The introduction to ICT opened up a whole new universe of educational opportunities.
Gamification has become increasingly important in students’ learning processes in the digital age.
In addition, new technological tools provide the impetus that cognitive development requires to progress forward in an increasingly innovative world where games and knowledge go hand in hand in academic settings.
In order to understand how learning and gamification converge, we must first know how each of them occurs:
How does learning occur?
Learning is a lifelong process. It begins in the earliest years with the cognitive development of human beings throughout growth, through social interaction, and biological development. Thanks to the learning process, we acquire knowledge to develop intelligence and capabilities essential to navigating the world.
It is also important to highlight that there is high neural flexibility between 0 and 6 years of age. For this reason, the more stimulation children are given, the higher and more advanced their level of performance will be in communication areas and cognitive functions. These functions are those used by an individual to perceive, process, and store information. In other words, they are the capacities used for day-to-day activities, allowing us to interact with the environment and make our relationships with others effectively.
The cognitive abilities that improve progress in learning are:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Spatial perception
- Focused attention
- Divided attention
- Contextual memory
- Auditory short-term memory
How does gamification work?
Gamification is the educational strategy that applies game methods and elements for educational purposes, involving students, motivating them to action, and promoting learning.
Learning by playing, serious games, or gamification is the new educational trend that creates learning environments because it stimulates cognitive abilities and intellectual development. According to Calabor et al. (2018), this type of learning is represented in simulations, video games, virtual worlds, or augmented reality, consolidating these as a strategic resource (Fitó-Bertran et al., 2014; Ranchhod et al., 2014) aimed at supporting teaching/learning processes.
Gamification features to promote learning:
- Set a goal
- Adapts to the student’s profile
- Uses a narrative to contextualize the student in a topic
- Establish a game mechanic with rules
- Encourage participation through scoring or levels
- It takes place in an interactive environment
- Allows traceability in the process
Gamification and learning
It is undeniable that teaching methods have taken a turn in today’s society. Educational models had to be reinvented to bring to light an explosion of creativity that is now at the forefront of learning processes.
For this reason, gamification is considered a very assertive method that is setting the trend in teaching since, among many benefits, we can highlight the following:
- It stimulates learning, improving attention, concentration, memory, thinking skills, and perception to achieve a high level of performance.
- Promotes language development, projecting verbal expression, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
- It stimulates thinking activities, increasing creativity and imagination.
- It promotes teamwork and increases self-confidence in the process of goal achievement.
Gamification helps promote learning and educational environments that create significant experiences by linking multiple educational and recreational resources that will transcend traditional educational methods, which until recent times seemed fixed.
For this reason, at CloudLabs Virtual STEM, we offer a gamified virtual environment that allows you to live the learning experience on a different level, creating narratives that lead students to develop their knowledge in real contexts in friendly and dynamic study environments through practice.