Gamified learning is a rapidly growing trend in education that combines the power of game design with the principles of learning to create engaging and effective educational experiences.
By leveraging the science of motivation, feedback, and reward systems, gamified learning can revolutionize how we teach, educate, and learn.
This blog will discuss what Edtech gamification is, the science behind it, and the benefits of gamifying your platform with some examples!
What are ICTs?
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are usual activities in users’ customs. ICTs with graphics, activities, requirements, and concepts have been designed for various sectors that maintain users’ interest. And these technologies are also widely used in education.
Gamification uses game design elements in applications that are not games and has been developed to provide attractive environments and maintain users’ interest. Thus, many advantages arise due to its use in education.
Also Read: How to improve user engagement and retention in EdTech?
What is Gamification and the Science behind it?
Gamification refers to game elements such as points, levels, leaderboards, etc., which are used to create exciting and interactive applications. The difference between gamified applications and games is mainly based on their purpose and interactive environment. Gamified apps are focused on increasing user engagement, whereas games aim to entertain users.
ICTs that use gamification consist of game design elements, delivering memorable user experiences. The game elements should be meaningful and purpose-driven to the user, resulting in positive change in the user’s mind to achieve higher user engagement. To apply these elements in applications, a number of published frameworks can be implemented.
Implementing such elements provides exciting activities in ICTs through a more engaging environment, resulting in increased user engagement, curiosity, quality, and productivity of actions.
The most cited definition was published by Deterding et al in 2011, who defined that “Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts,” and the researchers’ majority is based on it.
Although the definition seems to be tangible, some further explanations are necessary. The terms “play” and “game” are used almost for the same reasons.
A play is a more accessible form with improvisational aspects, whereas a game is competitive, structured by rules, and the aim is to achieve a goal. In comparison, gamification is based on motivational and behavioral factors.
EdTech Gamification and Important Elements
If you want your Edtech platform to stand out from the rest, delivering a personalized and interactive experience is paramount.
Using mechanisms that create a gamified interaction environment for users aims to encourage learning, and it has been proven effective not once but many times!
Several gamified applications and, in general, gamification concepts are used in schools and have been introduced in educational programs.
Here are some important game element examples you could use to gamify your Edtech platform!
1. Create avatars
Develop a system for students to create and customize their own avatars. These avatars can represent the students in the gamified learning environment and add an element of personalization and fun to the learning process.
2. Integrate badges
Incorporate a badge system that rewards students for completing tasks, mastering skills, or reaching certain milestones.
These badges can act as motivators and indicators of progress, which can boost engagement and provide a sense of accomplishment.
3. Design classroom games
Develop games that align with the learning objectives and incorporate elements of competition, cooperation, and challenge.
For example, you could use quizzes to test students’ knowledge in subjects like math or history or have them work in teams to solve puzzles or complete challenges related to the lesson content.
4. Develop quizzes
Create quizzes that align with the learning objectives and incorporate game-like elements such as time limits, point values, and power-ups.
These quizzes can be used to reinforce the lesson content and provide a fun and engaging way for students to test their knowledge.
5. Assign points
Use a points system to track student progress and incentivize engagement. Points can be awarded for completing tasks, mastering skills, or reaching certain milestones.
The accumulation of points can create a sense of competition and encourage students to keep working towards their goals.
6. Implement leaderboards
Incorporate a leaderboard system that displays the top-performing students in the class or group.
This can create a sense of friendly competition and motivate students to work harder to earn a higher ranking.
Benefits of Gamifying your EdTech Platform
#1 Increase learner engagement
Gamification has the ability to engage students effectively in contrast to traditional educational practices. Students are involved in the game, but along with this, they also learn more productively.
Also Read: Edtech gamification: Tips to boost your audience and keep them engaged
On these platforms, challenges are created, and students have to answer quizzes. If they succeed, users get points as recognition for each achievement. Such processes help students engage with courses and maintain their interest.
#2 Giving feedback
Feedback is a crucial element that enables students to enhance their performance and monitor their progress. Students can quickly identify their achievements and track their development with timely and accurate feedback.
Feedback also promotes students’ confidence and self-improvement while highlighting knowledge gaps that must be addressed.”
#3 Improve retention
Gamified learning methods have been shown to improve retention and recall of educational content by providing an engaging and enjoyable learning experience.
The shift towards more interactive and entertaining teaching methods makes education more enjoyable and appealing to students. It creates an ideal learning environment for students to absorb and remember the material they are taught. Students are more likely to retain the information they have learned long after the lesson has ended.
#4 Increase sociability
Students can enhance their social skills by incorporating game elements into the learning process. It facilitates idea exchange and helps students learn to cooperate, compete, lose, win, and respect their classmates. Features such as communication, cooperation, competition, and challenges are not limited to one student but can be utilized by multiple students.
Gamified learning applications can assist individuals who are not naturally social for various reasons and promote character development and improved group participation.
#5 Inside and outside classrooms
One of the significant advantages of gamification is that it can occur both inside and outside a classroom.
For example, without computers, teachers can incorporate game elements into classroom activities to teach children all subjects, such as physics, mathematics, and arts.
One example is unplugged STEAM activities, widely used in education. This teaching type keeps students interested and helps make the educational process productive, efficient, creative, imaginative, and original.
Outside of the classroom, there are many applications that students can use from home or wherever they are. Some applications are designed for students and teachers, allowing teachers to create a class and students to continue their activities from home or start a new one.
Top 5 Examples of Gamification in Education
In education, using gamified applications increases users’ interest and motivation and, consequently, users’ awareness. A language learning application named Duolingo was launched in 2012 by Luis Von Ahn and Severin Hacker, with more than 4 million active users monthly.
Several languages are offered and can be selected by users, who must complete tasks to pass different levels and get rewards. In this application, game elements, among others, are the levels and rewards and the 2D graphics with bright colors and icons, making a more noticeable and entertaining educational environment.
SoloLearn is a gamified application that aims to teach users how to code. By completing challenges, users earn points, and they have the opportunity to share their work with others and get feedback. The results are recorded in leaderboards, where users can compare their progress. The application was founded in 2014.
Byju’s is an application where users can be educated on several topics. The application was founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran. Users can challenge each other in competitions, which motivates them to work for better results.
Coursera is an online platform where teachers can give lessons and students can earn their degrees online.
The application was founded in 2012. Several Universities can add their courses onto this platform so students can take them.
Memrise is an educational application that teaches many languages and includes art, history, and maths courses. The application was founded in 2010.
It provides several types of quizzes to students, where they must collect points to pass levels. Users’ progress is assigned to their profiles.
It is not surprising to notice that most of the apps were created after 2010, as since then, it has been recorded that gamification has started to be used more. All these examples enhance the educational process and help both students and teachers.
Gamification has been demonstrated to be an effective tool in supporting the educational process. Using gamified learning solutions, students can connect with their courses on a deeper level, leading to better knowledge retention. Additionally, these educational courses can be tailored to students’ age, class, and individual needs.
It offers a modern approach that can make even the most challenging lessons more understandable. Education is paramount to every individual, and learning knows no age limits. As such, developing gamified educational programs can significantly aid learners’ self-improvement and critical thinking skills.
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About the Author
Katerina Mavroeidi is a Postdoc researcher at the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication of the University of the Aegean and a member of the PrivaSI laboratory. She is the author of several papers in international scientific journals and conferences. Her main research interests lie in the area of gamification, privacy, and education.Follow @upshot_ai