Gamification Overview and its use for PBL

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    Athanasios PolAthanasios Pol
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    Gamification means using the mechanics and techniques from different kinds of games (board games, role-playing, computer games) in order to increase user’s involvement in performing various types of activities in non-gaming context, especially if those activities are considered tedious. This kind of idea is not new, since gaming has been used in the psychology sector for a long time for researching the human mind but the term “Gamification” has appeared in the last decade.

    According to some studies the use of game mechanics can improve one’s learing abilities by 40%. That is because game approaches lead to higher commitment and motivation as well as because plenty of the mechanics used are already known to students as most of the have played or still play various games. Thus, gamification can aid teachers in attracting students attention who lack engagement and participation in the learning process. One possible scenario is to reward the efforts and achieved results by awards, which leads to increased motivation for participation and activity.

    Users’ actions in games are aimed at achieving a specific goal, winning, in the presence of obstacles. In
    education there is a learning objective, which has to be achieved by performing specific learning activities or interaction with educational content. Tracking the players’ progress in games is an important element, because next steps and moves are based on their results. In education tracking the students’ progress is essential to achieve the learning objectives. Students’ learning path is determined by the achieved levels of knowledge and skills.

    There are many tools for gamification. Some of them are web-based (cloud services) and allow access at any time and from any location. Among the most popular gamification tool are: Socrative, Kahoot!, FlipQuiz, Duolingo, Ribbon Hero, ClassDojo and Goalbook.

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