Game-based learning

Elements of gamification

Gamification is an emerging trend in education though it has been used in business and marketing for a long time. The term “gamification” was used the first time in 2008, but it was not widespread before the end of 2010.

Features of gamification:
● users are participants
● tasks have defined objectives and they get more difficult
● when tasks are executed users gain points
● users pass new levels depending on the points
● badges serve users as rewards for completing actions
● users are ranked according to their performance

Gamification uses the features of the games but has always an educational goal.

Well designed educational gamification will:
● encourage problem solving
● promote teamwork
● give players a sense of control
● reward out-of-the-box thinking
● reduce the fear of failure that inhibits innovative experimentation and
● support diverse interests and skillsets.

Different kind of games can be integrated to other curricular activities. In educational games there are goals, rules, feedback, competition, time, rewards, badges and a chance to try again which all increase engagement.

Designing a game requires understanding of game mechanics and gamer motivation. According to Bartle there are four types of gamers:
● Achievers – gathering points and rising in levels is their main goal
● Explorers – focus on finding out how the game works
● Killers – like to provoke and to cause stress to other gamers
● Socialisers – are interested in having relationships with other gamers

Gamification can be used both in educational games to but also as a pedagogical method. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences has Game Studio where students are working as employees and designing games for public sector, start-ups and education. Implementation of new game is always defined cooperating with the customer. Game designers test the game they are creating with focus groups to ensure that the result is what customer expected.

Game-based learning shortly

Bartle, R.
Cornetti, M., 2013. Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide Book: How to Put Gamification to Work for You.
Deterding, S., Dixon, D. Khaled, R. & Nacke, L., 2011. Gamification: Toward a Definition.
Dicheva, D., Dichev, C., Agre, G. and Angelova, G. Gamification in Education: A Systematic Mapping Study.
Kiryakova, G., Angelova, N.  & Yordanova, L. 2017. Gamification in education.
Metropolia Game Studio
O’Neal, P. Gamification for Adult Learners

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