Math isn’t always the most exciting subject to teach and learn. This also means that teachers need to find strategies to make maths lessons fun.
Gamification in the classroom is one of the most proven ways to lighten the learning environment and brighten the vibe in your classroom.
It’s no secret that a lot of kids (Some of us as well) love video games.
While most of us can agree:
The triumph that comes with completing any level of the game is a feeling like no other.
Gamified math lessons is a great way to make learning math fun while keeping students entertained, get their brains working and encourage them to put their thinking caps on.
But what does it actually mean and how it can lead to improved learning outcomes?
What is Gamification?
Simply put, gamification refers to the use of game-design elements and game principals in a non-game context. It can also be defined as the process of incorporating game mechanics into anything outside the realm of gaming, like learning management systems for schools.
Gamification is a set of activities and processes to solve problems by applying the characteristics of game elements. These gaming elements are often used to educate, entertain and engage learners.
How does Gamification in Math Education work?
Gamification can be applied to a variety of subjects, including mathematics, to increase student’s motivation and consequently increase student proficiency in the subject matter.
Gamifying math lessons do not have to be difficult; teachers can use a variety of techniques to add game elements to the courses.
Gamification of math precisely is an approach to motivate and inspire students to learn math through capturing the interest of learners.
Points, badges and leaderboards are some of the classic game elements through which students are incentivized to continue learning math by playing games. These elements are often used as visual identifiers of progress, display achievements and present competitive placement.
What Makes Gamified Math Stand Out?
Math lessons need not be a boring experience for any student and gamifying math allows teachers to align different children’s learning needs.
- Perceived learning value
One of the most researched characteristics of a gamified math lesson is perceived learning value. That is, how effective math games are at supporting and promoting learning.
In other words, how easy or intuitive it is to practice. Usability is exceptionally important for younger (K-6) students. As with traditional math, directing too much cognitive load entirely toward practising a concept inhibits their ability to acquire concepts, and ultimately, learn.
Math games offer a highly interactive, emotionally and cognitively engaging experience which ultimately supports learning. It also equips students with the ability to apply specific mathematic skills as it involves learning and practising concepts while playing games.
Gamification allows students to understand the application of mathematics, requiring them to use the acquired skills to solve the puzzle and play further. It also helps them to focus on exploration, making sense of new information, as well as skill acquisition.
While we swear by gamified math and can never stress enough how it aids and enhances the learning experience for students, jump down below to know more about its benefits–
What are the benefits of Gamification in Math Education?
Math-based games can be easily integrated into relevant lessons to replace less engaging content and offer interdisciplinary learning opportunities.
- Gamification initiatives in mathematics allow students to experience opportunities for autonomy, competence and relatedness. Incorporating games into the math classroom is a way to provide students with opportunities to be engrossed in learning and collaborating such that they do not want to stop.
- Gamification creates room for teaching and learning in the comfort of a teacher and student’s pace and space (i.e., the progression of math concepts and topics is independent and achieving competency is desirable). It also helps in increasing the attention spans of every student, particularly those who share a love-hate relationship with math in the classroom.
- Another benefit, gamification of math education allows students to approach math problems with more focus. It improves the tendency to not give up on seemingly impossible questions or the failure to grasp mathematical concepts.
- Lastly, gamification provides a more intuitive and easier way to track the progress of each student. With the use of metrics via progress charts/bars, educators can immediately gauge the strengths and weaknesses of a student and consequently address learners’ needs by providing more support to areas that require improvement and reward students for their success in areas they have mastered.
Additionally, real-time statistics on students’ progress can also be beneficial for instructors to provide instant assistance to students. Ultimately, it can also serve as a motivating tool for students when they observe levels or tasks progressively being completed.
Nonetheless, gamification also offers a variety of benefits associated with learning outcomes.
Following are some of the potential benefits of successful gamification initiatives in the classroom:
- Gives students’ ownership of their learning
- Freedom to fail and try again without any negative repercussions
- Opportunities to increase fun and joy in the classroom through differentiated instructions
- Makes learning visible and inspire students with low levels of motivation
To Gamify or Not?
Gamification of math education appears inevitable as the transition from traditional math learning to gamified lessons has proven incredibly successful for both students and teachers alike.
Studies prove that when gamified, it helped students adopt a more positive attitude towards learning math.
Gamification in education is a trend that will continue to gain more and more traction in the coming years.
With every benefit listed above, LearnPanda’s Gamified Math alongside a plethora of features, also provides a rich environment, helps learners acquire knowledge and skills more effectively, retain information and commit to the information for future use.
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