What is gamification?
Gamification or gamification is a methodology that seeks to increase participants’ motivation a priori in environments that are not playful and thus achieve better results, that is, apply game techniques in environments that are not playful. The objectives can be to absorb some knowledge better, motivate students, promote learning, improve some skills, or reward specific actions, among many other objectives.
How many hours a day can boys and girls spend playing video games, board games or cards? To entertain them in the same way in the classrooms, the concept of educational gamification was born. We create gamification tools in the educational field with the game, and thus, they learn by playing.
A little history
The evolution of games and, above all, the way of playing changed radically with the emergence and consolidation of the video game industry from the 80s. Although the origin of gamification is located in the business sector, its evolution was diverted to other areas. Specifically, the leap into the world of education seems to be due to Professor Malone, who developed a study of the motivation of online games using the concepts of gamification during the teaching-learning process.
Gamification is having enormous success in training methodologies due to its playful nature since, in addition to increasing motivation, it facilitates the internalization of concepts.
However, the concept as we understand it today dates from 2003. It is a loan from the English gamification, a word coined by the British Nick Pelling, designer and programmer of business software, who spread this term to give a name to a reality observed by him, according to which the “culture of the game” was a kind of revolution that was reprogramming society.
But it was in 2010 and 2011 when the famous video game designers Cunningham and Zichermann widely disseminated the idea of gamification at congresses and conferences, underlining that this term also highlighted the “importance of the playful experience,” that is, the need to transfer the concentration, fun and emotions experienced by the player to the real world.
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What are the learning techniques of educational gamification?
For the correct application of gamification as an educational strategy, a series of mechanical and dynamic techniques are used, extrapolated from the dynamics of games. Depending on each of them, games will be played that respond to different gamification strategies.
The learning technique is based on game mechanics
It is the way to reward the participant based on the goals achieved. For example:
Accumulation of points
A value is assigned to specific actions, and they accumulate as they are carried out.
Levels that the user must overcome are defined
Obtaining prizes or gifts
They are delivered as objectives are met
According to the points obtained or objectives achieved, it will go up or down in a ranking.
Competitions between users to win prizes
Missions or challenges
Manage to solve or overcome a challenge or objective set, alone or as a team.
The dynamic learning technique
For its part, it refers to the user’s motivation to play and move forward in achieving their goals.
Thus, a system with several conditions is created:
With which a deserved benefit is obtained
That establishes a socially valued hierarchical level.
The result that brings improvement or personal satisfaction
It involves the search to try to be better
Depending on the dynamics pursued, some techniques should be exploited more than others. The idea of educational gamification is not to create a game but to use the scoring-reward-objective systems that usually compose them. In addition, the advantages of ICT can be used to create a dynamic that leads to the creation of a gamification process in the classroom and at all educational levels.
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