What is gamification and why is it increasingly important for educational purposes?
By definition, gamification is the adding of game-elements and game design principles into non-game contexts. With the help of it, we aim to solve challenges or problems by applying some traditional game elements. Some of these elements include adding points, ladderboards, badges, milestones, characters and even full storylines.
Non-game contexts are all the places where we wouldn’t usually include a game-approach in the process. This could mean education, marketing and the health sector. Some really cool examples of gamification include some well known apps such as Samsung Health which displays your daily steps, received badges, won challenges and a ladderboard for you and your friends.
We can apply the gamification process to the outdoor educational space as well. One game-element is already present. We can transform the changed environment further through an impactful storyline. We can also apply points to each completed task, or we can introduce playful boundaries that encourage creative thinking. One such example would be conditional tasks – allowing task 2 only when task one is completely done.
Why do we like gamification?
Some of the main benefits when using gamification are:
- Relaxed learners focusing on learning
- Less fear of making mistakes
- Higher engagement
- More motivation to finish the task
All in all, with the help of gamification, you can take a class and a classroom to the next level. Therefore, during your next outdoor activities, try to incorporate some of the mentioned game elements. You can find more inspiration on gamification in education on this link.
You can see the effectiveness of this practice in classrooms. This is true, because as a process, gamification influences fundamental human needs and is also a very social activity. Furthermore, with the help of games you can inspire ongoing participation in an activity that doesn’t feel forced or boring for participants.