Video games are making a huge boom in today’s market. In fact, video game sales have been more than doubling box office profit intake. With all this excitement, it’s understandable that educators have begun to see the potential of video games in the classroom and as learning tools.
Justin Ballou, a Boston-area high school teacher, founded a software-startup which focuses on education called Socrademy. For him, the use of gamification in his classroom came about when he was trying to piece together a way to get his students motivated about taking a nightly 10-minute online quiz. To achieve this, Ballou put together a rewards system as incentive to take the quizzes. Prizes included things such as the ability to re-take a classroom test, eat snacks in class, work on homework assignments, and more. Additionally, he made online quiz stats such as time spent and class-average grades viewable to add a healthy dose of friendly competition between his students.
His system was a success. The game-like method made the task of completing the quizzes more fun, engaging, and rewarding for the students. By encouraging the students to reach goals and compete with each other, the experience is no longer seen as a chore, but instead as a challenge. A challenge which comes with rewards and, of course, bragging rights.
With traditional methods, it enforces the idea that a student must learn something, test what they learned, then either succeed or fail and move on. Gamification, however, teaches students that sometimes it’s ok to fail. Students are allowed to learn, try, -fail… and then try again. This is much like the levels in a video game. While some students may succeed and move on after their first attempt, some may be a little slower at learning, and that’s ok.
More and more schools and classrooms are embracing gamification for many levels of students from elementary to high school. For more about this story, you can find it here. If you would like to read more about the rising use of gamification in the classroom, we welcome you to visit our website.