Content Gamification: Theories & Instructional Strategies
- 6 September, 2021
- Reading Time: 5 minutes
‘’From school desks with inkwells and scratchy nibs on paper to sweaty fingerprints on a tablet…technology progresses.” This quote summarizes the journey of learning from the static environment of a classroom of four walls, around fixed tables and chairs to a digital classroom with smart boards, epubs, educational videos, and online assessments. But, today in this digital era if we ask the question, “In what activities are learners more engaged?” The answer would most certainly be Games, with more engagement and, yes, deep involvement. This answer stimulates educators to find a way to integrate learning into a gaming environment effectively – this method is widely known as Content Gamification. But, effectively integrating learning into a gaming environment necessitates strong instructional designing skills. Instructional Designers (IDs) should design and create learning pathways that are personalized and emphasize learning in a gaming environment.
Theories and an ID’s role in Content Gamification
Episodic Memory: Emotions are directly associated with our nervous system, thoughts, feelings, and behavioral responses. And when strong emotions are tied to the memory of the learner, it produces a vivid picture when recalled.
Creating this memory within a gaming environment, and matching the sketched story with the content logically, is the base. It requires strong instructional design skills. IDs are responsible for carefully designing content with the game, considering the pedagogical and learners’ characteristics, ensuring a logical flow of content and progressive learning in a well-sequenced and structured manner.
Extrinsic Motivation: Learning is an active process where involvement and attentiveness of the learner are required. It can be self-initiated or sometimes needs stimulation by adding motives like awarding rewards.
It is the role of an Instructional Designer to identify the structure of rewards and their integration with games so that learning continues, and learners stay motivated. This decision is based on several factors like content complexity, content type, and learners’ interest. Sometimes learners are rewarded just for completing an activity, sometimes how well they completed, and sometimes the extent of activity completion.
Distributed Learning Practice: Cramming information into a learner’s brain doesn’t last long, it only creates confusion. To ensure long-lasting learning, distributed learning practices have proven the most effective as they use multiple short sessions.
And here, Instructional Designers define these short sessions from the content provided by SMEs. They are responsible for dividing the entire learning content into multiple short sessions, ensuring a systematic and iterative flow of content. The decision is based on audience knowledge, interest, content complexity, cognitive domains, etc. They also ensure its effective integration in a gaming environment that constructs long-lasting learning. Content gamification has significantly shown its presence in the education sector by providing an environment that excites, engages, and motivates learners. And Magic EdTech believes in matching the pace of learning supported by a skilled, creative, and experienced workforce.