3 Gamification Best Practices To Spark Student Attention And Ignite Interest
The needs of the student populace have changed rapidly over the past decade or so. Attention spans are shorter and intrinsic motivation is harder to cultivate and maintain. The introduction of gamification elements to online learning modules and courses is a fantastic way to spark student motivation. The best part, though, is that such a spark could lead students to maintain their own motivation based solely on their internal desire to learn and assimilate knowledge.
Adding game aspects to non-game course elements is a great peripheral tool for online course administrators to jump-start student motivation. It’s impossible to force students to be motivated to give coursework their all. But, there is something to be said for using entertainment-reflective gamification strategies in order to stimulate student interaction that mirrors their activity playing online and mobile games.
With that being said, here are 3 gamification practices course administrators can use to ignite student’s interest in the subject matter and keep them coming back for more with intrinsic motivation propelling them forward.
- Make Learning A Journey Worth Undertaking
Unlocking student motivation isn’t a fail-safe process. Each learner has their own set of internal motivators and unique attention spans that are stimulated by certain aspects of coursework and not by others.
One of the best ways to utilize gamification to reach the highest number of students possible is to introduce your subject matter and course elements in a way that turns the learning process into an epic journey worth undertaking.
Start off your course curriculum with low-stakes (or no-stakes) quizzes that assess a learner’s preexisting knowledge. Use little microlearning games to pique their interest straight away and correlate what they already know to what they are about to learn. Build an early gamification bridge to capture their attention and then watch their intrinsic motivation do the rest.
- Turn Learning Into A Digital Easter Egg Hunt
One of the key motivators for student success has always been providing worthwhile course subject matter that both challenges them and rewards them for expanding their knowledge base to meet the challenge.
From a gamification perspective, one way to augment this approach would be to intersperse helpful Easter eggs and hidden study/context clues in certain parts of the course that will help the student in future assessments (and study games).
Give them the keys to being a learning explorer. Allow them to play within a normally boring space of lectures and content retention. By giving them a space to move, learn, and explore, you can spark motivation and a desire to keep engaging in the course content.
- Tell A Story To Get Students Ready To Go
The best role-playing games open things off with an engaging story arc that sets the scene for where a player begins their journey.
This same approach can be used in online course structuring. Create an introductory video that engages students right away and gets them thinking about their coursework as the narrative of a good story.
Change certain terms in your course lexicon (such as assignments to challenges) to immerse students in the gamification and narrative of things, rather than the rigidity of a normal course. Get them to approach your class like a good story and they’ll keep reading (and playing) along at their own pace.
We all want our students to be engaged, and the best way to reach them may just be gamification. This helps their studying, and it also helps us as educators. Try out these three methods and choose the one that works best for you.