Education serves to impart knowledge, values, and critical thinking strategies to someone. It is the main activity that goes on in schools and other learning institutions. Non-formal, formal, and informal are some of the forms this systemic process can take on. Similarly, training is grouped in the bracket of education since it aims to provide learners with skills and abilities. These attributes are essential since they help people to figure out how they can apply their acquired know-how to solve problems.
As such, there are numerous strategies that schools and other institutions employ to provide workers and students with an education. Entertainment is often viewed as something that people engage in to relieve stress or for enjoyment. Games are a typical form of such leisure activities. Gaming is mentally stimulating due to its ability to provide intrinsic motivation and challenge the cognitive aptitude of the players. Therefore, education and entertainment can work hand-in-hand to make the former more engaging and effective. This article delves into the strategies we can use to integrate the two concepts and come up with a curriculum for training.
Moving Away from Gamification to Implement Game-Based Learning
Gamification refers to using the standard principles of playing a game in a different context or activity. All this is done as a way of encouraging people to apply themselves to the exercises. However, people often misunderstand the terms. The elements of the typical game that gamification uses are listed below.
- A point-based reward system where the player would receive some score for achievements.
- Creating a competitive environment where participants challenge each other to achieve specified goals.
- Ensuring that there are rules and regulations which must be followed by the contestants.
Game-based learning turns the process of receiving an education into a game instead of applying the elements of playing it. That is, the teacher does not attempt to incentivize the students to learn through introducing leaderboards and a scoring system. Instead, they convert the course content into a game that teaches the student class concepts as they play it. In this case, the student can progress through the gameplay, and their level indicates their understanding of a subject.
For example, if you want to train your students on how to become a competent essay writer, you can work on their spelling through a game. Hangman is a fantastic example of how children can learn grammar in an environment that is fun for them. With studies showing that interactive playing can help you retain and recall information, gaming can have a positive impact on education.
Applying Game-Based Learning in a Classroom Setting
First, you need to understand the students you want to teach. People have different aptitudes and abilities when it comes to learning various subjects. For instance, a student may be drawn more towards STEM courses instead of literature needed for students who’d like to be a paper writer. Of course, it is still vital to encourage them to improve in the areas that they are experience challenges while enhancing their skills in what they are already great at doing. Once you have such a profile worked out, you can design learning programs for each student that will help them increase their scores in their problematic subjects. At the same time, they will have an opportunity to get better at their strong ones.
Secondly, teachers should ensure that their students are engaging with relevant content as they play. For this step, it pays to play the games yourself so that you can check the concepts that are taught. Otherwise, you may risk your students rejecting the games since they do not offer much or any assistance in their academics. Think of this step as ensuring that learning is the focus of the game. Plus, some games tend to be quite complicated and even in how they let players interact with it. Using them for the learning process might end up stifling the education aspects of the game.
Lastly, teachers should make their students accountable for the time they spend playing. Keeping a watchful eye on their progress does not remove the stress-free elements of the game. Instead, you get the opportunity to see how well they are doing. After all, outcomes need to be measurable if you want to continue directing the students to areas they can improve in their academics.
You can start by finding a platform that allows you to follow up on the results of your students’ playing sessions. This monitoring system will help you ensure that your game-based learning strategies are working.