When watching the newest Muppet movie it came to me that the Muppet’s where the pioneers of gamification.
Dull task’s where turned around into fun engaging experiences through singing and dancing with your friends while performing and completing a task. Looking at the newest approach in the online world one word comes to my mind: gamification. Gamification means using game theories in areas not otherwise associated with games.
Can we use the best practices from gamification for e-learning?
When we go back in time and look at children they simply play because they want to play. Initially no rules or goals are associated to their play. At a certain point within their play children will define rules and tasks to complete; creating a game without even realizing it.
In gameplay we find some kind of challenge that a player has to overcome through certain actions to either progress into a more difficult level and/or to win the game . Every game consist of a finish line. A course is very similar in that nature. Every field of study has a goal it needs to achieve over a certain period of time. If that is not reached the student will have to repeat the course in order to move on.
Completing tasks or achieving a goal makes us feel good and bring’s great satisfaction. Applying “gamification” into tools that students will interact with will encourage them to achieve requirements and goals of a class with much more ease. We can enhance on-line educational tools by incorporate instant feedback (while filling out a form), utilizing progress bars, and awarding badges after a task is completed. Naturally we want to be the best, why not create learning products that allow students to become THEIR best.
Gamification is a great a tool to serve content in a more digestible manner and improve the user experience. This natural desire of playing can become a powerful tool within education for all age groups – after all everyone likes to play and be entertained.