People around the globe are spending 3 billion hours each week playing video games. Gaming is especially popular among high school students. One out of three spends an average of three or more hours gaming—and that’s on a school night! Our world is becoming game-obsessed and some educators are now gamifying the classroom.
Gamification in the classroom uses gaming elements to boost excitement, encourage participation and increase engagement in learning activities. Students from kindergarten to college and university can benefit from gamified learning. When paired with lessons, gamification stimulates learning, boosts enthusiasm and provides a visual way for students to track their progress. Here are some ideas for educators looking to pair gaming and learning:
- Gamify grades: Gamifying grades with badges, points, levels and lives is a great, visual way for students to track and compare progress. According to Indiana University professor Lee Sheldon, gamifying grades works well because it provides feedback “in terms [students] understand.” You can up the ante by providing prizes as part of your leaderboard. Consider stickers or tattoos for younger students and creative pens or styluses for more mature learners.
- Gamify rewards: Want to reinforce positive behaviours? Use gamification. Provide a token for each assignment turned in, good deed or desired behaviour, and allow students to use them for tiered rewards. They will love prizes ranging from key chains and gadget stands, totes and slap-on USB drives.
- Gamify your homework: Could your homework’s “fun metre” get kicked up a notch? Try gamifying it! Present math homework as a code that needs to be cracked. Take students on a treasure hunt to help learn geography. Or provide a quest to walk students through a history lesson.
- Incorporate games in your curriculum: Perhaps one of the easiest ways to practice gamified learning is to incorporate games into your curriculum. Whether used for a lesson or a reward, students of all ages can benefit when they learn a new concept. Plus, they learn how to gracefully accept defeat and the importance of hard work.
Give gamified learning a try to encourage positive behaviour, add excitement to homework, improve learning and more! When it comes to gamification in the classroom, students will say “Game on!”