Gamification in education

Gamification in education

As summer turns to fall, the school bell starts to ring once again. Children return to school to find many classrooms have been enhanced with gamification. Gamification in education works great because it creates an engaging learning environment for students. It creates a safe environment for students to explore, experiment, and fail. The behavioral choices of games help students develop critical thinking and give educators simulated teaching opportunities that could not be made in a regular classroom. They are intrinsically motivating because they allow students to achieve autonomy and mastery.

Gamification in education examples

Of course, this gamification in education has always been a part of the classroom. From earning gold stars in kindergarten to Oregon Trail, teachers have long sought to capture the attention of their students through games. With current trends and technology, gamification in education is becoming more engaging than ever and has the potential to have a transformative impact on education. Following are a few modern examples of how gamification is being used in education.

Gamification of language arts

Amplify has a series of language arts games that encourages and develops grammar, spelling, vocabulary development, and writing skills.  The World of Lexica is an immersive 3D open world. Players create an avatar that travels and interacts with characters from classic books, solving puzzles using the unique attributes of those characters. As they play the game, they unlock new books to read, and reading books unlocks new characters, levels, and abilities. It’s the kind of progression loop that can be found in many video games, but it encourages students to read outside of the classroom. Another game, Story Cards, is a digital collectible card game where the cards represent famous authors and literary characters. Cards interact with each other, creating interesting combo effects when using characters from the same author together. Players earn new cards by answering reading comprehension questions.

Gamification of science

One interesting use of gamification in the science lab is Happy Atoms from board game and educational toy publisher Thames and Kosmos. Happy Atoms is an augmented reality learning application that combines a modeling kit and a mobile app. Students build model structures of molecules using the modeling kit, then scan it using the camera on their mobile device. The mobile app interprets the image to give the student information about the molecule they built. The app gives them challenges that unlock as students build new chemical structures. With achievements to unlock and new structures becoming available as they progress, it creates a rewarding and engaging experience. Happy Atoms encourages exploration with the tactile modeling kit, while the app guides them to future discoveries through its challenges and achievements.

Gamification of social sciences

Sid Meier’s Civilization is one of the longest lasting and most popular computer game franchises. They recently announced CivilizationEDU, coming to classrooms in the fall of 2017. CivilizationEDU takes the classic game and builds lesson plans around it. Students have autonomy to explore the deep branching technology tree and decide on how to run their nation, from taxation and styles of government to foreign relations with their neighbors (and their famous leaders). It brings history and civics to life in an entertaining way that will keep students engaged.

Gamification in education with Datagame

While the games in the Datagame library we designed with research and insights in mind, they could also be used in the classroom. They use game principles to create engaging experiences which can be tailored for the classroom experience. All of the game types can be configured to work well in a classroom setting.

Word search puzzles have been a part of the classroom for decades. They are a fun alternate activity to challenge the students and help them learn their spelling or vocabulary lists. This makes the word search puzzle a great option for any subject! With the Word Search Meta game, the word search becomes an engaging digital game. With the option to hide the word list, you can turn it in to a challenge to find as many words relating to a topic within a time limit. Want a traditional paper word search? Try out our free word search creator tool and print your own.

The Prefer! and MaxDiff Rankifier games are used for determining rank order of a set of items. Why not adapt these to create simple quizzes? You could use it to have them rank items by size (which is bigger?), date (which event occurred first?), or reading comprehension (what happened first in the story you just read?).

For example, create a Prefer! game that has different shapes and ask students to choose which shape is bigger (has the greatest perimeter or largest area)? Over the course of the game, each student will get a complete rank order. After everyone has played, you can view the aggregate results to see if there are any trends in what your students are getting wrong. For example, were they consistently ranking the circle to be smaller or bigger than it really is? The class may benefit from a review of circles.