If you search for the best ways to destress, playing games will definitely be among the top 10 suggestions. This is because games are engaging and can make us forget our reality. Moreover, the feeling of accomplishment on winning a game releases dopamine which makes us feel good.
Today, game elements are being used in online courses to impart education. This process is called gamification and research has shown that it is very powerful in keeping learners engaged and motivated to complete the course.
There is no doubt that gamified content is fun. In fact, it provides a highly immersive learning experience when delivered through an LMS WordPress platform. This leads to better retention of concepts and has a greater callback value.
But should you gamify the content being used to educate students? Many online teachers argue that it can prevent the student from actually learning something as they are overly focused on winning. It also makes them hate other forms of delivery of learning content.
Before you actually create a course for students using gamification techniques, it is crucial to look at its benefits as well as pitfalls. To understand the comparison in greater detail, we have listed below the pros and cons of using gamified content to educate students.
- Makes learning entertaining: If you want students to make the most of their learning content, you need to ensure it is effective. The best way to do this is to present it in a way that gets them excited to learn. Games encourage students to participate and go through the entire course without feeling bored.
- Reduces feelings of isolation: The worst thing about studying online is the lack of social engagement. Students feel lonely studying alone without their friends and classmates. Learning through gamification by competing against each other gives them a sense of connection and improves student well-being.
- Makes them feel in control of their progress: Often students feel lost and confused because of the amount of limited interaction they get during a live classroom session. With gamification, they take control of their learning and can progress at their own pace. Moreover, it improves their critical thinking abilities which will help them become more confident.
- High investment:
Impressive and effective gamified content is expensive to build. If the content is poorly designed, students will fail to show interest in learning from it which will be a waste of money and effort. Even if they show interest in learning from it, they may not actually gain much from it which does not justify the high investment.
- Lesser engagement with other learning styles:
Once students start learning through games, they may end up finding other ways of learning monotonous or slow. The entire learning course cannot be gamified because of the high investment involved. So when students feel the other learning styles are not as fast-paced as gamified content, they start losing interest.
To tackle both these issues, you can provide a mix of different learning styles like self-paced videos, live classroom sessions, and gamified learning content. A good balance will keep the course development budget in check and prevent the student attention span from declining.
It is quite clear from the above points that the positives far outweigh the negatives of using gamification in education. Just focusing on making the course fun may not be the ideal solution as the end result will be unsatisfactory. With a good balance and the right course structure, you can ensure students get a way to enjoy games and still stay interested to learn without the games.