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Gamification in Education

What is it, and why is there a need for it?

Games have increased popularity among people in general. A well-designed gamification solution can provide effective instructional practice. Video games have been used for many years where students can get a chance to practice together. Psychologically speaking, real-time feedback is one of the most powerful ways to reinforce the desired behaviour.

Gamification in Education is a great mechanism for helping students in their education and self-development. Teachers get an easy way of determining which students are ready for the next step and which ones require a little bit of extra attention.

Research has shown that student engagement will increase when you add real-time feedback with game elements. The increased engagement combined with encouragement to support their peers means that the students will keep trying until they have learned everything they can.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is using elements from the world of games in a
non-gaming environment.

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What is gamification in Education?

Game-based adaptive learning systems and game-based strategies make gamification one of the most important educational trends of this decade. According to teachers, gamification and the use of game mechanics will improve motivation and learning. The use of digital learning through gamification and game-based strategies is quite new and there are some productive techniques to be aware of, such as incorporated pedagogy and engaging challenges that promote deeper conceptual learning.

A good gamified learning system has built-in “productive failure”, where the gamification design encourages students with instructional feedback. The best learning model is where students learn by creating and testing a hypothesis. A well-calibrated gamification system also balances the level of difficulty. It is important to boost the students’ willingness to fail and then to keep trying until you succeed, as well as putting students into new, unfamiliar situations that require them to engage in critical thinking.

Gamification in education VS other systems

There are often two different systems being compared when it comes to student motivation and engagement; gamification and game-based learning. They might look similar on the surface, but if we look a little bit closer, we will find that they are actually quite different. Game-based Learning is a different concept. While gamification implements some elements of gaming into the learning process, game-based learning rather incorporates learning into a game scenario.

It’s about a fully functioning game with a clearly defined learning outcome. Gamification is easier and cheaper to implement, whereas game-based learning is more time consuming. Gamification is better for simpler material that ́s cut into shorter chunks, while game-based learning is better for complex material that requires even stronger engagement. Both gamification and game-based learning can truly improve the quality of education by making it fun and engaging for the students.

Gamification in education and User Engagement

Student engagement refers to the extent of a student’s active involvement, as well as the degree of attention, interest, and passion that students show when taking part in the learning process. Student engagement is one of the most important factors associated with improved learning and much of the research to date shows it leading to a strong, positive impact on learning outcomes (e.g. Carini, Kuh, & Klein, 2006). Using innovative gamification and gaming concepts within the educational context, in order to promote active learning and solving motivational problems, has proven effective for learning outcomes.

One study (Chanut Poondej and Thanita Lerdpornkulrat, 2016) confirms that gamified learning activities increase student engagement. The results of the study suggest that gamified learning activities should be considered a serious strategy for promoting student engagement. Elements of gamification should be integrated into the existing framework of engaged learning because it is the key factor that influences students’ behaviour.

Customer stories and studies from gamification in education

In the customer case from Chalmers, it was shown that a more interactive and transparent educational approach can lead to a better understanding of what is expected, in order to reach the highest grades within higher education. This is shown by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, during a course in automation of production systems; Industrial and Material Science, 2018/2019. The gamification of the course led to impressive improvements; the number of students that completed the course increased by 15 per cent and the number of students that reached the top grade (5 out of 5) increased by 284 per cent compared to the previous period.

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In addition, there have been studies focused on developing an educational website or software with the help of elements of gamification (e.g. Kuo & Chuang, 2016). Their findings were clear; the implementation of a gamification mechanism would increase the level of user engagement. The results of these studies indicated the potential of applying gamification in learning activities in order to engage students.

What is GWEN?

GWEN is our own Gamification engine and platform. Regardless of which behaviours you’re looking for to promote, enhance or drive – GWEN will do it for you.

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Using GWEN in Education

GWEN can be implemented in various environments, from online classrooms to existing learning management systems, in order to support schools and higher education. GWEN can also be implemented in various environments of HR-systems or even AR/VR-applications. Insert Coin has also developed a stand-alone gamification application with a self-reporting module, used for offline activities within the gamification system for different global enterprises, in order to support HR departments with onboarding and retraining processes for employees.