Rosalie Ledda is a specialist in the development of e-learning content and Education coordinator at Inlea. In her blog rosalieledda.com, she exposes how gamification has been unsuccessful in the educational environment.
Why do you believe gamification has failed?
Because there is an excess of information and little study on the subject. People want to apply new ideas because others claim them to be successful, but a thorough reflection on the effectiveness of these ideas in different contexts has yet to be made. What’s missing is an in-depth study which clarifies whether this methodology really works in our context. In this gamified system, everything is supposedly super fun, but at the end of the day this is a work methodology which requires processes and analysis, where one must define what is to be achieved, where one is headed, and to decide on the educational objectives. There are a series of steps that we are jumping here, and we want to gamify without having previously thought whether our project really requires it.
In the educational context, what type of gamification can be applied?
There’s a widespread confusion amongst the educational community about what gamification and game-based learning really is. Sometimes it’s believed that gamification is learning through play, but it’s much more than that. It’s achieving all of the elements that in the context of a game, hook the players, making time fly, making it hard to stop playing. What’s more, game-based learning is used at specific times, whereas gamification is a process that can be extended to all educational processes. I can learn a grammatical concept in English while playing Duolingo, but gamifying would imply studying English from the first until the last day of class. Gamification is intended to be integrated into the entire learning process, while game-based learning is only used at specific times.
So, one should gamify depending on the context?
I wouldn’t gamify directly, only if the current educational system in place for a subject is creating low motivation each year. Firstly, one should analyse the reasons for this low motivation, understanding some of the root causes. If we observe that by increasing motivation, we increase the desire to learn, I would apply gamification. On the other hand, if we identify that the low motivation is totally external (for example, a student who despite all the studying he does, can’t see the practical use of this content), gamifying will not resolve the problem. So perhaps it would be better to apply another methodology.
What are the advantages of gamification?
For me, gamification is a good methodology only, and if, it is used to solve a specific problem. And before attempting to gamify, we ourselves should play at something we enjoy and think about what keeps us entertained for hours on end. That way we will understand how to apply it to our various learning processes.
wrote by Adrián Arcos.