Gamification For Teachers - How To Make It Happen?
In our childhood, when it used to be a vacation or a family function, and the children were getting bored, some fun uncles used to be there, who would make the children do all sorts of crazy stuff and reward them with something. Like bringing some things from the other room, counting the baskets of gifts or arranging some things. This used to excite us and we would end up doing the work happily and with full of energy, keeping in mind, the reward that would be given to us, if we completed it quickly and successfully rather than them telling us to do it and us sulking around.
The point made here is games have always been a part of our lives and if the method is made interesting, it makes the learning better. As they are a big part of child’s life, what better way to inculcate it than in the curriculum itself. If the studying is made easier and interesting, it becomes easier for the students to grasp it and retain it for a long time in their memory.
Educators and researchers from various institutes are working towards making the learning easier and intuitive. Generally, students do not like maths, and some of them even prefer eating bitter gourd instead of doing math..such is the case!!Thus, some teachers have tried, while some are still working on the ways to reduce this pressure by introducing Gamification in math and also in Science
Methods to Reduce Pressure
1. Providing them the guidance they need in start and gradually make them independent by removing that support. This method includes providing support to the students in the early stages and helping them with various doubts in the subject. This would also include prompting their mistakes when they make up to 2 or 3 attempts. After they start getting some idea about the same, the support is taken away, like a building scaffold. This type of learning would improve self-learning in the students.
2. Any new concept or theory would take time for the students to understand and cope up with it; hence it has to be delivered in small chunks so that the students feel efficient enough to do it.
3. While introducing a new form of Gamification, help from the students should be taken to develop it, this will help them engage and develop their cognitive abilities.
4. Taking help in developing the game from the students would also help inculcate team work towards working for the same goal in the students, who would discuss, argue and debate to reach at a common decision and decide the best possible method to develop the game.
5. Students should be given challenges that are mapped with the learning objectives. This would immensely increase their curiosity level and help them develop solutions for the problems. The challenges would not only help their cognitive abilities, but also to develop a sense of patience in doing a task, and work towards it until it gets completed.
6. During the process of learning, students should be awarded and rewarded with gifts and badges for any kind of accomplishment they do, this would motivate them to work towards the goal with more interest and after achieving the goal and the reward, they feel highly spirited. It would also help them track their own progress and students would feel to better themselves each time.
7. Awarding and rewarding not only helps self-growth in the students but also develops a healthy competition in the students, who would try to achieve the goal and develop new ways to finish the task each time. It would help them work hard and if they lose, to accept it in a gentleman’s way.
8. Teacher has to take care of the students who would stay behind the task and pay special attention to them and give them a positive approach that failing is not the end; it is the beginning of something better. They should be motivated in such a way that students would not feel ashamed or afraid of failing instead they should be taught that FAIL is First Attempt in Learning.
9. Tests should NOT be addressed as tests and exams but should be given a twist by making it an adventure game or quest. At the end of the game, the reward can be the survival of the character in the quest. This would give them a sense of accomplishment and also work as a team to work to solve the situations in the game.
11. Badges should be given to the students for any level they achieve like a reward, to motivate them and give them a sense of achievement.
12. Leader boards should be displayed so as for the students to know, who is where and how they achieved it and to analyse their working, this would also help the teacher understand the achievements by the students and depending on the pattern of capabilities they achieve, to know, what they can do in the future that would help them.
12. The point system for the developed games also can be modified in another way to make it challenging. For a game developed in the form of a mystery, if evidence/clue/hint is provided and solution is found, the reward is 2 points & without evidence/clue/hint if the solution is found, they would be given more points. This would develop the thinking ability of the students and also not to be dependent on the small hints and clues given to do a task.
13. Taking the students out of the school campus to make them learn has proven an effective method to teach them without any stress. It would give them a real feeling of adventure and also help them admire and respect their surroundings, along with giving them a change of space.
14. The students should be provided choices in selecting the challenges they would like to face, and selecting the level of difficulty in it.
15. Instant feedback is an efficient manner to reward the students also. If the solution provided by them lacks something, they should be advised, what to do and what not to do, so that they come to know about their mistakes and resolve it the next time.
Ways To Introduce Gamification as a Language Subject
The following methods were useful for Maths and Science as well as for the language subjects. Some of the ways in which Gamification can be introduced to language subjects specifically are-
While going through the challenge/game, if the goal is not achieved, it should be re-learned and re-done as the ultimate goal is to learn the subject. There shouldn’t be a sense of disheartenment or shame in doing it again.
The vocabulary skills are to be used and should be used in real life while at home also. This would help in implementing the learnt things and better the student’s vocabulary automatically.
Role playing can be undertaken by the students and teachers for the various chapters and presented so as to develop a dramatic display and make the learning experience interesting.
Game-based learning is a teaching method that balances educational materials with the strategies, rules, and social aspects of playing a game. Many educational games expose learners to targeted content through real-world situations and help learners develop essential life skills. Teacher should go for the game based learning because it is interactive and easy too.