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Gamification Enhancing The Learning Experience

Adopting gamification in education to a certain extent maybe a healthy initiative to modernize education to go hand in hand with the new digital era

Gamification does more than add game elements to training, it intrinsically motivates learners to perform desired behaviors and complete required tasks. When training and game elements are appropriately designed and implemented, learners know what is expected of them and perform their jobs better. This is done through engaging and relevant activities, feedback, and stories. By taking learners on a journey of activities and stories, they experience the content; they can put it into context.

A motivating factor

Educational methods currently used are very broad and include academic teaching, practical training, discussion, directed research, and multimedia-based learning. Technology has taken its toll on the educational scene like never before. Moreover, adults and professionals are also adapting to technology and increasing their reliance on it in their day-to-day operations, owing to its omnipresence with smartphones, tablets, computers, and the internet. These observations suggest a strong influence of technology on all aspects of society. In the context of education, the trend of using game elements in non-game contexts, termed otherwise gamification, aims at increasing the engagement and motivation of students, capturing their interest to continue learning and influencing their classroom behavior.

Although games are today often used in educational environments, the trend remains stigmatized and its use limited due for example to (1) inadequate access to technology, (2) lack of professional expertise in integrating new technologies, and (3) resistance to change. Education is any practice that constructively modifies the way we behave, think, and feel. We as humans always have the desire to learn, regardless of age. We also learn in different ways, owing to intrinsic and extrinsic elements not only related to age but also to the level of development and maturity, personality, experience, as well as genetic and environmental factors. To allow students to use and explore their full potential is a prerequisite to optimize the educational methods.

Gamification modifies the brain’s reward and pleasure center and ameliorates learning.

It is well established that games, whereby a person wins or receives positive feedback, can activate the brain’s pleasure circuits by inducing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Educational games are suggested to have the same influence given their elements of winning

challenges or successfully achieving a goal. This pleasure during gamified education results thus in a long-lasting affinity for the academic subject or for solving otherwise complex problems.

Furthermore, the influence of games on the pleasure center has important effects on learning. Indeed, reward-related signals have been reported to promote the storage of new information into long-term memory through dopaminergic modulation of the midbrain, which activates the hippocampus, a structure primarily involved in learning and memory. Dopamine is also involved in controlling neuronal plasticity within the hippocampus, which is a significant brain phenomenon underlying the acquisition of new information and skills. Moreover, hippocampal memory has been reported to improve following the practice of video games in adults through the stimulation of the brain circuits. We are at a time where both children and adults spend hours at a time on games. There is evidence that this may have led to changes in brain functions. Adopting gamification in education to a certain extent maybe a healthy initiative to modernize education to go hand in hand with the new digital era.

Makes learning fun and interactive.

Implementing gamification into education creates a fun, interactive way to inspire participation. Takes “Learning” Out Of The Learning Process as Games are a natural way of learning that we have been experiencing since childhood. They provide means of gaining knowledge through fun and simpler means rather than simply reading textbooks and listening to lectures. Learning becomes inspiring and engaging. Creates Competitive Motivation cause Having challenges to overcome gives you a reason to learn. More importantly, learning becomes easier since it’s interactive and fun throughout the process, and results are visible.

Types Of Gamification In Education

Gamification, as it relates to education, is often expressed in 4 ways: cosmetic/visual enhancement, accessory, integrated, or through making the learning process a game.

1. Cosmetic/Visual Enhancement

The cosmetic type of gamification is typically where you would add game visuals and design elements to make your curriculum come to life. This could be accomplished in the form of a simple visual roadmap of the curriculum or learning program. While the content of the program will remain the same, the new visuals can help motivate learners.

2. Accessory

Gamification as an accessory is where we start to implement a system of accomplishing milestones and receiving rewards to mark progress. This can be done in the form of badges,

points, or leaderboards. Implementing this strategy changes little about the actual curriculum in place, but just adjusts the structure a bit, breaking it down into milestones for learners to achieve and be rewarded for.

3. Integrated

Integrated applications of gamification into education is where gaming mechanics become a central part of the learning experience. Instead of having just an added element to an already built program, the entire original program finds ways to incorporate game elements to create a more balanced experience.

4. Making Learning A Game

Finally, making the learning process a game is where the entire program or curriculum from the ground up is entire game. The learners are aware of the game and are only really actively aware of learning when they are somehow tested.

About Sagar Vaidwan

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