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Edu-Tech Oct-Dec-2018

Gamify Learning to Motivate Learners

Madhubala Prakash Gairola
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The school curriculum and the pedagogy opted for its delivery has always been a matter of concern. While the curriculum is of utmost importance to students to help them pursue a vocation and earn a livelihood, the pedagogy should be engaging enough to retain the interest of the students.

The aim of education is to nurture a responsible citizen who lives a respectful life and makes society a better place to live in. In addition, it is intended to equip learners with the means to earn their livelihood.

The present state of the job market presents a dismal picture. On one hand, there is glaring unemployment in the country and on the other hand, vacancies exist across companies due to the dearth of suitable candidates. This implies that though there is an availability of a sizeable workforce, they lack the requisite skills and capabilities in spite of having the nominal qualification. Hence, it becomes necessary for students to hone their skills and capabilities to make use of the available opportunities.

With the changing times, the approach towards education also needs to be amended. We need to promote enthusiasm and motivation among learners to acquire new skills and handle future challenges. The popular Finnish education model, considered one of the best in the world, offers us insights to address this problem. It attempts at teaching most of the topics through games.

What is Gamification of Learning?

Gamification of learning implies the application of gaming elements, such as narratives, points, badges etc, to educational activities. Calling for differentiated approaches and discouraging rote learning, this child-centric teaching-learning approach provides students the scope to think out-of-the-box.

The current education system offers only a limited scope to imitate, and sometimes, implement the information or knowledge shared by teachers. But in a gamified environment, learners are often left on their own with no information or experience to draw from. This, in turn, leads to the originality of ideas and concepts. It also breeds an environment of healthy competition and makes the young ones adept at handling difficult situations in life, thereby instilling problem-solving skills in them.

Many Benefits of Gamification

Gamification of learning makes education more engaging, interesting and challenging and helps children retain concepts better. We all know that children are always interested in puzzles. Gamification of learning enhances the energy level of students,  thereby keeping them involved and engaged. Since gamification entails working with peers; it has the potential to skills, empathy, tolerance and coordination. It also reduces the stress related to assessments and other rote-learning methods as it makes the process engrossing and fun.

This teaching methodology is quite beneficial to students. Although the types of games for primary grades are quite basic, they tend to have a positive effect on the motivation of learners. For instance, a skill-and-drill approach to teaching basic numeracy to students at a young age enables them to effectively solve questions at a higher rate than they would do through traditional schooling.

Game Design

Since there are multiple types of games, picking the best one is obviously difficult. Therefore, careful consideration must be given towards the choice of game types as it could significantly influence the way students perceive it and enjoy or understand the content. It is, therefore, important to give choices to players so that they are made to feel to be a part of the learning process.

Since all games have a point- or level-based design,  students are compelled to aim towards higher levels. They gain a sense of satisfaction in completing each level while moving to the higher ones. This reduces the pressure on them and gives rise to a healthy competition.

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Madhubala Prakash Gairola
Madhubala Prakash Gairola

Madhubala Gairola, currently Principal of S. B. Patil Public School, Pune, has been in the field of education since 1979 and has taught in various schools in Mumbai. She has 14 years of administrative experience in State and CBSE board schools, and possesses a hard-working disposition and missionary spirit. She received the Alert Knowledge Services Education Highly Effective Principal Award in 2018.

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