GUEST POST: Gamification – what does it exactly mean?

In this guest post I am Learning explain what gamification means.

If you want to see the impact games can have on learning make sure you check out their workshop at Frog 13. And if you can’t attend that, you’ll be able to chat with them in Hall 3  throughout the day.

Gamification is fast becoming a popular educational expression. The traditional archetype of classroom based learning is becoming increasingly old fashioned with every passing year group. As digital natives flood the classrooms with high expectations, outdated teaching styles must change with this trend and adapt to suit the needs of the modern student and to help them learn in a medium they feel comfortable with and even have mastery over.

One of the ways this can be achieved is by embracing contemporary ideologies, such as gamification. The term relates to applying game design to non-game based applications in order to make them more engaging for the user. It has been deemed by many industry leaders as one of the most significant trends in technology and is revolutionising the way we learn. Ultimately, it is about making learning more enjoyable so the student can be motivated for longer and therefore achieve higher.

When you take a second to think about it, gamification isn’t a new concept. Plato once famously stated: “Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion, but by play”. Michael Davis, speaking about Sesame Street, said; “What if you could create content that was both entertaining and instructive? What if it went down more like ice cream than spinach?”

The concept that revision and study can be ‘fun’ is often stigmatised and wrongfully undervalued. But, according to Edudemic, test scores have been shown to improve dramatically in classrooms where gamification has been integrated. Along with increased educational attainment, game based learning teaches students skills such as cautious risk taking, business strategy, and critical thinking to help prepare them for later life.

Organisations across the world are adopting gamification as a mechanism to engage and transform their businesses. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2013, enterprise gamification will eclipse consumer gamification and, by 2015, 40% of global 1,000 companies will use it as a primary means to transform business operations.

This will come as no shock to many. Trends in education technology have been hinting at this development for a number of years. Just last year it was estimated that around 3 billion hours of gaming took place every week. In the US alone, 5 million ‘gamers’ spend more than 40 hours per week playing video games (that’s the equivalent of a full time job!).

Obviously we aren’t suggesting that our users spend all day playing games, but the potential for the impact of game based learning is undeniably clear…

I am learning is the UK’s leading game based revision, homework and assessment tool. Using games to motivate learners, I am learning facilitates effective homework, revision and exam practice whilst promoting independent learning and raising overall attainment. We are proven to raise results… So ‘Up your game’ with I am learning!

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