contribute to the world of learning, with concepts of virtual classrooms that could transport students to digitally recreated landscapes in history. thanks to their VR headsets. Again, this would provide a more engaging and immersive way of learning than just reading a textbook.

The use of educational technology during the pandemic, when online learning was needed, increased the confidence of teachers and lecturers in using this technology. This has led industry experts to predict that the market will grow equivalent to a compound annual rate of 29% from 2021 to 2027.

There is no guarantee that every student will directly benefit from playful approaches to learning, and there will most likely be some for whom it will not work at all. However, it is less about creating a solution that works for everyone and more about incorporating an alternative to traditional teaching methods. This way no one feels left out and can progress at their own pace. Gamification offers a unique and fun way to tackle the most challenging tasks that some students might struggle with with their only option that relies on traditional learning.

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