The Implications of Gamification in Game-Based Learning

In the last decade, more and more behavioral researchers have sought to find out to which psychological needs does the elements that make up a successful video game answer to, and how to use these elements to motivate active participation in problem solving. And they discovered that game mechanics like goals, victory points, ranks and levels, etc., tap into people’s natural desires for competition and achievement. In the educational field, the key question was how to enhance the learning process by using games in general and video games in particular and how to bring effective game mechanics into a serious learning process. In order to answer to this questions the concept of gamification was developed.

So…Why do we talk about gamification?

The concept of gamification includes the motivational elements, like reward systems, that trigger behaviors valuable for the pupil in the learning process. So, in the context of teaching and learning we can say that the process of adding games or elements of games to encourage engagement and participation to a task is called Gamification.

The motivational elements that we talked about above are called game mechanics. Game mechanics are rules or methods designed for immersion providing this way an engaging game play. In order to gamify a classical educational activity we can use a large range of game mechanics which have proven to be effective. Simple ones like goals, quests, victory points etc. or others that involve more complex behaviors like turns, resource management, role playing etc.

So a long teaching-learning process can be improved by gamifying it. This way we can allow participants to solve problems, win awards and be acknowledged while learning through first person experience.

How can students and teachers work together to create educational video games?

By sharing knowledge. Teachers place their experience in organizing educational activities in logical sequences ranging from simple to complex, and students can indicate what motivates them and keep them active and involved in an activity.

ILONA CHIRIAC