Gamification of all subjects is something that has become popular in both K-12 and higher education. This is the introduction of technology and games into the classroom. Gamification provides unique experiences for children to enhance the subject area of knowledge.
While there are certainly a number of subjects that could be gamified, science-based lessons could potentially benefit the most from this process.
Methods of Gamification
There are two primary methods of gamification that educators can use for a particular subject or in the curriculum as a whole. The first is incorporating science-based games into their curriculum. This is the generally chosen method because it is easier to implement into lesson plans.
The second method is to find ways to create a game-like experience. This can be done within the structure of the coursework itself. The downside here is that it is a bit more difficult to implement into lesson plans for instructors.
Types of Games That Can Be Used
For teachers that are looking to implement gamification into their lesson plans, there are many types of games that can be used in the classroom. These games help to enhance student learning and can include both board and video games.
There are actually science-based video games that teachers can add to their curriculum offered by the Educational Gaming Environments group. There are three in particular: Quantum Spectre, Impulse, and Ravenous. These games have been tested and written about in Playing with Science.
The article reported that video games were utilized by incorporating them into the lesson plan as well as pairing them with instruction. The key here is playing the game before classroom activities to provide background experience. They can then relate the games to their instruction for teachable moments.
The educational community is only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to games as a teaching aid. As we learn more, expect to see these methods implemented into classrooms across the country, documented heavily along the way. The future of education is implementing fun into the mix.