Essay Sample on Education Gamification

Published: 2021-07-01
1278 words
5 pages
11 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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From a general perspective, technology has highly influenced several aspects of our lives such that performing certain activities have become less cumbersome. An issue that is important to consider is education gamification. Gamification refers to the employment of game mechanics to make changes in contexts that are non-game (Kapp, 2012). The approach has been relatively applied in various areas. For example, getting a badge for being the first person in a restaurant or finishing a punch card in the subway for one to receive a free sandwich. The idea is to make a non-game environment interesting such that the participants actively engage in an activity (Kapp, 2012).

It is important to note that games tend to make any activity interesting and enjoyable or rather break the monotony of an activity such that the associated goals and objectives are achieved. Through the associated engagements, participants become highly motivated to engage in a particular context. An example of a non-game context that gamification might be applied is education (Muntean, 2011). The number of students who keep on dropping out from school keeps on increasing on an annual basis or rather those who do not graduate from school; whether high school or college. The dropout rates are associated with the methods of instruction whereby some students view them as monotonous, cumbersome and at times are challenging when it comes to students understanding concepts. Studies indicate that gamification increases students morale to engage in learning, in addition, to retain what they have been taught (Muntean, 2011). Gamification allows the complete use the mind and the tactile area such that an individual becomes actively engaged. It allows one to think critically and logically when solving a task such that when questioned about the activity in future, it becomes easier to recall the associated activities (Huang & Soman, 2013).

One gaming strategy that may be employed in the classroom environment to break the monotony is Gamifying the grading system. The number of points that students accumulate determine the letter grades that they will receive when a course comes to an end (Huang & Soman, 2013). Most students engage in gaming as part of their extra-curricular activities therefore when the elements in the classroom are associated with the things that interest them; students then focus on mastering content similarly to the way they master techniques used in gaming (Landers & Callan, 2011). Therefore, when being tested on course content, instead of feeling disheartened, they feel rewarded. When the instructors employ experience points, they are able to bring into line the skills and levels such that they bring into view the significance of receiving an education.

Another strategy is awarding students with badges or points by which every time they complete an assignment; they receive badges. The idea is that by using the badges or points, students are able to keep track of their academic progress. The awards also encourage them to persevere and give themselves time to fully comprehend content instead of pressurizing themselves to understanding a variety of content at a single time (Landers & Callan, 2011).

Another way of incorporating gamification in education is integrating the video games into the school curriculum. When games are included in lessons, students experience both failure and success in addition to persevering. They become agents such that they become responsible for their actions and have control of their choices. It is viewed that involved agency makes them strive for success and hence get things done better. Frequent feedback and rewards such as badges increase their morale (Landers & Callan, 2011).

Another strategy involves putting up a bit of competition. The competition involves putting up little tournaments during the lessons such that the winner is rewarded. The reward may be the class trophy such that anyone who wins the tournament receives ownership of the trophy. The competition makes the students active including those with special needs such as dyslexia. Since every person desires to be on the list of winners, they actively take part in the competitions (Rojas, 2014).

From a personal perspective, there is need to rethink about gamification as it has been proven to be quite effective in situations that allow plenty of monotony. A good example of a gaming system in education that I am familiar with is Duolingo. Duolingo refers to a free and immense online partnership that allows individuals with the desire of learning other languages to learn them online. Duolingo is structured in such a way that students are able to learn the language of their interests and also provides translation for documents and websites. The learners begin with basic words and simple sentences and then progress gradually to more technical sentences. The complexity increases when one progresses from step to step. For each step, Duolingo makes available the necessary tools that assist the learners to comprehend and retain the words that they come across fully. Students are also allowed to comment on the quality of the translations in addition to feedback in regards to the learning and understanding of concepts. The site makes available the translations that are top rated in every sentence for the public to view. When the learners are familiarizing with a new language, they are awarded points when the lessons come to an end or during the translation of the content on the web. Lessons on particular skills are viewed to be completed successfully in regards to the completion of a provided number of translations. The assignments concerning translations tend to involve plenty of activities especially since the content present in the web boosts interests. The language site also includes elements pertaining time in regards to bonuses in time and the skill points whenever correct answers are given to questions in a given time frame. When the learners provide incorrect answers, they lose points in addition to delaying to progress to the next stages. The system tends to be adaptive such that it keeps track of every lesson that is completed, assignments, translations in addition to the practice sessions such that learners receive feedback on their progress. The system also plans the lessons and the assignments to meet the needs of the students. With various elements put into perspective, the system can be viewed to present an interesting education gamification know-how.

The view regarding gamification in education is that it allows active participation and increases the interests of the learners. It involves both failing and winning such that the participants learn the concept of persevering and focusing on the end goal instead of giving up. A site such as Duolingo which involves various activities such as practice lessons for the new beginners, a time-frame for assignments, both oral and visual assignments, providing feedback on performance and planning the future lessons, is quite effective as it includes every area that is associated with the cognitive ability and hence making the learning process interesting. Therefore, education Gamification is a concept that requires rethinking due to its intellectual benefits.


Huang, W. H. Y., & Soman, D. (2013). Gamification of education. Research Report Series: Behavioural Economics in Action. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Kapp, K. M. (2012). The gamification of learning and instruction: game-based methods and strategies for training and education. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Landers, R. N., & Callan, R. C. (2011). Casual social games as serious games: The psychology of gamification in undergraduate education and employee training. In Serious games and edutainment applications (pp. 399-423). London: Springer.

Muntean, C. I. (2011). Raising engagement in e-learning through gamification. In Proc. 6th International Conference on Virtual Learning ICVL (pp. 323-329).

Rojas, D., Kapralos, B., & Dubrowski, A. (2014). Gamification for internet based learning in health professions education. In Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), 2014 IEEE 14th International Conference on (pp. 281-282). IEEE.

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