Gamification: that involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. Gamification has been called one of the most important trends in technology by several industry experts. Gamification is a strategy which has its precursors from the Soviet Union’s involvement of workers at work with games and experiments and USA’s various management approaches, with a sense of childhood’s play, to weaken the split between work and play. Such strategies have also been widely used in the design of multi-media games for entertainment, which engage the game players with “playfulness” and fun.
Gamification sounds novel to education, and has not been widely applied as yet. However, if we treat education as a business entity, then why can’t education be gamified?
As cited in wikipedia “Business applications for gamification are just beginning to appear as well. RedCritter Tracker incorporates gamification elements such as badges, rewards, leaderboards and ribbons into project management.
The magical bullet with gamification relates to:
1. Turning grade into fun – with game levels
2. Using agency in game – to provide choice
3. Leverage external motivators – with game, and Alternate Reality Game.
Integrate these games into classroom activities, tasks and projects, and you would have a class of students ready to share ideas, using games-design to approach problems, or to explore ways to solve real problems, or taking up an adventure.
I could imagine that within a few years, there would be a plethora of gamification in education and learning, when badges become the norm in recognizing those learners who have achieved certain levels of “capability” or competency in networked learning, or in building networks for collaboration and cooperation.
The Google document, wiki, Google Hangout, and Blog collaboration could also be part of this gamification, in search of new knowledge or adventure in emergent learning. The recent x MOOCs could all be “badged” to recognize the learners too in their “levels” of involvement and engagement, though it is still too early to come up with a model that would gamify the whole x MOOC business of education.
It’s really up to your imagination to engage and involve both learners and educators in education in this exciting network of learning, and gamification could be an important strategy both for the institutions and educators to employ in getting the learners on board and be engaged, with fun.
If you are looking forward to the promised fun land, isn’t gamification the way to go?
Photos: Google image
How have you used gamification in your field of work, or education?
Postscript: An interesting post.