Gamification, broadly speaking, is the application of typical elements of game playing from scoring, leveling and badge earning to engagement with a product or service.
On the other hand, game-based learning, according to uwaterloo.ca, involves designing learning activities so that game characteristics and game principles adhere to the learning activities themselves. For example, a group of students might role-play elves and humans to decide the fate of a story.
One would normally associate gaming with kids and one would be right. However, gamification has not made the inroads one would expect in education. Now, traditional methods of teaching have always put a premium on memorization and learning by rote, thereby not actively encouraging active participation and critical thinking. Gamification and game-based learning is the opposite.
You don’t need to be a hardcore gamer to understand the concept. Basically, it is a reward system, much like how a game rewards players for progressing, achievements, or scoring more points than the other player. How it plays into your child’s education is not that difficult. But why bring gaming in the classroom in the first place?
Here are 6 ways gaming goes hand in hand with your child’s education:
Games are user-friendly.
Qedfoundation.org says that games are user-friendly educational technology. Three-quarters of school administrators report that it increases student engagement, and half of them say that it helps personalize instruction.
Kids love games.
Ninety percent of children aged two to seventeen in the US play video games. Teachers can’t go wrong bringing a video game into the classroom to aid in learning. There is no kid alive today that will not pick up that controller and spend a few hours with it.
Players receive immediate feedback.
A blog in designingdigitally.com says that receiving immediate feedback helps students determine that they need to do better, what they are doing well, and what their next steps should be. It gives a visual representation of how they are doing, and how far they have to go, or how near they are to the objective.
Gaming can give your child a boost in ability.
Versionweekly.com reveals that games have the added advantage of making a learner accept failure, think of another strategy in tackling a problem, and look for a means to an end. It encourages critical thinking, in as much as getting the child to think of a solution that is not in the textbooks.
It helps children with attention disorders.
Research has shown that game-based learning and educational video games can actually help children who struggle to pay attention or focus. Video games require a certain level of concentration to complete. Embracing this educational method would ease the burden of attention disorders.
It’s all about motivation.
“Games are all about motivating people to do things in an engaging way and education often leaves people picturing a room of kids sitting in a room learning stuff they don’t want to learn”, says Steven Pugh, a game designer. “So give them a higher-level purpose. Give them reasons why. Make it engaging and thoughtful. Then they will want to learn the simpler, boring stuff because it will help them achieve their higher goal,” he added.
Methods of teaching and education techniques, in general, have started to move away from the rote memorization practices. Modern education psychology has shown that rewards and motivation play a larger role in information retention and comprehension, in problem-solving and critical thinking. Gamification and game-based learning can deliver that.
Do you want to learn about the basic foundations of gaming? Enroll in Q Academy’s Learn to Code 101 and 102. You’ll be able to create your own 2D game to share with families and friends. Visit qacademy.ca for more information.