Traditionally gaming and education have been considered to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum. One is work and one is play. But turns out, using the techniques of gamification in EdTech can be a huge success for learners. Why is that?
First, let’s define what gamification is. Simply put, gamification is the addition of game elements to non-game activities. The goal? To create similar experiences to those experienced when playing games in order to motivate and engage users. Popular gaming elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards are commonly used.
Some elements of gamification have been part of the education system for years. That is because educators have always known that making knowledge fun and engaging makes it more likely to be understood. So while the concept is not new, its application in EdTech platforms is.
As the EdTech industry grows and reaches new heights every day, new platforms are wondering how to create the most efficient and engaging eLearning app that can distinguish them from the crowd. Adding innovative gamification mechanisms might be one way your EdTech app could become successful.
High user engagement is a sign of active learning
For any EdTech platform, increasing engagement and usage is a key indicator of success. Gamification really helps push engagement because it attracts users and then hooks their attention through immersive learning experiences. Being more active on the platform through gamification will keep coming users back for more. Think about it, would you rather have to read a long paragraph describing the geological makeup of the subcontinent or see it for yourself through a VR headset? Learning through games and activities and earning trophies and badges makes the experience much more palatable.
Social recognition for academic excellence increases motivation
According to a survey, 67% of students reported that a gamified course was more motivating than a traditional course. Users will be tempted to come back if they are close to leveling up or keeping their streak going. Tangible and intangible rewards will keep the motivation of the class high. The desire to achieve and celebrate success is a basic human need that can be met by gamification.
Positive addiction can enable positive learning outcomes
Completing a lesson releases dopamine, just like completing a level in a video game would. Students will keep wanting this dopamine hit and it will bring them back to the app again and again. If learning new things makes us feel good, then we’ll be more open to the concept of learning as a whole, which can be an unintended consequence of e-learning.
Immersive approach leads to learning by doing
Education research suggests that people learn more by doing, rather than reading or listening. Activities and quizzes that are placed throughout the course will make the user interact with the material instead of passively reading it. Newer technology like AR and VR will further immerse students in their learning environment and make the experiences feel more authentic.
Better retention and high recall
The more a user is engaged, the more they will retain what they are learning. This phenomenon is sometimes called sticky learning because the information is more likely to “stick” to the brain if delivered through a fun medium. Students who learn the material through gamification perform better on tests and retain the material long after the course is done.
Positive Reinforcement leads to stickier knowledge retention
Apps like Duolingo use the concept of reinforcement very well by intermittently revising the courses that students have already taken. Occasionally doing a pop-up quiz with the material that has been taught will increase retention. When repeated at intervals, knowledge becomes stickier. Spaced retention is used in traditional education mediums as well, but is much more effective when it is done online.
Social currency facilitates element of competition
Many users get motivated by the element of competition and the prospect of winning. This is where leaderboards come in. Even if the learning keeps getting tougher, if students see others doing well in the course, they will be engaged to keep going. If the student is doing well in a course, seeing themselves at the top of the board will add pride. It will also motivate others to beat them.
Higher user attraction
Users, especially younger users, will be more tempted to try a new EdTech app, like Leverage, that uses gamification mechanisms, compared to one that doesn’t. And a good and friendly user experience and design will ensure that once they come to the app, they stay there.
Online discussions with other students will motivate the students to keep going. They can talk to each other to clear their doubts or discuss the course and teacher. They can give each other feedback and share their achievements. If a community develops between the students through the app, they will keep coming back to the app organically without much interference needed.
Learning at your own pace
Students can complete levels at their own speed and go ahead as they learn. They can come and go to the platform as they please and pick up at the level they left off.
Gamification is more inclusive for students with different needs than regular students. It has been shown to help students with learning disabilities and autism learn the material more easily. It also helps younger children learn material like alphabets and numbers if they are taught through age-appropriate learning games.
Learn on the go
With gamified platforms, users can learn outside the classroom as well. They can take a short gamified lesson as they travel to school or work. A big lesson can be broken up into small palatable chunks that can be easily consumed while students take a break from regular studies.
Offers real-time feedback
With gamification, you know immediately whether you did something right or wrong. Because the feedback is immediate, much like it would be when you fail a level in a video game. So you don’t have to wait a long time to know what the score from your test was. You know right then and there whether you learned what the course was trying to teach you or not.
Gamification helps you to see the practical applications of what you’re learning. You can see how the knowledge would be practically applied in the real world. The gamification of learning allows learners to see the real-world applications and benefits of the subject matter. Students can get a first-hand look at how their choices within the game result in consequences or rewards.