What is gamification and how can I use it in my classroom?

A growing number of online training platforms are taking advantage of some characteristics of video games, such as points, rankings or levels, to generate an effective and engaging learning experience.

In the digital age, users’ attention spans have been reduced, with some experts indicating that a learner’s attention span averages approximately 20 minutes. Gamification is a powerful ally that improves knowledge retention in face-to-face and e-learning training. Gamification in education encourages the completion of training courses and increases learner motivation and participation.

Advantages of using gamification in the classroom

Gamification is a technique that uses different resources and tools to help teachers motivate students and personalise activities and content according to their needs. These techniques favour the acquisition of knowledge and improve attention.

Gamification makes a significant difference. Students can learn new content easier, are more motivated and they usually participate more. This is achieved by using a simple scoring, reward and objective system inspired by video games. It is a system that contributes to improving the teaching and learning process by making it more attractive.

Gamification uses the dynamics of gaming in environments that weren’t necessarily created to have fun. It can be used for all kinds of subjects, from mathematics to literature, as well as other environments such as corporate training. The role of educators is key, as they must select the applications, programmes or learning platforms that best suit each learner.

Some tools to gamify the learning experience

Here is a selection of educational tools with different functions that you can use in your classrooms or companies:

  • Edmodo: Edmodo is an educational platform where teachers communicate directly with their students to create exercises, tasks or set rewards and badges. Edmodo is the closest thing to a social network for education, and we can gamify the students’ experience with functions such as assigning badges when they meet the objectives we set for them.
  • Kahoot!: With Kahoot! you can transform your classes into a quiz, as it is a tool that allows you to create question and answer games in a very intuitive way. The teacher creates the quiz in the application, which generates a key that he/she gives to his/her students so that they can access the game created in Kahoot!
  • Ta-tum: This platform aims to promote reading. Ta-tum has a digital library where teachers can track students’ progress.
  • Classcraft: Classcraft simulates a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It’s a highly visual and engaging platform that allows students to create a world with fantasy characters, who must cooperate and participate in quests to earn points and virtual currency to upgrade their virtual personas. Teachers can create custom lessons for their students, interactive maps that allow the class to choose different paths and create an enriching group experience for the learning process.
  • Socrative: You will be able to create questionnaires that students answer in real time from their mobile devices, with separate access for students and teachers.
  • Super Teachers Tools: A suite of tools that includes all kinds of functions such as a countdown clock to show the time in an exam or dice to play different games.
  • ELEVER: Its pillars are gamification, methodology and intelligent evaluation, in what they call “micro education”.
  • MyClassGame: It’s a web platform whose main objective is to help teachers to use methodologies such as project-based learning, cooperative learning and agile methodology.
  • Brainscape: It is a simple app with many topics available. It also has a website with different sections for teachers to make the most of it.
  • knowre: This is a platform that includes algebra and geometry challenges. Its aim is to be a complement to traditional classes. It is available online through its website and for iPad devices.
  • Cerebriti: This website has games on different themes and for all grades and ages. It is free and multiplatform.
  • Pear Deck: With this application, students can receive content on their devices, such as questions, images or any kind of support material, while the teacher is giving the lesson.

As you can see, there are a huge number of apps available to gamify your classroom experience. Many of them can be applied to different educational settings, both school teaching and corporate training. So… what are you waiting for? Take a look at these gamification tools and turn your teaching into an entertaining experience!