There is a relatively new term being passed around in education circles and this is known as gamification. It is know as this simply because the key hooks of a game whether digital, board or physical have been adopted into education. This type of learning uses game mechanics or thinking in a non-game context to engage learners and increase personal problem solving contributions.
Jackson & McNamara, state that game-based learning systems are being rated by students as being more enjoyable and motivating, studies show that students report increased self-efficacy.
A teacher who successfully gamifies a learning activity will be able to
· Identify the ability level of the player
· Provide prompt feedback
· Assign a somewhat more challenging task than the learner's skill.
Gamifiation offers the students no matter the age the opportunity to experiment and engage with the rules, roles and reactions of a game. They discover the benefits of working hard to find answers to their questions. When playing by these rules, students develop new frameworks of understanding that enriched other school-based activities.
Examples of ways teachers can gamify a learning system are
· Add points to tasks that need to be completed
· Assign badges/rewards that are awarded once the criteria is met
· Define levels or gateways to repeat tasks previously performed that all students pass though no matter the path they have taken to get there. They are the assessments in disguise and are the bridge to the unlocking higher levels.
A great article to read on gamifiction in the classroom was published on the Top Hat Blog site on July 15 2013 titled 4 Ways To Bring Gamification of Education To Your Classroom http://blog.tophat.com/4-ways-to-gamify-learning-in-your-classroom/. This article has helped me develop some of the practices that I have established in my school and classroom
Jackson, G. Tanner; McNamara, Danielle S. (2013, September 9). Motivation and Performance in a Game-Based Intelligent Tutoring System. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication.