Gamification Benefits and Limitations in the Virtual Classroom

Written by April Willis

April 14, 2022

Gamification is overall an efficient way of teaching. Gamification not only increases student engagement, but also results in more knowledge retention and increased opportunities for team collaboration. While there are many benefits that come with gamification, experts have also found a few limitations that result from teachers using gamification. This article will cover both the benefits and limitations of gamification in the virtual classroom.

Active Learning

One main benefit that comes from gamification is the fact that it encourages active learning. Your students are more engaged and focused when they take an active role in learning the information being provided to them. They can test what they are learning through mini-quizzes as games progress and can avoid “passively” learning the information by doing more than just reading text.

Continuous Learning When students are learning through gamification, they are challenged in getting a high score or moving on to the next level. In turn, this allows them to keep progressing through the game, while at the same time continuing to learn and obtaining more knowledge. Students might even try to go back to previous levels to improve their scores. This allows them to relearn the material and ultimately results in mastering the topic in that module since they replayed it multiple times. It’s a simple yet very effective way of learning.

Increased Productivity As your students continue playing the game, their productivity will increase as well. They will be able to learn a lot more in a shorter period of time and have a lot more fun in the process. Gamification prevents students from losing focus, getting bored, and disengaging. With gamification, they can take ownership of their learning, increasing their motivation to complete the task at hand.

More Enjoyable Learning Experience

As discussed above, gamification empowers your students to learn while having fun interacting with the curriculum. They can stay engaged longer and still learn in the process. It allows learning to become less rigid and more enjoyable, while at the same time getting the most out of their learning experience.

Performance Data Collection

Teachers are able to track the questions that students are getting right and wrong and determine which concepts students are struggling with the most. This allows teachers to incorporate more learning opportunities on the more difficult topics and ultimately allows the students to gain a better grasp on the harder topics. Data that is collected allows for additional improvement in the areas that need attention the most..

Limitations

Now that we went over the benefits of gamification, there are a few limitations as well. 

Gamification isn’t necessarily meant to be used for every lesson, and it is up to the teacher’s discretion in determining the appropriate method for incorporating gaming into the classroom.

 

Best Fits for Gamification

Consider which concepts might be better introduced with a lecture or when a summative assessment might be better suited to evaluate understanding.

 

Overuse

Gamification isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather just one more tool to access in your collection of resources for the virtual classroom.

Time Management

Another potential limitation of gamification is that it can consume too much time if the students become enthralled with playing the game. Setting time limitations and having quick transitions between activities can keep the positive momentum going without spending excessive time on games.

 

Conclusion

As a teacher, review the benefits and limitations and determine how you might incorporate gamification in your virtual classroom. We hope you continue to diversity your teaching strategies through gamification and other instructional approaches that engage students in the virtual classroom.