Gamification. Using games for learning and instruction
By Ramzi Hiram Daneri Allis
For teaching it is necessary to provide tools that stimulate and promote learning, engage people and motivate curiosity. To achieve this, we need strategies that encourage action and stimulate creativity. An alternative for doing this is the methodology of “gamification”, using game-based mechanics for solving problems in daily activities.
“Gaming” let the players perform an activity having fun and knowledge. The game is a system based on players, rules and challenges that must be solved measured by a score or a quantifiable result.
This methodology combines the elements of the game with the learning effects, offering the players a set of challenging problems that they should overcome and be successful. Despite this, games are based on a model of the real world for being dynamic; the player is engaged in the abstraction of the events, ideas and reality. You can apply them in a cooperative and competitive way.
How does it work?
Gamification creates a visually appealing experience to engage people, motivate action, and promote learning and problem solution. It aims to create, adjust and change people’s behavior adapting elements that form the basis of videogames such as:
|Goals:||Must contain a purpose, an approach and a quantitive result.|
|Specific rules:||Will determine the procedures of the game.|
|Time:||As a motivator for being in action.|
|Rewards:||Will make the game fun and interactive. Also provides instant personal satisfaction.|
|Challenges:||to motivate players to overcome and be successful.|
|Feedback:||Guide the player into what he should have done in a certain moment.|
|Retry:||Gives the opportunity until the player have virtually routinized or automated their solutions.|
|Levels:||Give the player comfort levels and motivate them to overcome challenges.|
What other element are behind Gamification?
Stories make people remember things easily, as long as they have real objectives, motivational, located in real places, involve and engage the player; allowing him to being identified with the character and motivated to solve problems.
These are the elements that keep the players interest for the longest time. There are no rewards, so the player can be curious, imaginative and also they have recognition.
Gamification aims to place the motivations into an intrinsic level with the purpose of create knowledge from the player’s interest and not from extrinsic interests. Extrinsic motivation only engages the player for what he can get and not for the action he must do.
This methodology is based on a series of theories and concepts that sustain its success, such as:
- Social Learning theory: based on social observation. The person learns from the other and it teaches to someone else; repeating and developing behaviors.
- Cognitive learning: establish an authentic environment to guide the player’s activities.
- Operant conditioning: Gives an appropriate reward, points and badges in many ways to keep the interest.
- ARCS motivation theory: Based on four steps for promoting and maintaining motivation: attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction. (ARCS).
- Self-determination theory: provides autonomy, sense of competence, and skills to interact with the other competitors.
Patterns and types of players:
There are four types of players according to their interests:
- Archivers: are game and experience makers.
- Explorers: they need to see and explore new worlds to find their targets in the game.
- Socializers: interested in a relationship with the other players in the game.
- Killers: They are not interested in defend anything but destroying at all costs. It is interested in winning and leave behind the other players.
Gamification can be applied in a wide range of activities and themes; it does not work only for learning, also to solve problems. It helps the person to have a social conscience in their physical and emotional learning to impact positively on young and old people.
You can learn playing and one of the main advantages is the ability to learn in a stimulating place where you can rethink and learn something new by practicing.
If you want to learn more, play!
The Gamification of Learning and Instruction
Karl M. Kapp