As digital media becomes more accessible, the way learners interact with educational content continues to change dramatically. In an age where online learning is mainstream, many remain skeptical of the shift towards digital education and question whether it actually results in productive learning spaces—especially when game-based learning and gamification are involved. As a custom eLearning solutions provider, The Farthest Pixel knows first-hand about the perks of game-based learning and gamification. Read below to learn more about game-based learning, serious games, gamification, and their extraordinary benefits in an educational setting.
Game-Based Learning and Gamification
Utilizing games as an instructional tool can help learners visualize educational concepts in a refreshing, playful way. While learning through games can be beneficial for the right learners, there are important distinctions between popular terms and gaming mediums for education.
Game-based learning is when games are used as vessels to achieve learning outcomes. Because of the growing popularity of games, many people have been exposed to game-based learning—whether intentionally or not. It is a comprehensive term that can apply to using conventional games or serious games.
- Conventional games: Conventional games may or may not be useful for educational purposes. A conventional game is usually a structured way to introduce new worlds, concepts, and entertainment to an audience. Games can be competitive, single-player, or multiplayer experiences that usually follow a set narrative.
- Serious games: Serious games are not designed strictly for entertainment purposes. Instead, they have a more pedagogical nature while leveraging the features of games to engage learners. Serious games target specific skills and direct a learner’s attention specifically to the learning goals through careful design choices. Whether they are used for a lesson on biology or corporate training, serious games can be applied to a plethora of educational scenarios and needs.
Gamification, on the other hand, transforms a platform into an interactive tool utilizing game-like concepts—such as levels, difficulty settings, checkpoints, leveling-up systems, and more—to promote learning or other motives. For example, a student may submit an assignment and be awarded points or earn a badge.
The Benefits of Game-Based Learning and Gamification
Although games remained unassociated with education for quite some time, serious games, gamification, simulations, and other interactive media have rapidly become a vital part of today’s educational methods. Properly designed interactive media and effective game design engage learners in remarkable ways and serve as new means for modern education.
Games are a highly responsive way to experience academic subjects or instructional training. Incorporating games into educational settings, students become more receptive because they experience a new form of participation as part of their lesson. But most importantly, implementing games can provide key benefits for education, as they:
- Impact learners regardless of their age
- Create low-risk, fun experiences
- Encourage creativity and exploration
Impact Learners Regardless of Age
When instructors incorporate games as vessels of learning into their curriculums, they employ an impactful teaching method. Engaging the mind in game-based tasks reinforces classroom lessons and encourages the development of other skills no matter the learner’s age, circumstance, or abilities.
There are several skills students can refine during game-based learning regardless of age. For example, all players improve their grasp on a particular subject when exposed to creative eLearning experiences such as gaming or gamification. Yet, some benefits may be exclusive to specific age groups. As younger learners explore their academic goals set by instructors, game-based learning can enhance their ability to conceptualize and navigate subjects. Meanwhile, older learners develop their tech and internet literacy skills through exposure to games and gamification. Ultimately, most learners benefit from the increased engagement of gamified content.
Create Low-Risk, Fun Experiences
One of the concerns about games in various settings is their sometimes provocative nature. Games possess a competitive spirit that may overshadow the purpose of a course or lesson. However, a game designed and explicitly implemented for learning will lead pupils in a constructive direction.
Serious games inherently frame lessons creatively and stimulate a learner’s mind more than conventional instruction. Fun, engaging experiences naturally lead to productive time usage where material and concept retention improve. Additionally, the low-risk nature of gamification encourages pupils to solve problems collaboratively. Once they have problem-solved, their experiences may lead to further discussions about the content, presentation, game design, and theories learned throughout the experience.
Encourage Creativity and Exploration
From honing strategic thinking to introducing advanced problem solving, games help students think outside the box. Games used in the classroom or during training encourage creativity and exploration because they frame concepts in many helpful ways. Learners presented with educational games are stimulated by achieving set goals. By framing goals as obtainable, they strategize and feel satisfaction when they have addressed their obstacles.
To reap great game-based learning and gamification benefits, instructors and companies must place their trust in experienced and passionate online course creators. The Farthest Pixel specializes in crafting unique eLearning solutions that mimic and enhance the natural ways humans learn. With the expertise to mold outstanding eLearning creations, our team is prepared to assess the needs of a wide range of subjects, institutions, and learners. Contact us today to step into the amazing world of online learning!