Answers to the most frequently asked questions about gamification
What is the difference between "game" and "gamification"?
Undoubtedly, the game is the basis of gamification. The game is an activity and through participation entertains the participants. Yu-Kai Chou, pioneer and Gamification Guru for 2014 and 2015 explains that gamification is a strategy where game mechanics are applied to non-game contexts.
Gamification in education is the so-called "serious games"?
There is a relation between them, but the answer is "no". Serious games can be educational, with the objective to teach concepts, maybe they aim to change students' behavior or to solve problems, but they are still games. Whatever the goal is, we can reach the target of serious game through the game. But with gamification the goal can be achieved through game mechanics and strategies. The figure below shows us how we can separate these concepts that sometimes are supplementaries.
Gamification requires the use of technology?
Not necessary. Although today many children when hear the word "game" imagine a video game. Gamification is not the action of playing video games in the classroom, but the methodology to gamify the learning process.
If you apply gamification to your lesson you 'd better forget some skills that you want to be developed by your students?
No. Critical thinking, problem solving, the analysis and synthesis process, discovering alternatives are only some of the skills that is being developed in a gamification environment.
How to apply practically the gamification in your class?
- Think like a player
Change the perspective that you see the material you want to teach and you should try to see it as a challenge for your students, who you will now call them "players". Now you need to use your creativity. Imagine a story in the material you have in front of you.
- Create an environment
You need to convert everyday terms of your class into game terms. Instead of subjects in your material, you can call them game levels and in each level, set some landmarks that will distinguish one level from another. At each level of the game, schoolwork and goals will become like challenges - objectives of each level. In each level you will have the opportunity to accumulate points. You can increase the points you collect by completing a task or winning a goal. Also, you can add some unexpected points, bonus points. These points add a hidden magic in the way that you reward your students when applying gamification.
- The players
Now your students are called players. Customize your game to the players. Richard Bartle has defined four types of players:
- Explorer: looking to find the unknown through the game
- Achiever: who solves the challenges of the game
- Killer: who competes with other players
- Socializer: for him/her the sociability of the game is the main goal
- Give them opportunities
The last but not least and important element. The failure in the game, it costs only a life. Encourage your students to try over and over again when they fail, motivate them so that they can not give up and say «game over» by losing the first life. And remember, like in the games, discovering something new all the time, it is an important element to keep your student motivated.
Are there tools that can support me in the application of gamification in my class?
Yes, here you will find an interesting list:
Class management and increase efficiency
ClassDojo: It consists of a platform where every student has an avatar and can gain points. It is a management application that helps in keep records of the student performance and encourage students to share their achievements with their parents.
How to gamify the assessment
Kahoot!: Kahoot offers you a fantastic way to create multiple choice questions. It generates a password that students need to respond through their device.
Socrative: Socrative allows you to construct evaluation questions for your students.
Plickers: Plickers is ideal for classrooms where students do not have their own computer or device. Each student has cards which lifts to show the answer. The teacher scans the cards with his/her cell phone and receives all responses automatically.
How to grab the attention of your students by presenting new information
blubbr: A tool to put selected video clips from youtube and import inside a quiz in order to check the attendance of your students.
TouchCast Studio: you can place notes easily onto files, web pages, video, images etc.
Powtoon: you can create video presentations with any type of information.
Genial.ly: It is a new and impressive presentation tool.
Tellagami: It is an application available in the AppStore that lets you get your message through animation scenes.
iMovie: The well known apple app for creating and editing videos.
Tools for special occasions
Silent light: It is an application for Ipad and Iphone ideal for preschool classes. Moreover, it helps you to reduce the noise.
For foreign language teaching
Duolingo: It is an application to learn foreign languages and organize learning, enables collaboration with other users, and offers rewards and prizes in the process.
Βrainscape: It is a platform for mobile and PC that aims to efficient teaching through presentations that can be adapted to the student's level.
For students with special needs
3DTune-In: It is a European program for deaf students and students with hearing difficulties. The program aims to the comprehension by all students.
Read more about gamification from articles (in spanish):
- 5 pasos para gamificar tu aula
- gamificación 6 componentes fundamentales para llevarla al aula
- para que sirve la gamificacion en el mundo real
- La gamificación, la estrella de SIMO 2015