What is gamification and why use it in teaching


Many schools, parents as well as colleges are unaware of the potential of gamification. It can not only motivate students to work harder, it helps them develop a deeper understanding of subjects which is quintessential to growth and a successful career.

According to LearnDash, it’s because of these reasons that the gamification market is seeing continual growth. By the year 2018 it is projected that the global market will reach nearly $5.5 billion.

That said, there are people out there who think gamification is fluff and has no real value. Today, in this post, we will talk about what is gamification and why you should include it in teaching.

Let’s begin

What is gamification

Gamification is the process of including game designs, elements and mechanics to non game context with an aim to enhance participation, motivation and learning. For example, leaderboards, badges, awards, stickers etc.

what is gamification and why use it in teaching3

Gamification is not only found in education sector but in the corporate world as well to gear employees towards a certain objective. We have already seen gamification in various settings – for example – finishing up profile on LinkedIn to reach the 100 mark, checking into restaurant or airports on Swarm to become the mayor, playing candy crush and going up the leaderboard, buying coffee from Starbucks and collecting stars for a free gift etc.

We are sure you already understood the ability of gamification to motivate students and where it is most required?


It is not a news flash when we say that schools are still living in the old ages. Everything has progressed but not the way education is imparted. We still follow books, reading, one way lectures, homeworks and grading based on answers.

Gamification is changing these traditional ways into activities and style that motivate students to learn. There are a variety of ways to include gamification in the classroom and in this post we talk about 3 of such activities.

Now, that we understand what is  gamification, let’s move on to understanding the benefits.

Benefits of gamification


Increasing engagement in the classroom is always on top of every teacher’s mind. After all, when students are engaged, it is easier for them to learn.


Not all kids have the same learning style in a classroom. Someone may be visual learner and others might be auditory. A few others might be verbal, logical, social or physical learner. You can read about them in detail, here.  

Meaning, it is difficult for all them to be engaged with the traditional style of teaching. However, if you include elements of games into teaching, it makes the entire learning experience fun.

Examples of such elements would be awarding badges, creating a leaderboard or dividing the class into two teams. Read more about including gamification into the classroom, here.

Gamification is a powerful tool to drive engagement and it is definitely something every educator must consider.


While game elements enhance engagement in a classroom, they also tend to motivate kids to work harder and be their best. Incentives like awards, badges, moving up leaderboard etc encourage students to work harder, participate more and keep them coming back for more.

Helps in developing positive attitude towards failure

Not only this, gamification also helps develops a positive attitude towards failure. This is very important.

Look, fear of failure or being ridiculed demoralizes students. They are tagged as dumb or bad students. Sometimes, schools have a different section for these students.

According to EdWeek, Researchers have found that children use a trial and error approach when gaming. “Failure” in a well-designed game is almost never a cause to stop playing. On the contrary, it usually motivates the player to pick the game up and try again, maybe attempting a new method or learning something from the previous failure that the player can do better in the next round of the game. Each failure is, in fact, a stimulus to change various minute details of his or her approach, making each round a constant learning experience. It is also an exercise in creativity as the player has to think of new ways to accomplish his or her goals, as the last one didn’t work.

Hands on experience

Do you remember Pythagoras theorem?

May be not.

But, do you remember magnetism? Of course. That is because you had hands on experience with magnetism.

Gamification allows students to have hands on experience with a concept, especially in science, math and english. You can either incorporate games or find ways to create game like experience within the curriculum.

As another wise man said: “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.”


Instant feedback

Gamification provides instant feedback to the learner so they know exactly what they have to work on.

Imagine you are learning a new skill, concept or a language. You have no idea what you are doing in the beginning but instant feedback that points out your fault can help you scale faster and understand areas you have to work on.

This ensures that students, teachers and parents are focusing on the pain points of the kids.

Practical learning which stays with you

“Interactive learning games can increase long-term retention rates by up to 10 times”

– Jeanne Meister, author of Corporate Universities

It is fair to say that a 1 hour lecture on any subject can be quite boring and sometimes agonizing, right?

Gamification can change that. As we discussed, it can help motivate student and enhance learning experience. This in turn help students to learn better and retain knowledge for a longer duration

According to skillbuilderslms, a leading researcher, Malcolm Knowles, identified four principles of andragogy. Andragogy is the study of methods and principles of adult education. Three of his principles are integral features of game-based learning.

All of these together motivated us to develop Playablo for school. It allows students to learn and have fun along the way. Whether it is correcting assignments, data tabulation and tracking or actionable insights about the students – Playablo for school takes care of it all. You can know more about it here.

Your turn –

What are you doing to include gamification in your classroom? What according to you are the best game elements? Comment below and share it with us


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