As Lisa Guernsey of Slate Magazine writes about her daughter’s obsession with Minecraft, it’s worth taking a look at the concept of educational gamification. Strictly speaking, the idea is more than simply allowing students to play games in class. More appropriately, educators interested in the concept are encouraged to think about introducing game-like features into curriculum in order to stimulate the habits that games tend to induce. MIT’s Education Arcade writes: “Game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail, and problem solving, all behaviors that ideally would be regularly demonstrated in school.”
The term is designed as “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.” If you start to think in terms of points, levels and achievements, you’ll begin to understand how gamification is attracting many of today’s educators like Montana history teacher Taylor Nix, who grabbed his students’ interest by creating a role-playing game for his class.
According to a paper published by MIT’s Education Arcade, games can be used as authoring platforms, simulations, inspiration for class discussion, gateways to learning about new technology, research assignments and more.
Learn more about gamification by clicking on the infographic below for a high-resolution view.