Coined in 2003, “gamification” has actually existed for well over 100 years, beginning with the creation of customer loyalty stamps. The stamps are still in use today; they keep Charlie incentivized to continue returning to the same frozen yogurt shop each week. Though gamification sounds like yet another piece of educational jargon; the idea behind it is simply to motivate students to learn new material through incentivized fun.
Understood today as program or app based education, gamification doesn’t actually require any fancy technology. Have you ever used Scrabble to teach your child spelling, or how about Monopoly (not the credit card version…) to teach basic math and investing skills? That’s gamification.
Consistently, research shows that students who engage in game-based learning:
- Have higher grades
- Are more motivated to voluntarily engage in learning
- Have higher retention of learned material
Here’s how gamification works:
- It provides rewards for engaging in learning
- The rewards create motivation for continued learning
- The multi-faceted learning style approach (visual, audio, kinesthetic) helps create stronger engagement, which thus bolsters the reward motivation for continued play
- The continued learning helps achieve mastery of a skill
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