Gamification: Does it really work?

Gamification is the use of traditional gaming techniques for educational purposes. These can be physical or mental driven games and the use of technology for these game designs are optional. Games in education are good for movement, determination and concentration levels. The more active or fun the game is, the more memorable the lesson could be. This is because brain development is increased when people lead more active lifestyles, so what better way than to incorporate active techniques in your lesson plans?

Benefits of Gamification

Gamification can help teachers set goals for children to help motivate them with their learning development. Game based learning can help improve team building, information technology skills (if computer based), along with social, mental and physical developments due to an increased level of activity within the classroom.

Ways to Gamify your Lesson Plans

You can ‘gamify’ your lesson plans without even making any alterations to your current lesson strategies. Instead, you can create a points system to make your classroom rules a game within themselves. You can set this up both individually and as a class. Each student can aim to hit their daily or weekly target, you can also create a class target and tot up the total at the end of the month to see if their good behaviour has hit the target for celebratory ‘Golden Time’. Golden Time can include extra time for outdoor play, watching a film, or bringing in snacks for the class as a reward for their hard work. This can help children create their own targets to achieve and also work as a group to urge each other on for good classroom behaviour.

Designing hybrid lesson strategies that incorporate creative arts subject techniques with EBacc fuelled lessons can make subjects like mathematics and literacy more active. Try adding role play, competitions, online games and other applications to your lesson plan to make them more mentally motivating. You can read more about the benefits of creative arts subjects on our previous article here.

You can also get access to hundreds of student friendly online games for children to partake in during lesson time or at home, they may not even realise they’re doing homework!

Many schools across the UK are turning to technology based classroom features such as interactive whiteboards and iPads. These usually include lots of different gamification style features that students and teachers can interact with in their lessons. From number games to sing-along spelling, there are so many options for teachers when it comes to gamification and technology.

Components of Gamification

  • Action packed: Incorporate physical activities into subjects to help students with their reflex skills, increase brain activity and develop memory.
  • Points Scoring: When you add a points system into the mix you can increase determination, focus and group motivation
  • Challenges: Mental or physical challenges, such as puzzles or obstacles, make your subjects more interesting for students to interact with.
  • Student Satisfaction: The components of gamification need to be enjoyable to encourage students to fully absorb themselves in the task ahead.

Playing games doesn’t always have to be associated with procrastination or silly behaviour as studies have shown the use of gamification in classrooms has many benefits for educational development in children. Although modern gamification techniques usually centre around expensive digital technologies, there are many ways you can create these enjoyable methods of learning without them, making this educational trend accessible for all. We’d love to hear how you get on with these techniques in your classroom, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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