The Unstoppable Growth of Gamification and Digital Learning Games in Education
Gamification in education has always been present with the goal of boosting motivation and making learning a fun and effective process. In recent years, gamification has moved to digital learning: from 2010 to 2015, the development of a new way of learning has increased exponentially.
Growing use of audiovisual content
According to a study by Project Tomorrow for Speak Up, something has changed in education in recent years. For example, in 2010, 47% of teachers claimed to use online videos in their lessons, a figure that rises to 68% in 2015.
To Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, this increase is largely due to the increased use of audiovisual and interactive tools. “The sudden rise of academic interest by teachers in the use of videogames and game-based learning could mean a new awakening in digital learning,” says Evans.
Advantages of multi-device
Among the many benefits of new learning methods, students stress one advantage: its multi-device nature. New technologies make it possible for learning to take place anytime and anywhere.
“Mobile devices with Internet connectivity create educational opportunities for students anytime and anywhere”, says Angela Baker, head of Qualcomm Wireless Reach, an initiative that brings wireless technology to communities around the world.
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The way towards the consolidation of gamification in education
Despite the undeniable rise of gamification in education, many educators and experts emphasize the long way to go to get teachers to change their teaching methods. In fact, to implement game-based learning remains a challenge in many schools.
The good news is that studies like the one mentioned above tell of the increasing number of teachers who want the game to be a standard tool in their work. Experts agree that the key to finding the best games to learn is to consider those who teach students in innovative ways, rather than those which simply repeat traditional exercises in a digital environment. In fact, serious games are more Effective than elearning.
The real challenge, in the light of the survey by Project Tomorrow, is to increase the number of teachers willing to modify pedagogical practices. And that is the challenge because 38% of workers in educational centers state they have no plans to implement gamification in education.
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The game: a powerful learning tool
Games, however, are a great asset when it comes to providing students with multiple ways of learning. According to the study by Traci Sitzmann, the game becomes the most powerful teaching tool:
- It engages: it improves retention of learned content by a 90%, thanks to the adventure aspect, which turns learning into an entertaining and appealing activity for the student.
- It generates trust: because it is a videogame, the user can relax and their self-confidence improves by a 20% compared to other learning methods.
- It improves performance: game dynamics motivate the student, increasing their performance and improving skill development by a 20%.
- It is based on practice: the student learns thanks to experiential learning.
As a consequence of all this, students learn more and better, turning gamification in education into a rising trend.