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Gamification in Education: How to keep students motivated

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People love games. Whether it’s hide-and-seek, card games, video games or sports, we enjoy them. We have an inherent need to test our abilities and play games that require proficient skills like logic and perseverance. We tend to compete to come out on top. 

Gamification theory says that people learn best when they have fun. And what’s more fun than games? When games are utilized properly, they can become a powerful educational tool. Today, there’s a growing trend of e-learning apps. They help to study new information on the go. This has resulted in the skyrocketing popularity of online education. Therefore, lots of educational establishments have to adapt to these trends and be able to offer their services online nowadays. Companies like Diversido have become a helping hand for such institutions as they provide both web and mobile app development. 

Gamification in Education

On average, a person spends 6 hours per week playing games. And even if they fail to complete the level, it inspires them to try even harder until they succeed. Can you imagine how much energy and effort is put forth when one is interested in the activity? And now, imagine that the same energy and effort may be invested in learning. How beneficial would it be? Well, that’s gamification in a nutshell. This is exactly why lots of teachers prefer adding games to the learning process. If students are having fun, they stay motivated and engaged. 

You’re probably wondering which game-based elements are commonly used in education. There are many, but the most popular ones are peer competitions that help students inspire each other; progress indicators that allow students to keep track of their accomplishments; teamwork that helps to develop social skills, etc. 

Gamification is used not only in a classroom but in e-learning apps as well. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to games. Adults enjoy educational games just as much as kids do. For instance, the statistics show that 83% of employees who undergo gamified training are more motivated at work. 

What Activities Can Be Used in a Classroom? 

In fact, you’re limited only by your imagination. Nowadays, there are plenty of opportunities and tools that you may use to implement almost any concept. Schools have already begun using mobile apps and computers to aid in the learning process. Yet, utilizing technology is not the only way to implement gamification. 

Progress Tracking 

The less progress students see, the less motivated and focused they become. That’s why it’s important to keep track of students’ performance. This not only makes it easier to reach academic goals. It also helps to build consistency in studying practices. Students need to be sure that they have at least little progress every time they invest effort. Use it as a reminder that their efforts matter. Otherwise, they can easily get distracted and give up on studying at all. Tracking their accomplishments is the simplest way to engage your students. 

To track progress, an educator can use interactive graphs or create a student’s individual portfolio that may include all grades. Also, it’s important to add an explanation of every grade and gather the materials for every topic studied during the year. This will give the full picture of a student’s progress. Keep portfolios in a place where anyone can find them at any time. 

By and large, accountability leads to consistency, while constant practice leads to reaching new goals. 

Competitive Environment

People like being challenged, so arranging a friendly competition between classmates or classes may be effective. That way, every student will be doing their best to win and get higher grades. This may also help to expand their knowledge in the process (it depends on the task). 

You can also carry out a class-versus-teacher competition. Students get their points when following certain rules and if they win, they have less homework or a party. 

Create a quest 

It’s a well-known activity for both children and adults. When we hear the word ‘quest’, we usually associate it with the upcoming adventure. Instead of reading another paragraph, children may have a task to find certain information by themselves. A quest can be an outdoor activity or an in-class task. In both cases, every sub-task should be linked with the story of the hero’s journey or treasure hunt. Kids will certainly feel excited.

The place doesn’t matter as long as the task and reward are interesting and motivating. 

Work as a team 

Some teachers are not open to the idea of encouraging much competition in their classrooms. In this case, the entire class may be a team that achieves certain goals together. With this approach, students are working on the material together instead of competing. They are more interested in helping each other with the task. 

A teacher can set the goal of everyone passing the test. Who knows, if students could help each other and do their best, there would be more successful results. 

Getting rid of traditional grades 

Every educational institution has a grading system and we all know how it works. But why not add a little bit of creativity to the traditional grading system? 

For instance, a professor at Indiana University decided to switch from traditional grading and convert grades into experience points. Sometimes, looking at commonplace things from a different perspective leads to changing the whole outlook. A standard well-known system becomes unique and interesting with additional game elements. As a result, students are engaged and motivated to study. 

Conclusion

To sum it up, gamification in education creates a relaxed and friendly learning environment where students aren’t afraid to fail. Instead, they are more open to learning in the process. When students enjoy learning, it leads to consistency and habit, because they want to grasp knowledge outside the classroom as well. So, why not have some fun while opening up new horizons? 

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