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GAMIFICATION - A DEFINITION

Gamification refers to the incorporation of game-like elements into a non-game context. This serves to change behavior, which should motivate learners to achieve faster learning success. Gamification can be used in many areas. For example, in education. For more on gamification, see the article "What is gamification?".

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Game-based Learning

The term "game-based learning" describes the process of incorporating playful elements into the learning context. This is done in the form of games. Gamification, on the other hand, does not necessarily have to be implemented in a game or an application. Playful elements can also be used, such as a reward system. This system can be used for teaching processes as well as for independent learning. Game-based learning is designed to impart knowledge in an entertaining way in order to increase motivation to learn more. This principle is implemented in serious games.

The picture shows how a student from the department of games works on a laptop

Serious Games

"Serious games" are games that are intended to impart knowledge in a playful manner. In contrast to game-based learning, the focus of serious games is not on imparting knowledge. Here the fun of playing is in the foreground. You can find more detailed information on this in the article "What is a serious game?".

Distrust of learning platforms

Many still have a sceptical attitude towards the topic of "learning platforms to increase learning success". Among other things, the platforms are distrusted because they can impair the learners' ability to write. Furthermore, devices have no competence and it can disrupt concentration, as well as tempt students to copy information from the internet.

GAMIFICATION IN THE SCHOOL SECTOR

In schools, gamification could be perceived as a childish method by older students. Learning with gamification also requires more preparation for teachers. In addition, nowadays the subject matter often has to be covered in a short time. Learning applications can reproduce the material reduced, as well as shortened to the essential, but by the reduction learning material can be lost. Thus, not the same amount of learning material would be treated. Through the abstraction of gamification, the playful elements can cause an unclear understanding.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS

Negative The learning success must always be apparent. This can drive competition. However, the constant overview of learning success can also contain negative consequences. Scoring can be perceived as unfair, as the scoring system gives an advantage to faster learners. Here, only the overall progress is considered and not the individual successes. In addition, competition can encourage the urge to cheat.

The picture shows two laptops. On one of them a real-time application is being worked on

TECHNICAL ASPECT

Learning with learning application requires the possession of certain hardware. Among them, a stable network connection is also needed. Not every household can afford this. In addition, there is the extra time spent in front of the screen. This could have health consequences.

HAPTIC LEARNING

However, learning applications cannot replace haptic learning with the help of books. Reading on paper is perceived differently than in a learning application. The same applies to writing and marking on paper. Haptic learning is, since infancy, one of the most important perceptual systems. For more on the importance of haptic learning, see the article "Understanding the world".

On the picture you can see a notebook, pencil, glasses and laptop

COMMUNICATIVE LEARNING

Talking about what has been learned is extremely important in order to firmly anchor this in the memory. Because of this, school lessons and group work are essential. In order to build up a better understanding of what has been learned, the learner needs constant feedback. This kind of direct communication is not possible in learning applications. For more aspects on the "importance of communicative learning", see the link href="https://l3t.tugraz.at/HTML/kommunikation/1377090573die-bedeutung-von-kommunikation-im-lernprozess/" class="underline">"The importance of communication in the learning process". Despite the importance of haptic and communicative learning, learning apps can serve as an effective tool.

HOW DOES GAMIFICATION
HELP WITH LEARNING?

Learning is often perceived as unpleasant. Therefore, with the help of gamification, it should be linked to the positive stimulus of "fun". The learner is conditioned to associate learning with fun. This enables anxiety-free learning and helps to effectively expand and deepen knowledge. In addition, motivation can be significantly increased. This occurs because of the innate drive to play and the reward system in the brain, which is stimulated to release emotions through play. Cognitive and creative skills are activated in the process. They help both analog and digital learning to achieve learning success more quickly.

Th  e picture shows an open book with English text

WHAT IS GAMIFICATION
FOR IN LEARNING??

Nowadays, the focus is on not only reproducing learned knowledge, but also understanding it. The so-called "bulemma learning" is to be eradicated. The ability to apply, transfer and reflect on what has been learned plays an important role. The term "sustainable learning" is becoming increasingly important. For more information, see the article href="https://cbrell.de/blog/nachhaltig-lernen-mit-gamification/" class="underline">"Sustainable learning with gamification". Because of this, a more open approach to learning needs to be created. This is where gamification helps. While complex challenges awaken the thirst for knowledge, playful approaches, interactions, storytelling and explanatory videos achieve more effective learning success.

Storytelling

School subjects can be told in different stories or divided into various mini-games. The levels are divided into individual subject areas and get a steadily increasing level of difficulty per level. The story can also be conveyed with the help of a companion. This explains the tasks to be solved. The packaging of tasks in a more exciting context can also serve to convey a better understanding and fun.

Quests

Quests drive competition and serve to increase motivation by using cooperative quests. To spur the player to master the quests, a reward is given at the end of the quest. They can also be used to provide the player with a more exciting experience. In doing so, heavy subject areas, such as science, can be more easily taught to the player.

The picture shows a table at which a student is sitting. The student is watching a lecture on his PC screen.

DIRECT FEEDBACK

Direct feedback provides the player with constant insight into his learning progress. This always shows how much work is still to be done before the goal is reached. Even players who learn slowly can be motivated by small advances. With the help of positive feedback, progress can be seen, for example through rewards. It is also possible to determine one's own learning speed.

GAMIFICATION TO COMBAT PROBLEMS

The willingness to learn more can be increased by using different media. Tablets and computers can help to increase motivation. Gamification can be used to combat difficulties in learning. Here, a different perspective is placed on learning. Thus, a creative approach is used. This aims to reduce internal blocks and inhibitions to a topic to be learned. Similarly, experiments, puzzles, and teamwork provide an emotional learning experience.

COMPETITION

Competition must also be encouraged, for example to train healthy self-assessment. This can be achieved with the help of rankings. Competing against each other helps to raise motivation to improve one's own performance. Furthermore, even schools can play against each other. This promotes community as a school.

CONCLUSION

Why is learning through play more effective? Since learning is difficult for most people or often lacks understanding, the subject must be taught in a different way. This is where gamification helps. The use of playful elements, related to the learning context, mixes learning with fun. This promotes sustainable learning and serves to increase motivation. Since one's own successes are always in view, the individual learning speed can be determined and self-assessment can be trained. Gamification also creates a more open approach to difficult topics. As a result, inhibitions and blockades can be reduced and fear-free learning is made possible.

An article by Danielle Kern / Status: 11. August 2020

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