GAMIFICATION IN EDUCATION: PROS AND CONS

by: Dan Michael M. Abarca         

 

           Gamification is one of the resources being used more and more inside the classroom. It’s the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts with the aim of improving students’ skills and optimizing their learning. According to the study conducted by Ozturk (2020) of Amasya University in Turkey, which is the effect of gamification activities on students’ academic achievements in Social Studies and attitudes towards the course and cooperative learning skills, social studies education reinforced by gamification contributes significantly more to students’ attitudes towards social studies course than the traditional method. However, it was also determined that it did not contribute significantly to the benefit factor.          

            Ozturk’s study only proved that even though gamification has a positive impact on students’ learning it also has its drawbacks.  There are many articles on the internet that tackle the pros and cons of gamification. One of the advantages that are commonly cited in several articles is gamification increases learner engagement. Games can turn boring subjects into engaging and fascinating experiences, foster friendly competition among learners and inspire learners to feel proud of completing a lesson following a series of gamified challenges and activities. The physical and mental activity provides more meaningful experiences than simply scrolling, clicking next, and listening to long lectures, and this activity leads to improved learners' engagement and productivity. In addition, the provision of feedback, whether positive or negative, is an essential aspect of games. Educational games allow students to advance not by chance, but by having the necessary information or responding correctly to a question or scenario. Similarly, a lack of understanding or an improper response prevents students from progressing. Learners can monitor their progress during the game and may even feel intrinsically motivated to complete the game successfully by introducing rapid feedback into gaming and even attaching this input to the game's ending. Leaderboards and scoreboards provide additional feedback by allowing students to observe how their performance compares to that of their peers.        

         Gamification just like any other aspect also has its drawbacks. When building gamified learning, instructional designers may face more than just a lack of creativity. Because each aspect of the design process (anything from communicating the concept to project stakeholders, to storyboarding, to designing, producing, and testing the course) has additional demands when gamified, game development tends to take longer than standard instructional design. Additional resources like music and sound effects, stock content such as images and movies, and even original animations and visuals that enhance the game all come at a cost in either time or money. Games can also be expensive to design and maintain.          

           Gamification may have its pros and cons, but the best thing to do is to come up with the right idea, the right resources, and most importantly not to overdo it so that it will not lose its main purpose which is to improve the academic performance of the students. Remember that, everything is good, like integrating games into lessons, but it should be in moderation to achieve our main purpose. Sources: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1244229.pdf https://www.turning.com/blog/what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-gamification