As educators look to new and inventive ways to engage students in the classroom, more and more teachers are looking to the gamification model for answers. For the uninitiated, gamification refers to a method of teaching that incorporates elements of video games, or a vast number of other types of games, into the teaching environment to help students learn. In this article, we’ll take a look at five major benefits of using gamification in the classroom-learning environment.
Benefits of gamification in the classroom
- Boosts enthusiasm toward math – For many budding learners, math can prove to be a dry subject unless the student has a natural aptitude for math. This is nothing new. Teachers have struggled to keep students engaged in mathematics for as long as mathematics has existed. A recent study conducted by Deakin University states that the gamification classroom helps give students a more positive attitude towards mathematics in general.
- Lessens disruptive behavior – Another recent study by the Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology revealed that gamification in the classroom is especially helpful for disruptive students and/or students suffering from ADHD. The study also indicated that games geared toward helping students control their breathing and heart rate had a big impact on helping improve their behavior in the classroom.
- Increases cognitive growth – Research included in a Lookstein Online Journal study indicates that students show significant cognitive growth when they are tasked with creating their own video game environment. It forces students to use logic to develop a video game story.
- Mature make-believe encourages growth and development – When students are tasked with using their imagination to create elaborate scenarios in a mature and healthy way, they are afforded an opportunity to develop and mature within the classroom. As such, classroom teachers should incorporate play-based learning to encourage a high level of growth and maturity within the learning environment. Play-based learning gives students an opportunity to grow in a sustainable and meaningful way.
- Game-centric learning improves attention span – In the same study mentioned earlier from The Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, game-centric learning improves attention span of children struggling within the classroom environment. A few of the big takeaways from the study are fairly surprising. For instance, participating teachers found that gamification boosts a teacher’s confidence in a child’s ability to participate and learn independently. Additionally, teachers reported a stronger relationship with the children in their classes.