Playing video games is fun! What if it becomes educational too? We are going to explain the term gamification that actually can be a game-changer for the educational system and beyond. Let’s go!
Gamification: what does it mean?
Gamification is the idea of taking the gaming environment's activities, operations, processes and competitiveness and converting them into a mechanism that encourages customer interest, participation, engagement, and loyalty. Businesses can see value added to their marketing campaigns by new methods of interaction by using the technique used by software developers to catch the attention of game players.
Gamification takes the basic human emotions of community, accomplishment, and reward commonly found in gaming websites and platforms and flips them on their heads to help and benefit businesses. It's not so much about inventing a new game for a fast-food restaurant as it is about turning an existing platform, website, or application into a fun experience that encourages consumer engagement, loyalty, and sales.
When did it start?
It's difficult to say exactly when gamification began, but many people point to 1912 as the year when it first became popular. The popular American Cracker Jack popcorn brand began including a free prize in every bag in 1912, although this isn't gamification in the modern context, the use of fun and a prize that could be collected may have inadvertently been gamification’s birth. Since 2011, the field of gamification has continued to expand, with more dedicated conferences, books, and research each year.
More organizations and companies are experimenting with the techniques but opinion is still largely divided over its effectiveness, this feeling of experimentation and failure can be summarized by Gartner who estimates that 80% of existing gamified applications would fail to achieve business objectives due to poor design.
Who invented it?
The concept of using the game elements to make other activities more entertaining has been around for decades, although the term itself has been coined only recently. Gamification as we know it today took shape only five years ago, taking flight in the late 2010s. It was in 2002 when the term first appeared, proposed by Nick Pelling, a British-born computer programmer and inventor. It hit the mainstream in 2009 and already became a buzzword in 2011. As described by Pelling, the term implied “Applying game-like accelerated user interface design to make electronic transactions both enjoyable and fast.” Nowadays, we may come across its elements in various fields such as education, business, life coaching, apps, and more.
Gamification vs game: wait, they are not the same??
However, there is often a misunderstanding in distinguishing Gamification from games. Games are competitive play accompanied by different rules to determine the specific skill and a winner. Gamification instead takes the elements of games that motivate us and applies them to non-game entities to create a more engaging environment. Gamification is more light-hearted and offers us the opportunities of socializing, learning, mastery, and achievement, through which tedious tasks feel more amusing. This motivates us to take part in an activity and be, in return, awarded with gratification. Therefore, applying gamification to a product can actually result in users’ increased levels of happiness and enjoyment.
What are gamification apps?
Gamification is a fun and interactive way to allow individuals to connect to a product or a brand which a company may promote. In recent years having seen gamification spread over different websites and other platforms. Gamification has now been introduced within different apps. This is where employees and individuals working for big corporations too small can complete tedious tasks without it seems that it is hard, but instead engaging & interesting. This not only motivates employees but also boosts employee productivity levels at the workplace. Allowing hard tasks to become games which they are able to enjoy & raise business revenue.
Implementation of it in Moodle
The well-known learning platform known as Moodle has also introduced a gamification plugin that allows its users to learn and test their education through this platform. The plug-in is called “Level Up” and allows the teachers & students to monitor different students' performance based on their current results and can see student rankings on it. Points are attributed on the basis of their performance levels.
AI: the game changer for gamification!
Artificial intelligence optimizes the user experience that includes compensation for lack of knowledge. It certifies mood at its best. It ensures that game mechanics are modified. Artificial Intelligence optimizes focused gamification algorithms because it offers the best buying experience for the desired person. It helps the user to choose the right product. It also predicts buying behaviour and fantastic experience. These algorithms include the following:
1: Finding the best campaign at the best time for the right people.
2: Providing the best rewards for the right campaign and the right people.
2: Finding the best engagement based on personality analysis.
How it increases user engagement
There are several ways to increase gamification user engagement.
You can engage the user by including levels into segments. It motivates them to continue participating.
Implement learner-focused features
Make all the participants drivers of their own experience. When people can personalize their feedback, it makes them feel more engaged and invested in the program.
Encourage users to challenge their friends
Playing a game with strangers is ordinary. Make it easier for users to rope a friend in and get them intrigued. It helps to increase the reach of your brand.
Leaderboard motivates the users when they serve as a visual gauge of status among other users. In this way, they will spend more time on it and try to compete with their friends.
How gamification will change business intelligence
Almost every big organization's business model is becoming business intelligent. Companies worldwide are expected to invest $33 billion in business intelligence by 2025. They're finding a variety of innovative approaches to business intelligence that are assisting them in gaining a competitive advantage. One trend or development that is changing the field of business intelligence is gamification.
Gamification is being used by an increasing number of businesses to develop more advanced market intelligence models and improve their competitive edge. Gamification is a method of using game mechanics to incentivize people's participation and engagement and activity in order to achieve desired outcomes. Gamification is used in organizations to complete tasks such as driving, leading, selling, and more. Business intelligence tools can create algorithms that incorporate gamification concepts seamlessly into them.
Important for business
Gamification has taken on an increasingly important position within organizations over the last few years. Companies are turning to gamification when coping with HR-related problems in search of a creative way to involve, reward, and retain employees or workers. Real-world processes such as recruiting and growth have started to adopt gamified concepts. Game mechanics is an increasingly growing area that is now used to improve performance in sales, customer service, and training.
The use of game mechanics, behavioral components, and design strategies in non-gaming contexts is known as gamification. In layman’s terms, it involves applying key elements that drive engagement in games, such as design, activity structures, visible achievements, and competition, to items that aren't naturally games (learning, completing work assignments). Points, badges, and leaderboards are the most basic applications of game mechanics that have been most widely used in gamified environments.
Effectiveness in mobile marketing
Gamification in a mobile marketing context entails customer engagement in specific tasks that will increase the chances of achieving business goals. There are various instances of gamification used efficiently in mobile marketing. For example, Starbucks Reward, which gifts customers gold stars on every purchase through a mobile app, entitling them to free refills. Implementing gamification in your marketing strategy can lead to numerous benefits; it boosts engagement with the target audience, monitors customer behavior, and can help your brand become more interactive. By creating memorable experiences, gamification amplifies marketing capacities and keeps customers coming back for more.
Fatima Al-Fihri Open University offers a course on Gamification for Educators. It is self-paced and you can learn the basics from it. Sign Up is FREE!
Companies that use gamification
With the increase of customers who grew up in the digital era, companies have shifted their marketing agendas to accommodate the change. Gamification has become rampant in modern strategies, with brands like Nike, Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks, Samsung, Microsoft, Google, or Cisco employing them successively. In particular, Samsung launched a gamified social loyalty program offering a chance to win other Samsung products. Microsoft, with the aim of improving its translation tools, put in some intentionally poor translations to encourage customers to make translation corrections. At the same time, Cisco gamified its social media training program by introducing different levels of certification, Specialist, Strategist and Master, so that participants could be motivated in setting and achieving their goals.
To improve employee engagement
It can be seen that gamification has proven to provide very effective results in corporate roles and has effectively increased employee engagement within the corporate industry by 48%. Through different design and innovative techniques which are applied in non - gaming environments, to provide better and effective engagement with the work and improve one's performance and results.
Can it improve learning?
Gamification can improve student engagement within classes and this not only improves active recall mechanisms, which are effective in carrying and holding large amounts of information for a long time. As well as this, it also provides real-time feedback on the weakness of a student hence improving student academic performance.
The process of gamification is guided and achieved by making use of specific strategies. These gamification strategies are employed as a critical tool that facilitates user engagement and maintains long-term use. The primary purpose of these sets of techniques is to enhance the users’ interest in the product and create a professional environment.
The first and foremost strategy to adopt in gamification is to take a ‘long view’ approach. This strategy entails that we should avoid pitting people against one another and create a competitive environment. Instead, the business perspective should be a steady and calculated venture. The long view approach will help us avoid any mistakes.
Secondly, significant incentives should not be offered as rewards. The sense of competition often takes a negative toll on people’s work ethics and personal and physical workspace. More immense rewards will divert their attention from what the actual goals are.
Thirdly, in the world of business, gamification is centered upon teamwork. The technique of rewarding all the participants goes a long way in ensuring that the team works together in harmony. The competition, in this case, would be friendly and motivating rather than discouraging.
Perhaps the most beneficial of all gamification techniques is to track and report updates. By monitoring the developments in business and programs, the participants will be better informed of their status. We will be able to assess the predetermined goals and the progress efficiently.
Where to learn gamification?
‘What makes learning fun?’ That is a question most ask, yet very few can answer. Our reason for not knowing stems from our lack of consideration of the matter. We are so invested in our redundant, outdated modes of teaching that we rarely take the time to assess whether our methodologies are effective, student-centered, or even ‘enjoyable’. An educational environment conducive to learning must factor in all these principles. Committed to our mission of education, Fatima Al-Fihri Open University has introduced a course entitled ‘Gamification for Educators’ that helps refine and redefine our knowledge of pedagogies.
Terence Govender invites educators to an adventurous learning experience where he details the theories and motivations for drafting enjoyable teaching approaches. He will pick at the basics of learning psychology and focus our attention on all our primary cognitive functions, like memory, interaction, and retention. By delineating the teacher’s role, the course allows the educators to map out the strategies to keep their student’s determination raging. This five-part module presents a wholesome and comprehensive perspective to the developing field of gamification.
Gvantsa Kvirikashvili | Social Media Editor
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Tarcisio Tomas De Fatima | Social Media Editor
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