Fig. 1 Playful Learning Settings: LEBERE

The teacher’s students are playing games during the lesson. However, shouldn’t they listen to the explanation, study and work on their exercises in their coursebooks? Of course they should. They need to master the subject matter. Fortunately there are several roads to achieve learning objectives.

One such road is gamification. Gamification is the practice of making task-related activities more like games. Game-design elements are used in non-game contexts. This document solely focuses on gamification in education.

Pros of game-based learning

-learners learn best when they are also having fun.

-student engagement increases. Their attention span is longer when they are involved in the activity.

-motivation increases. Learning by doing has proven more useful than just listening to the teacher.

-students feel like they have ownership over their learning.

-social skills are developed. Since lots of games must be played in pairs or groups playing games involves peer competition and teamwork.

-learners can simply try again so there is a more relaxed atmosphere.

Cons of game-based learning

-too much screen time. A balance between screen time and other activities is essential.

-time-consuming activity. Teachers also need instructional time. 

Acknowledging your students’ progress is highly motivating for the learners. They learn best when they have goals to reach for. There are various ways to organize a reward system.

-A point system might help to monitor students’ achievements.

-The teacher could include elements of competition.( Best student? First to have finished?).

-Students might get a reward when they succeeded. (leave five minutes earlier, get a sticker).

-Students earn badges for achievements.

-Students are allowed to advance to a more difficult level or do a fun activity.

Although there are a few disadvantages to using games in class, game elements in education are becoming increasingly popular. Games can be played with or without digital devices. In our project Learning Beyond Reality the focus is on digital learning. A number of examples of digital gamification will be shown in the related videos.