This article is written by Uma Sankar, VP - Head - Organization Development, Infosys BPM.
Technology innovation is driving every aspect of our lives, and the education sector is no exception. Today’s mantra – all work and no play will make Jack a dull student. Gamification, therefore, has a compelling use case in learning and education today. Experts surely are employing all resources to explore novel approaches to transform mundane learning into fun, immersive, and rewarding experiences.
What is gamification?
As the term suggests, gamification is nothing but a tactful use of gaming principles, such as rewards and micro-tasks, in training modules, and classroom activities, to increase engagement amongst the learners, and subsequently pique participation and performance. Much like modern-day video games that are engineered to captivate and entertain, use reward systems to motivate players, and stimulate the production of dopamine in the brains.
Dopamine — commonly referred to as the ‘feel-good’ hormone — prompts feelings of pleasure, euphoria, and enhanced concentration and motivation. Gamification uses these game-based elements to create similar experiences to engage and motivate individuals in non-gaming activities. Organisations use gamification techniques in various ways, including encouraging employee collaboration and creating captivating marketing strategies.
Educators around the world are incorporating game-based learning activities to boost content comprehension as well as improve information retention among students. Gamification strategies in learning include awarding points for completing certain tasks, leaderboards to promote competition, badges and awards to highlight special achievements, and challenges to enhance problem-solving skills.
When properly applied, gamification strategies provide a riveting and engaging experience that makes learning enjoyable and generate intrinsic motivation among students to complete lessons and tasks
Playing to the human psyche
Using modern technology and online solutions to ensure that students have an immersive and entertaining experience is a mark of evolution in the education sector. Incorporating strategies such as gamification to enhance student engagement ensures a better learning experience. The game mechanics cultivate essential life skills, including critical reasoning, analytical thinking, problem solving, social awareness, cooperation, cognitive abilities, and collaboration — qualities often associated with sports.
Introducing gamification elements such as progress indicators motivates students to achieve their objectives. Rather than setting one big and final goal to work towards, gamification relies on several smaller intermediate goals and achievements to keep learners interested and motivated. Additionally, certain apps and websites promote social learning and competitiveness by allowing students to compare their progress against each other online and continually challenge themselves.
Fun learning activities
Introducing an element of play into study time makes for a fun and immersive learning experience. Splitting lessons into various levels encourage students to push themselves harder to achieve their next goal. Just like with video games, the challenge of completing one level and moving on to the next can be an enjoyable experience and keeps the learners engaged.
Control over progress
Being able to earn points features high up in leaderboards, and moving to newer levels provide students with goals to accomplish and allows them to take control of their progress. This goal-oriented learning allows students to progress at their own pace, eliminating the stress and demotivation of failing or receiving bad grades. Gamified learning encourages students to try repeatedly after receiving an unsatisfactory result, allowing them to reach the next level at their own pace.
For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. To achieve agility in operations, organizations must also find agile ways to upskill and reskill the available talent pool. Gamification of curriculum and training modules is a compelling way to achieve just that. Learning, after all, has moved out of the pages, so why not make it fun?
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