Gamification Best Practices in the Virtual Classroom

Written by April Willis

April 14, 2022

Gamification in the virtual classroom is a great way to learn. It not only helps to engage and motivate students to learn, but it also gives them a way to express themselves through competing, earning rewards, and challenging their inner selves. As a result, there are a few best practices to use in gamification while learning virtually, including using stories, visual design, competitions, challenges, rewards, and feedback.

Storytelling

In gamification, one of the main elements includes telling stories and creating a storyline. This is where you will create a “real-life” story with characters and a plot that helps the students feel like they’re on a journey, and it will ultimately keep them learning and having fun all at the same time. You will want your stories to cover the different topics and sections of learning that you want your students to experience through the game.

Here are a few examples of programs that can help you tell a story in your virtual classroom: Adobe SlatePuppet Pals, and Storyboard

Visual Design

Visual design is another element you can use, and it’s important to incorporate eye-catching visuals that will draw your learners’ attention. Bright colors, graphics, and pictures all help to do just this. Incorporating these features in your games will allow your students to become more engaged. The more design and graphics that are incorporated will result in more interest drawn from your viewers. By adding these features in gamification aspects, you can ultimately draw your students’ attention and keep them engaged throughout the learning process.

Here are a few examples of programs that can help you with visual design in your virtual classroom: PexelsUnsplash, and Canva

Competition and Challenges

Another fun element you could include is competition by creating challenges for your learners. The competitions can include having your students go against each other individually or as a team. Throughout the competition, be sure to include small tasks for them to complete (e.g. multiple choice questions on the topic you’re presenting), and as they progress, make the game more difficult.

You can use a leaderboard in the competition to give them a sense of where they stand against their peers.

Here are a few examples of programs that can help you with competition and challenges in your virtual classroom: QuizletKahootNearpod

Rewards and Feedback

In addition to incorporating competition and challenges, consider including the elements of rewards and feedback. When using gamification, be sure to include medals, badges, and the ability to unlock new levels as rewards. This will ensure your learners keep going! After all, everybody loves rewards, and they will motivate your students to keep playing the game in order to win more prizes.

Lastly, make sure you give immediate feedback after your learner completes a quiz or task, as this will ensure they stay focused, engaged in the game, and can track their progress throughout the different levels of the game. Providing this instant feedback will give them clarification on a difficult topic and also allows you as the teacher to see what your students are struggling with the most. 

Here are a few examples of programs that can help you with rewards and feedback in your virtual classroom: GimKitFlippity, and Quizalize 

Conclusion

Gamification is much more than just playing games. By using these best practices, you can ensure that your students will get the most out of their educational experiences. After all, gamification is a lot more than just playing a game– it is an essential way for teachers to give their students a fun, yet effective way to learn!