This one has a podcast!
Look I make poor dietary decisions on the regular, so it’s probably not particularly surprising that as soon as local restaurants in our smallish rural city started operating through Eat Now I took advantage of this new and exciting way to be incredibly lazy and eat bad food.
One day I realised that for every order, I placed I was earning points… points towards what I have no idea, but this is just a poorly executed version of gamification.
Gamification is the practice of applying traditionally video or computer game elements to everyday experiences. Accruing points towards a goal, levelling up or completing challenges out of the context of a game still ignites that competitive spirit that keeps us pushing to achieve the next goal.
One industry that has embraced gamification is the education industry. Even on the Deakin Cloud, we are encouraged to fill completion bars and achieve goals through quizzes. I’ve enlisted some help to find out more about the user experience of gamification in education at a primary school level…
Games like Mathletics are made available to kids all over the world with over 5 million students learning through games aimed to maximise learning and keep them focused. There are similar online tools such as ABC’s Reading Eggs for early literacy.
Important components in gamification for the purposes of education include setting realistic targets that cater to children at different academic levels, too hard and they will give up, too easy and they won’t be learning, or they may just get bored and wander off.
Gamification isn’t just about academic learning teachers can use tools like Class Dojo to introduce gamification into the realm of behaviour modification. Kids get their own “monster” avatar and every time they do something great, academically or behaviorally they get awarded a prize. Many of these teachers tools have an influence outside the school, with tools like class dojo sharing a students progress with parents and with learning tools like Mathletics children can access the games from home.
Teachers have been using charts and points systems for years to encourage and engage students but digital gamification presents children and teachers with a multitude of ways to interact with learning environments in the classroom and at home.
As students move beyond primary school they ways that they interact with technology becomes more complex and gamification can be decentralised according to specific areas of study. For example, the ABC’s online education hub provides educational games such as the history orientated QED Cosmo’s Casebook and the geography and conservation game Resort Rescue that cater to students studying different subjects.
The key factors that need to be established in order to achieve effective behavioural, educational and professional goals include:
- Some method of tracking user progress such as levels or a progress bar.
- A clearly identified loop of behaviour. For example, good behaviour gets rewarded prompting good behaviour which gets rewarded.
- The rewards need to be limited so the user strives to achieve new goals, unlocking new rewards.
- Attachment and ownership of a game element such as an avatar
It is easy to see how these elements are applied to Mathletics and the other educational tools
Learn all about ClassDojo ♥. (2018). ClassDojo. Retrieved 1 April 2018, <https://www.classdojo.com/en-gb>
Mathletics. (2018). Community.mathletics.com. Retrieved 30 March 2018, <http://community.mathletics.com/signin/#/student>
Oxford Analytica and World Government Summit 2016, Gamification and the Future of Education, Oxford Analytica, United Kingdom, pp 3-9. Retrieved 1st of April 2018, <https://www.worldgovernmentsummit.org/api/publications/document?id=2b0d6ac4-e97c-6578-b2f8-ff0000a7ddb6>
QED Cosmo’s Casebook Resources for Primary and Secondary Students – ABC Education. (2018). Splash. Retrieved 1 April 2018, <http://education.abc.net.au/home#!/media/687872/qed-cosmos-casebook>
Resort Rescue – Coastal Protection Resources for Primary and Secondary Students – ABC Education. (2018). Splash. Retrieved 17 April 2018, <http://education.abc.net.au/home#!/media/1391237/resort-rescue-coastal-protection>
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