Gamified Education – What is it?
Gamification is a term that is being thrown around more and more, but can often be misused or misinterpreted. Read on to find out exactly what gamification is and how it can/is being used within the education system.
What is it?
Many people believe gamification is the use of games within school and work places. That is partly true and partly not true. To clarify, any normal game like Monopoly or dodgeball is considered a hard game. A hard game is a formal game with rules and objectives.
Gamification is the process of using game elements in non-game situations. Game elements such as point systems, rankings and earned rewards are commonly used for gamification. Rather than using hard games as a tool, we just apply elements like a point system to an already functioning system, like the workplace or the classroom.
How is it changing education?
You may be surprised to learn that our education system is already gamified in a sense. The type of points students earn are their grades. When students earn enough points or grades, their rank increases, because they move on to the next grade.
As gamification research increases, teachers have found a variety of new ways to implement the strategy in the classroom. Many younger classes implement point and reward systems based on classroom chores and good deeds.
How can you implement more gamification in the classroom?
Before implementing gamification, you need to know what the goal of the system will be. You may be doing this to increase class participation, enhance teamwork or even to improve the general atmosphere!
Whatever the goal of your system, you then have to figure out what behaviours you want your students to either increase or decrease. You then reward your students accordingly.
This is just a simple way to use gamification, but there are many different ways to implement classroom gamification.
How can gamification relate to escape rooms?
Short answer: many many ways. Long answer: however you want it to. A field trip to Exodus can be seen as a reward for earning enough points over a term. You could also use a group’s progress through an escape game as a metric through which they can earn points.
It’s important to remember how interlinked escape rooms and gamification are. An escape room is essentially gamifying the learning process. When playing an escape room, a team is simply learning the entire time – they are learning how to escape the game, but in a fun and entertaining way.
Escape rooms teach students just how joyful learning can be. They learn the satisfaction of finding a solution after a dozen failed trials. They brainstorm and debate over what to do next, having fun and laughing throughout. In the end, it makes for quite an engaging experience.