Gamification entails the introduction of game mechanics and designs into a process to bolster loyalty, engagement, and participation, i.e., the infusing of the digital game techniques into non-game problems (Hamari & Koivisto, 2014). Gamification is a motivational technique interlocked deeply into psychology thus finds applications in both the social contexts, in organizations and behavioral change environments. The paper examines the application of gamification in mobile learning, its advantages, disadvantages, and the right contextual application in mobile learning.
As pointed out, technology has had numerous impacts in the various sectors. Today, the education sector continues to see several changes designed at improving the learning experience. For instance, the flipped classroom and mobile learning approaches add technology to the traditional classroom by digitalizing the completely teaching and learning experience (Seaborn & Fels, 2015). With mobile learning, the learner acquires the intended information at any place and time he or she pleases, i.e., it has induced flexibility into learning. The approach entails the use of portable devices (e.g., smartphones) to conduct training or education. Gamification makes mobile learning a popular and effective experience due to its engaging nature. Researchers advice on four approaches with the potential to boost the impact of gamification on mobile learning; Creation of a scenario-based game, the teaching of one or two objectives, the use of a secure mobile delivery platform and making it social. The integration of gamification in learning taps into people’s desire to achieve thus inspiring both behavior change and focus on the successful outcomes (Seaborn & Fels, 2015). The learning experience evolves into a game with the various key gamification elements (achievement badges, rewards, feedback loops, levels, points, etc.).
Gamification in mobile learning has several advantages and disadvantages. The innovation creates a better teaching and learning experience hence boosting the graduation and retention rates. As a motivational tool, gamification improves learners’ engagement. The innovation promotes behavioral change and makes learning interactive and fun. The fostering of the emotional attachment between the learner and the content improves knowledge retention and absorption (Hamari & Koivisto, 2014). Also, the gamification provides instant feedback, makes the social connection and creates enthusiasm. On the downside, this teaching methodology decreases students’ span in class, buying of the essential equipment is costly, carries unpredictability in course & student assessment and the actual integration requires tedious planning & game logistics. Gamification methodology applies when the educators want to enhance intrinsic motivation in the learners and in lessons that demand instant feedbacks.
The education sector has benefited greatly with the integration of technology in teaching and learning processes, e.g., the application of virtual reality, podcasting, gamification, etc. These technologies create fun in the teaching and learning experience hence improving both the graduation and retention rates in leaning institutions. Today, more teaching methods continue to crop up, e.g., flipped classroom, mobile learning, etc. Gamification teaching method taps into the desire of people to achieve hence acting as a powerful motivation tool, i.e., elements of this innovation cut deep into the motivational psychology. The existence of the game-mechanics in teaching and learning inspires the learners to attain successful outcomes through improved absorption and retention of knowledge. The innovation provides immediate feedback, creates enthusiasm and provides for social connection. Nevertheless, the integration of the innovation entails costly expenditures on the purchase of essential equipment, reduces the student’s span in class and demands tedious planning and game logistics.
Koivisto, J., & Hamari, J. (2014). Demographic differences in perceived benefits from gamification. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 179-188.
Seaborn, K., & Fels, D. I. (2015). Gamification in theory and action: A survey. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 74, 14-31.
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