By: Sheila Robitaille, Professional Learning Specialist at 3P Learning
Gamification has become a go-to learning method in the classroom because of the power it holds to help keep students engaged at all levels.
As a general rule, students are native gamers. It’s likely that your students have played video games or card games, working towards achieving that next level and collecting rewards. Gamified learning works similarly, by taking lesson material and presenting it in a way that is familiar to students. Students learn through challenges, have visible progress, and ‘failure’ isn’t feared, as (just like in a video game) they know they can simply re-try the level.
Here are five major benefits of using gamification within the classroom:
Gamification Boosts Engagement
One of the major benefits of using gamification within the classroom is how it helps motivate your students to want to learn, thereby boosting engagement.
Gamification makes learning fun. It helps learning become more interactive, and students are encouraged by the desire to reach that next level or collect rewards.
And in the end, even if they may not realize it, every new level reached means something new that they’ve learned!
Gamification Increases Motivation
Gamification helps create a sense of achievement for students which, in the end, boosts their motivation to keep going and to keep learning. According to a 2006 study, gamification provides three thrive factors:
Immersion: Students/players are motivated by discovering new aspects of a game and creating personal experiences through exploration.
Achievement: Students/players want to show mastery over the challenges of the game.
Social factors: Students/players are motivated by the team-building aspects and relationships involved in games.
Plus, with gamification bringing a sense of familiarity to students, their confidence is boosted, and they feel more in control of their learning journeys.
Gamification Nurtures the Growth Mindset
Perhaps one of the most important factors related to gamification in the classroom is its ability to help students conquer the feeling of shame and embarrassment when they run into failure.
We know that failure is a crucial and normal part of the learning process. But when it comes to failing in the classroom versus failing while playing a video game, students often feel an added sense of pressure.
Gamification creates an environment where failure is not only acceptable but also fun! Why? Because students get to try again or replay a particular level, just like in a video game. They start thinking about the obstacles they ran into and what they need to do on the next attempt to overcome them. This resilience and the understanding that they haven’t won the game “YET,” but that they will if they persist and find ways to overcome obstacles nurtures the growth mindset. Ultimately, this persistence contributes to academic progress and helps develop the resilience and determination that students need throughout life.
Gamification Makes Learning Visible
One of the struggles that students may face during their learning journey is clarity. It’s hard for them to see the end goal of their journey if they don’t know where they are in the process.
This is where gamification provides a solution – it helps make their progress visible. Whether it’s through a progress bar, their journey ‘map’, or points earned, students can see what they’ve accomplished and what lies ahead.
Plus, with gamification, teachers can set personalized goals for each student.
Gamification Helps with Cognitive Development
Did you know brain activity is activated and increased by gamified learning?
It’s crucial to hone in on a child’s cognitive learning and development and find ways to help them develop skills such as information processing and language learning.
A 2013 study by Blumberg & Fisch demonstrated that games focusing on problem-solving and critical thinking can help improve students’ processing and information retention abilities. This includes educational games.
Plus, gamified learning can improve spatial awareness, faster attention allocation, and enhanced mental rotation abilities (visualizing an object from multiple perspectives).
Implementing Gamification in Your Classroom
Are you wondering where to begin when it comes to incorporating gamified learning into your classroom? We offer several gamified learning programs that cover mathematics and literacy to support your students on their learning journeys. You can explore all our programs here: 3P Learning Programs.
About the writer:
Sheila is a veteran educator with nearly 30 years of experience in the classroom and as an administrator in the US and Canada. A lifelong innovator, she is constantly looking for new and proven solutions to give teachers ways to work smarter, not harder, thereby making their lives easier. She looks forward to sharing tidbits with you here and welcomes your comments and feedback.