Gamification of education

How education can be improved with concepts drawn from video games

Touch screen device being used, surrounded by icons projecting success and co-operation

Growth in the popularity of video games has spurred a push to understand exactly what makes them so compelling – and whether any of these elements can be applied to education. Gamification, defined as the introduction or application of elements of games into non-game contexts, is the name given to this movement.

The principal appeal of gamification is the liberty that it provides pupils and teachers. The four freedoms of play – the freedom of effort, the freedom to fail, to experiment, and to self-express – may be particularly valued by pupils who feel constrained by conventional teaching methods.

Despite its advantages, gamification is not an educational panacea. A well-implemented programme will have a complete understanding of gamification, a large pool of financial and educational resources, and the necessary institutional and parental buy-in. Without these things, it may be doomed to failure before it has begun. But the future of gamification, and its role in the future of education, is ripe with possibility.