Is a gamified classroom right for you?
Pros of Gamification
- Increases Student Engagement – With game elements such as badges, points, competition etc. students are more likely to spend time playing a learning-based game. Students even consider earning badges or points as a tangible benefit for completing a task. The game based learning and reward system also leads to higher learning retention as students are able to relate to the content easily through the practical learning technique rather than sitting back and watching the professor do all the talking.
- Creates Enthusiasm – Gamification brings about a feeling of competition and excitement in students while learning. This fosters feelings of enthusiasm towards the subject-matter, especially those subjects that students seem to struggle with.
- Instant Feedback – Most gamification systems use leaderboards and dashboards that provide instantaneous feedback to students keeping them constantly updated about their performance. Students can also see where they stand among their peers. Access to such kind of information pushes students to try the activity or quiz again in order to get a higher placement thus creating motivation for further lesson engagement. These game-like techniques such as scoreboards and personalized fast feedback proves very valuable even to online students as they juggle job or family obligations with an education.
- Builds Social Connections – In higher education, it is found that students tend to be more aloof and have trouble creating social connections with other students in their course. Gamified classrooms help students open up as they work together and collaborate on challenges.
Cons of Gamification
- Cause Student Disappointment – Gamification critics believe that the fast pace and instant feedback form provided by gamification could create a problem with student attention spans. Students may become habituated to getting instant feedback and might expect the same kind of responses from all parts of their education which cannot happen. This may lead to frustration and disappointment among students.
- Student Assessment – For faculty choosing a game which will work well with the course assessment can be difficult. While most games do have a built in way to track student progress, professors need to find a way to match student’s game progress to academic objectives.
- Game Logistics – Setting up a game can require prior planning and logistics. Professors need to think about questions such as: Will students be able to play the game at home? Is there an additional cost if they use it outside of the classroom? Are there enough computers available for students to play the game in class? Do I want to use class time for students to pay the game? Also it might be better if faculty can sit down and go through the game themselves in order to understand the game and its objectives fully, however this can be quite time consuming.
- Cost – The costs of gamified learning can vary based on the type of system used. However, at times there could be equipment or software costs attached that might be quite expensive.