Gamification is a technique that allows to improve and optimize learning processes, transferring the mechanics of traditional games to an educational or professional environment. With the aim that teaching is more dynamic and can be applied in a much more effective way.
The trainers who have combined the two types of education, face-to-face and online, know that both have advantages and disadvantages. The traditional format offers the possibility of interacting with the students, asking them questions, and inviting them to participate. But it requires a presence that can be affected by external elements. The digital alternative is very beneficial and can help take the training plans anywhere in the world simply by having the necessary electronic elements.
But is online training so magical and straightforward? Although the experience has shown that it is an advantageous option, it faces some drawbacks, such as the lack of interaction on the part of the students can lead to frustration in the teachers. The ease of connecting from any place and device has the disadvantage that the student joins a particular class to record their attendance without assuring the teacher that they are attending.
Main Weaknesses Affecting Online Training Students
- Difficulty connecting with the rest of the students and establishing synergies.
- If there is no group work, there are no collaboration aspects between different profiles.
- Individualism encourages competition rather than cooperation.
What Can We Do To Improve The Student And Teacher Experience?
Within gamification, different alternatives allow you to interact with the components of an online course or activity. The Smart Learning Environment concept is fascinating and allows you to create environments in which students can learn. These intelligent learning environments imply greater attention and dedication to those responsible for creating the courses since their responsibility is to create environments where students can develop their potential. To do this, they can start by setting the following objectives:
- We need to adapt the training offer to the real needs of the students.
- Promote interpersonal communication and apply teamwork techniques to their training.
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- Create free, democratic, and self-managed spaces for debate and reflection by the students themselves.
- Make the training even more practical by using applied gamification.
- Create games and use applications that make it easier to internalize theoretical concepts.
All of this would entail learning that promotes the active participation of the students. A simple way to raise it is by creating a virtual space where students face a problem and propose a solution.
Although they are an exciting tool for sharing information and connecting course participants, forums alone cannot encourage dialogue. In this case, it would be preferable to bet on the use of chat or real-time discussions to exchange impressions.
Problem VS Solution How to Apply The Practice To The Digital Context?
Betting on learning based on problem-solving begins with a review of the current state of the project. To carry out this work, analytical techniques, typical of marketing, can be used to identify areas for supervision and improvement.
Steps to follow to develop a gamification strategy in the classroom
- Initial state review
- Elaboration of objectives
- Approach to concrete actions
- Choice of channels and tools
When all the elements have been analyzed and raised, you can start working on a strategy using the tools that are considered most convenient in each case, such as:
- Team challenges
- Group puzzle solving
- Questions and answers games to check if the concepts have been understood.
- Creation of interactive Escape Rooms that allow an immersive experience that allows participants to receive rewards while passing tests and challenges.
The final idea should be to develop a linear gamified experience that allows progress as the challenges are solved. For this, it is essential to consider the type of students who will participate, their age, characteristics, and needs. The games and dynamics used mustn’t be too long or complicated to avoid causing frustration or reluctance. If we talk about training for adults who seek to improve their employability, pose challenges and situations that help them improve their professional.
Tips To Help Students Improve Their Employability
The starting point should be to try to know the characteristics and needs of each student. In addition to information about the state in which these people are, a presentation forum must be established to explain their professional situation and trajectory.
Next, a survey can be carried out, which is quick and easy to answer, to prevent them from losing interest, in which a series of questions are asked that help to understand the needs that have led these students to choose that course in concrete. To ask these questions, the competencies associated with each training action can be used as a reference and compared with the real needs of the students.
How Can We Get To Know The Students Better?
They are proposing students do a personal SWOT, many online tools such as Canva or genial.ly offer many original and creative designs. Starting with an internal analysis of each person’s strengths and weaknesses will help them better understand their starting point. After this individual review, the tutor or teacher can begin to develop the applied gamification strategy.
Tools to carry out the activities
Google forms to collect questions from students about their professional experience and expectations.
Contact professionals from the sector or sectors most demanded by students and ask them to participate in the project through micro training pills related to students’ doubts.
Use editing programs that allow a montage that is interactive and solves the specific doubts raised.
Mentimeter is a handy tool that allows you to create personalized surveys, and, in this case, it will be used to develop the phases proposed after performing the SWOT. Students can be divided into rooms and work from their mobile devices with a chat to exchange opinions. It is very visual and attractive, as it allows ideas to appear in the form of word clouds. Each team will take care of a part that must then join the rest.
Measurement: Has All This Served a Purpose?
Whenever any training or other type of action is carried out (marketing, communication, sales, conversions), it is essential to measure how it has worked and the degree of satisfaction that exists in the participants. Before starting, you will have to choose the metrics that will be taken into account when measuring results and pass a final survey to measure the impact it has had on the participants. To make it even more interactive, you can opt for a face-to-face class that functions as a discussion table where students express their opinions and points of view.
Gamification is an excellent ally in online training, but it must always start from prior planning and strategy. If, in addition to having fun and learning, students can apply the concepts to improve their employability, they will have managed to go from theoretical training to an efficient application for life and the real problems students face.