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Gamification Badges And Motivation: A Complete Guide

December 5, 2022

Gamification Badges and Motivation

A well-designed learning strategy helps students improve their learning retention, creativity, innovation, motivation, and problem-solving skills. It gives them a sense of direction and self-confidence. But, the current classroom system is outdated and should be modernized.

It doesn’t accommodate multiple learning styles. It also doesn’t align with the student’s work opportunities. Learners need relevant, engaging activities and feedback to get improved learning options. Gamification can be a new and practical educational tool. 

By implementing game elements, educators can increase engagement. In fact, a good gamification strategy can do more than just add game elements to learning. It can boost student motivation, optimize learning, and reduce student stress.

It can also introduce objectives that give learners a feeling of purpose. Here is the main reason gamification badges work for promoting student motivation. Including some examples that can make implementing gamification a useful learning tool.

What is gamification in learning and education?

Gamification means using game attributes in non-game contexts. Educators can add game design elements to the learning environment in learning and education. This will require learners to earn digital badges or gain points for showcasing their achievements or skills. 

Gamification techniques can be an alternative to the standard point-based grading system. These gamification badges can serve as a visual indicator of the student’s progress. It can help improve students’ motivation, personal growth, and involvement.

The goal of these reward systems is to get increased engagement. As well as promote active interest, and offer more challenging opportunities that stimulate the mind.

Gamification v.s. game-based learning

Game-based learning and gamification are similar in that both options boost student motivation and engagement in learning. But they use different elements. Both options can be used to enhance the learning environment.

Gamification uses game elements such as digital badges, a gamification leaderboard, and a points system. It then adds them to standard learning activities. These game elements help engage and motivate learners.

For example, the highest performing learner receives a “Kepler” award after collecting gamification badges from smaller tasks. The gamification elements give a boost to competition, achievement, and confidence.

Game-based learning involves creating learning activities so that game principles and characteristics are a natural part of the learning activities. Game-based learning is like playing games.

For example, a student in a Political Science course can role-play as they participate in mock negotiations. The game-like setting increases immersion and creativity.

Why is gamification good for learning?

Gamification is slowly becoming more popular. It can help students better understand the content and improve attendance, engagement, and overall academic performance. Gamification elements have a lot to offer. 

The benefits of using gamification badges to enhance the learning experience can include the following:

  • Friendly competition to motivate students.
  • A chance to address different learning styles in one lesson.
  • The ability for students to self-direct their learning path.
  • Better group problem-solving skills for collecting harder digital badges.
  • Improving innovation and creativity for the highest-performing learner.
  • A better option for shy students is participating in social activities and communicating.

Many studies used gamification to achieve success in health professions education. Gamification features, such as gamification badges, can be added to classroom response systems (CRSs). Such rewards can increase active participation and student concentration. 

Acquiring badges motivates students and promotes fun learning. Based on reports, gamified CRSs sessions appear to be more interesting than classic e-learning quizzes. When educators incorporate gamification badges, they create a more immersive learning process. Students can have more fun with their learning material.

Gamification and motivation for students

It can be challenging to motivate learners. Social events, parties, outings, and extracurricular activities can distract even the highest-performing learner. Want to know how gamification badges encourage learners to succeed? 

Students are driven by reward. Gamification allows students to receive rewards through digital badges, medals, or basic emblems. Since gamification uses the motivational power of video games for real-world applications, it can be a valuable educational strategy for motivating learners.

  • Gamification creates curiosity. It uses different concepts than traditional learning and makes students solve real-life problems. Therefore, students are more likely to attend classes.

According to a 2022 paper, gamification is a vital tool for creating sustainable and adequate higher educational institutions, mainly through performance and motivation improvement. Educators can motivate and stimulate interest in students through training experiences when incorporating game elements. 

  • Educators can use gamification badges to boost motivation and excitement when students get distracted. This can increase attention span.

One of the main reasons why gamification can motivate learners is that it reduces student stress. Instead, it empowers students. By adopting different game elements, like gamification badges, trophies, emblems, points, etc., gamification encourages students to work on themselves. 

Students get these rewards, like a digital badge, after completing a challenge. Challenges can comprise different smaller tasks. These badges motivate because they serve as a celebration of achieving a task. 

  • Gamification badges motivate learners when there is a certain level of difficulty. There is a hierarchy and categories in the badge system. So, when a student obtains five or more badges to earn the ultimate badge, this system can boost learner motivation.

The social motivation of competing with oneself or others can inspire a student to work harder on their tasks. The more rewarding the task, the more compelled they feel to complete it. And since gamification systems require learners to complete multiple steps and earn digital badges, this system can motivate learners to get better rankings.

  • The learning environment can make use of gamification elements because it inspires competition. And healthy competition can drive success. 

When educators incorporate gamification badges into the learning environment, that competition can promote physical effort and attention. Trying and solving different problems becomes fun rather than overwhelming. This approach keeps students occupied. This encourages and empowers students to believe in themselves. 

How effective is gamification in motivating students in the class?

According to 2021 reports, gamification can improve learning outcomes in health professions. When educators incorporate gamification badges, learners acquire knowledge on how to strengthen their attitude toward learning and improve their learning behavior.

Experts claim that satisfaction rates are generally high. Digital badges can motivate learners to work harder to achieve their goals. 

One 2020 study evaluated the impact of gamification elements on students’ learning. Based on the results, participants who used a gamified learning environment had a higher average of badges, points, and the number of logins compared to the group who used a non-gamified learning environment.

But, every personality trait acted differently from the gamification elements. Introverted students had more logins, medals, and points than extroverts. So, further research is necessary to evaluate the impact of gamification on different personality traits and dependent variables, such as learning environment and student engagement.

What is an example of gamification in education?

To gamify the learning environment, educators would need to use innovative concepts. Gamification needs to award students by the level of commitment. That means using:

  • Basic digital badges: Digital badges can take on a simple form, such as an emblem that students get for completing simpler tasks. For example, “research 10 fun facts about Benjamin Franklin”.
  • Achievements: Students can collect such rewards when they complete multiple steps, such as collecting ten digital badges.
  • Awards: These rewards should be a one-time opportunity. For instance, students must finish an entire learning module to get awards. This can be a great way of motivating learners to achieve success. 

But, gamification varies based on the grade level of the students, as well as the different groups of students educators work with. 

Tip: Don’t try to gamify everything and anything. Gamification should be logical, simple, and intuitive. Introduce digital badges, puzzles, leaderboards, or quests that match the learning environment and material. 

For younger students

Younger learners, particularly in elementary school, are very creative and have a rich imagination. They can easily play games in a non-classroom scenario. Introducing new teaching techniques to the learning environment can be difficult. Some of the most practical gamification tools for younger learners include:

  • Using quests – Many lessons can be made into quests. Completing these quests can offer gamification badges. Here are some examples of gamification badges. For science, students need to gather information about a significant scientific discovery. When they complete a smaller task, you can increase the difficulty level and inspire them to keep searching for more information. 
  • Changing dice or board games to fit the subject topic – To start applying gamification, educators need to fit the games with their classroom material. For example, offering students vocabulary bingo and spelling test games.
  • Role-playing – Reenacting a particular scenario or historical event can help young students entirely use their imagination. Rather than trying to absorb dates and facts, students can achieve success by being creative. This is an excellent way of applying gamification and game-based learning.

For older students

It takes more effort to motivate students in high school. There must be a valuable, concrete, and a clear goal to enhance the learning environment. One of the most engaging aspects of earning gamification badges is to have challenging tasks.

These badges motivate thanks to their complexity. Such rewards can be obtained through various activities. Some of the best gamification examples for motivating learners include:

  • Discussion boards – Gamifying a discussion board can take on different forms, from learners giving each other digital badges or achievement badges to using word games. These boards can work as online gaming forums, which can be useful for engaging introverted students.
  • Competition – Older students need a sense of urgency and competition. They can work well with fast-paced tasks. For example, they can play educational games and compete with peers. Their scores or digital badges can be displayed on leaderboards, which can be useful for motivating learners to strive toward a goal.
  • Offering bonuses – Educators can reward students who achieve supplementary goals or anything beyond the main lesson. This can be useful for struggling learners who need some extra credit badges. But it can also motivate learners to keep researching the subject and learn more. 
  • Creating problems with multiple solutions – A challenge with multiple solutions can offer an excellent opportunity for earning gamification badges. And badges motivate when there is something difficult to complete. 

Gamification and homework

One of the most challenging tasks is to motivate students to do their homework. Adding gamified elements can motivate students to start doing their homework. For example, educators can attach progress badges or achievements for writing homework.

If the learning material has a lot to do with research, then educators can do homework into a quest. For example, assign a journaling task to visit the local museum or collect information from the library. They can then reward progress badges based on the difficulty of the task.

For the younger generation, homework can be done through games or after-school activities, such as writing down their sleeping, self-care, and cleaning habits, doing independent activities such as independent reading, working on puzzles, or conducting a science experiment. All of these options can help students earn progress badges that are relevant to their learning material.

How do you engage students in gamification?

To stimulate learner motivation, it’s vital to use gaming elements. Experts suggest using key elements, like digital badges, points, levels, and feedback, to engage students. They can increase attention, motivation, and positive student outcomes.

But, tailoring toward the student’s learning needs is the most effective gamification learning environment. It should require learners to get creative and work to get higher ratings. The tips below can help educators incorporate game elements into their learning environment. 

1. Make learning a priority – not the game.

Gamification badges and points only have value if they can improve student performance. The learning objective should be straight on point, and the game mechanics should emphasize these objectives. The goals must align with the learning environment. 

For example, you want to use a card game to engage students in a history class. Base the card game on historical topics and events that offer learners practical knowledge, entertainment, and competition. 

This type of gamified environment is an excellent way of practicing skills like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking.

2. Start small

To engage learners, you need to make the process easier to digest. Instead of doing a high-profile gamification project, start small. Target a specific topic that can make it easier for students to understand. 

Treat every topic as unique and create your learning objectives. The goal is slowly incorporate rewards, like gamification badges, into the learning environment. So it won’t be too overwhelming.

3. Inspire continuous learning

Find ways to encourage students to keep improving and returning to their scores. Digital badges motivate you when you can keep working to reach your goals. You can introduce new gamification badges, achievements, and rewards from time to time. Or you can reset the leaderboard regularly. 

4. Increase the difficulty

Make the learning experiences useful. And digital badges or gamification rewards should be harder to obtain. This can require learners to strive to achieve those challenges and earn more badges.

For example, you start with a shorter and easier assignment. This helps students demonstrate their skills and mastery. The next assignment could be shorter tasks. You can then make these tasks harder and harder to achieve.

That’s because if you give students too easy tasks, they get bored too quickly. Boredom can lead to procrastination, which can affect overall performance.

5. Use anonymous individual competition.

It may not always be a good idea to pit students against others on public leaderboards. But you can still gamify your content and offer digital badges. You can list leaderboard scores anonymously. There is something unique about setting a goal and measuring your progress toward it. 

6. Transform failures into opportunities

Players feel more comfortable taking risks when gaming and are fine when they fail. That’s because there is always the chance to get back up again. This is the kind of approach that educators can use to help struggling learners. 

You can teach your students to adapt when they are facing troubles and manage these obstacles with resourcefulness and resilience. Encouraging them to take on different tasks and earn gamification badges can ease some of that pressure.

You can also offer struggling learners the ability to redo tasks or assignments. This can take some of the pressure off. But earning basic badges or basic emblems shouldn’t be too easy. Otherwise, it can discourage other students from taking part. 

7. Use technology to increase motivation.

It’s crucial to integrate technology into the learning environment. That’s because it has become a vital component of the world outside school. Plus, students are much more proficient and informed in using modern technology. Such as using social media platforms or gaming. 

You can create a better learning environment by combining constructive classroom learning with technology. 

Educational videos are a great way to boost student motivation and earn basic badges. It is a practical approach for engaging visual learners. You can leverage YouTube videos or create your own to explain a subject. 

Another way to leverage technology is to use Podcasts. Educators can use podcasts to break up the monotony of reading material. 

Then there is classroom gaming. Educational games are highly available and offer some solid learning material. You can use any of these options to inspire students to earn basic emblems or basic badges and recognize learners who are not interested in participating in different activities.

Take Motivation to the Next Level!

Engaging and motivating students to participate in different activities can be challenging. Gamification can change the standard point-based grading system with external rewards and activities. This can motivate and engage students.

Gamification improves motivation to learn by increasing attention span, encouraging active learning, and decreasing student stress. It can use the current technological advances and inspire students to work on their progress.If you plan to incorporate gamification into your education center, our team at Spinify can help. We are a leader in sales gamification and can help you increase workplace productivity and employee engagement. We can help you implement a leaderboard approach fused with motivational psychology and gamification for better performance. Book a demo today and see how we can help boost your team’s motivation!

Put those insights into practice.

Set your team up for success by improving their performance through gamification.

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