What is Gamification?
Gamification is known as the application of game related principles to environments outside of gaming.
It is a widely used technique to get users and people more engaged into a product or system. Gamification can already be seen across many non-entertainment related products, even learning tools. Websites such as Khan Academy, Kahoot, and Quizizz utilize the process of gamification to enhance the experience on the platform. Khan Academy gamifies their platform by assigning avatars and implementing a point reward system for their users. For example, watching a certain amount of educational videos could earn you points and a badge. Kahoot is a well known testing platform that allows its users to make their own quizzes or participate in quizzes made by other members of the community. Getting questions right earns you more points and when playing with peers earns you a rank. The participants then compete for a high rank, similar to how players in a video game compete for the highest stats. Quizziz also implements a similar point based system.
“Rewards like badges have no ﬁnancial value, yet some learners are still motivated to work hard to acquire them” - Emily McLaughlin (2017)
However, what is the benefit of gamification? Can it prove to be a distraction rather than a tool to motivate learning? Because competing is human nature, it is often challenging to learn in an environment that isn’t stimulating in some manner. A student who simply reads and does problems from a textbook may feel less motivated toward education in comparison to a student who uses engaging tools, such as Kahoot and Khan Academy. Even in professional work environments, gamficiation can make a noticeable difference in productivity. eLearning Industry claims gamification can help people by providing them with intrinsic motivation, or the motivation to “acquire new skills and knowledge” rather than profit. The points and badges in platforms may not have any tangible worth in the real world, however they provide users with a target to work towards. As a result, employees will feel more comfortable at their workplace and stay motivated to work. Similarly, students who utilize gamified platforms will be able to gain a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from learning.
McLaughlin, Emily. “6 Reasons Why Gamification Enhances The Learning Experience.”
ELearning Industry, 7 Sept. 2017, elearningindustry.com/gamification-enhances-the-learning-experience-6-reasons-why.
Written by Mani Hari, a Siliconvalley4u's coding academy student