In our world of rapid technological change, many people spend an enormous amount of time on their laptop playing games or surfing the web. We are fully immersed in a digital world. Why should education lag behind?

Why pay to sit in boring classes with the teacher is giving long, dry lectures while you are half asleep? Authentic learning is unlikely to happen in such a scenario. It makes much more sense to access engaging content from the comfort of your own home, where you can devote your full attention to the task at hand. The gamification of learning can thus play a vital role in making learning engaging and meaningful.

Gamification instills a sense of goal orientation, competition and excitement in a person. A person can learn and be excited about learning. Finishing each level and receiving a completion badge instills a sense of achievement in a person and boosts their confidence.

The gamification of learning has cited as one of the top ten technology trends by Deloitte, which is one of the Big Four professional services networks in the world. For the past few years, companies and educational institutions have been proactively trying to integrate gamification into internal on-the-job training and into the portfolio of services they offer to learners and clients.

Gamification has been so successful because it appeals to some of the core instincts hardwired into human psychology. According to Gabe Zichermann, an expert on user engagement and behavioural design, “gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology.”

Specifically, gamification contains the following core tenets:

Rewards – The lure of rewards is a big reason that drives the success of gamification as it fosters motivation among learners to keep playing and to keep earning rewards

Progress – It is our instinct to want to progress. We want to feel that our actions bring us closer to achieving some ultimate goal. Gamification takes advantage of this need to engage participants. <strong>Competition</strong> – Go on, admit it: we all like to win. Gamification exploits our urge for recognition by paving ways to share our achievements within the game with others.

Fun – The gamification of learning debunks the commonly held belief that education cannot be fun. Learners can play at their own place, and they can also either compete or collaborate with each other. The graphics, soundtrack, plot, etc. of gamified learning all contributes to a pleasurable and immersive experience that ensures learners keep on having fun.

The key to the success of gamification is bridging the gap between human motivation and achievement via competitions, status, rewards, progress and the ways to achieve these goals with stories, levels, points, and badges. The true secret of gamification lies in crafting a winning combination of all these elements.

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    Learning Zone, Technology in Education