Gamification: A game-changer in the higher education segment

Amit Agrawal, Founder, OckyPocky, elucidates how both students and educators stand to gain by adopting gamification in the higher education sector.

The education industry has undergone a massive transformation in recent years, further accelerated by unprecedented changes induced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is often emphasised by experts that learning environments can make an impactful difference.

An engaging, interactive classroom will facilitate efficient learning. However, unfortunately, the conventional classroom setup impedes the desire to learn, and rote learning obstructs meaningful learning, thereby making it counterproductive.

Having evolved largely, education is no longer limited to textbooks, teachers, and physical classroom-based learning. In today’s tech-powered world, the internet, virtual and live classrooms, online courses, global peer group vs teachers, etc., are valuable sources of learning, especially in the higher education segment.

However, despite the pandemic’s unprecedented changes, the learning structure is once again becoming standardised, and content has become monotonous. To rekindle students’ desire to learn, the existing system needs innovative solutions and a futuristic approach. That’s where gamification comes into the picture.

What is gamification?

A term that has been thrown around to the extent that it has become a buzzword, gamification in the learning context is to apply game design and game mechanics to enhance learning outcomes.

Gamification’s role in transforming higher education

Besides evoking the desire to learn, gamification can increase engagement, participation, and facilitate healthy competition. It also builds interest with opportunities of earning scores at each subtopic.

For instance, prominent online edtech platforms offer a game-like experience while training learners in various subjects such as science, mathematics, language learning, geography, etc.

In a traditional setup, teachers encourage students to learn by recognising their efforts through the grading system, but this can become pressurising or dull for the student to learn effectively.

Gamification brings in the idea of replacing grades with scores that are awarded at each step of learning in a particular topic.

Besides earning their scores, students can also earn badges as a visible sign of accomplishment once they collect enough points to earn a badge. Gamification motivates students to learn and progress faster by giving them a sense of achievement once they reach the various milestones of mastering a new topic or by completing an assignment or test.

In the gaming world, participants are naturally more interactive and responsive and tend to see the application and importance of subjects. Similarly, the players, in this case the students, are presented with the immediate consequences of their actions, allowing them to grasp and learn better and apply their knowledge in real-time, interactive scenarios better besides retaining the information in the long run.

Furthermore, as touched upon earlier, gamification encourages healthy competition amongst students by providing them multiple opportunities to compete with peers for achieving high scores or earning badges, and this can act as a motivating factor, urging them to do better.

Gamification can also promote teamwork, especially when students are put into groups with each group competing against the other, thereby allowing information sharing and constructive learning.

One of the biggest advantages of gamification-based learning is that games can be localised based on language, geography, and age group, giving each student an equal opportunity to learn without any barriers. Besides this, students can also acquire and hone numerous skills through the demonstration of their learning outcomes.

Gamification allows the education system to take a more flexible and effective shape where students can learn at their own pace through learning material that is best suited to their requirements and capacity.

Final word

All in all, gamification is mutually beneficial for students as well as educators, and with multiple options to evaluate their learning outcomes, gamification allows students to gain expertise in subjects of their choice. As gamification continues to be increasingly adopted in the education sector today, right from the elementary level to higher education, we can safely say that it will chart the course for new-age learning.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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