Gamification is the applying game related principles, structure and rewards to any related field. Gamification has been a tool long used by marketers and business and is becoming increasingly popular in education. Although gamification is not new in education as many classrooms technological advancements (and subsequent decrease in cost) in video games, tablets, apps etc have increased the implementation within the curriculum.
Gamification in the Classroom
The teachers who are early adopters of gamifying education tend to be those in the computer science/IT areas (Dicheva, D., Dicheva, C., Agre, G., & Anglova, G, 2015). Dicheva et al. (2015), go on to argue that most resources are needed to support educators in implementing gamification strategies within the curriculum. Resources needed include, but not limited to, technological infrastructure, IT support, technological training, and professional development on gamification and pedagogical best practices.
Gamification and Cognitive Function
Researchers are now looking to show the links between video games and positive or increased cognitive function. Jane McGonigal, author of “Super Better” and “Reality is Broken” argues that video games, if harnessed properly, can help make the world and your life a better place.
Researchers are also exploring how video games can improve cognitive functioning. Stanmore, Stubbs, Vacampfort, de Bruin and Firth (2017) found that exergames (physically active video games) improved cognition functioning over physical activity alone. They also found that exergames were no more effective than 'cognitive training' alone but, according to the researchers, it was equally important that exergames were not inferior to 'cognitive training'. It would be interesting to conduct further research on exergames and its application to education as although there is no increased cognitive functioning research could show if the students were more engaged in such activities.
Website Resources for teachers/parents
Dicheva, D., Dicheva, C., Agre G., & Angelova, G., (2015). Gamification in education: A systematic mapping study. Educational Technology & Society, 18(3), 75-88.
Gamification in education (2017) Learning Theories. Retrieved from https://www.learning- theories.com/gamification-in-education.html
Stanmore, E., Stubbs, B., Vancampfort, D., de Bruin, E.D., & Firth, J. (2017). The effect of active video games on cognitive functioning in clinical and non-clinical populations: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 78. 34-43.