When discussing gamification and game-based learning there is often some confusion as to how they differ. Many people use the terms interchangeably but they are not the same. However they are often linked together so it isn’t always easy to separate them.
Game-based learning and gamification have been around for a number of years at the elementary and high school level. More recently it has been making its way into higher education as it offers a number of benefits to students.
What is Game-Based Learning?
Game-Based Learning or GBL is using a game as part of the learning process. Some examples of GBL could be using monopoly to teach the basics of money management or playing scrabble to help improve vocabulary skills. However, today when people talk about game-based learning they are usually referring to digital game-based learning. Game-based learning teaches through repetition, failure and the accomplishment of goals which is basically the way players become good at video games.
What is Gamification?
In education gamification is the introduction of game-like elements into the learning environment to help motivate students and make the process more engaging. This is accomplished by taking some of the elements that make games fun and that motivate people to keep playing and using those elements in a learning situation. Some examples of gamification include:
- Points/Badges : The use of points and badges provides tangible evidence of accomplishment
- Immediate Feedback: Fast response to actions that are taken rather than waiting for a paper to be graded.
- Levels/Quests: Provide missions and goals to be accomplished
- Leveling Up: Indication of achievement and opening up of new missions, badges and activities
- Collaboration/Teamwork: Accomplish a goal working with others