With the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning has become increasingly important as many schools turned to remote learning to ensure students’ safety. The proportion of American families choosing alternative education, such as home-schooling, also grew. As more students take online lessons, an educational approach has grown in popularity — gamification. When applied in education, gamified learning brings about benefits that greatly improve the math learning experience. Read on to find out more about gamified and how it boosts math learning for your child!
What’s gamified math learning and why is it effective?
Let’s take a look at gamification to better understand what it is. Gamification involves incorporating game elements in a non-game context, such as in education. The main goal of gamification is to make learning more engaging for students. Studies have shown that gamification influences people’s behaviors, including triggering an increased feeling of motivation and enjoyment. Gamification is proven to positively impact students’ learning compared to traditional teaching approaches and also aid in cultivating a positive attitude towards math learning. By leveraging technology, gamification can help make learning more fun and impactful.
Gamification vs gaming vs games: there’s a difference
While they sound similar, gamification and gaming are very different in nature. Gaming refers to the activity of playing games, or more commonly video games on consoles like computers. There’s also game-based learning, which makes games a part of the learning process. This type of learning takes educational content and turns it into a game that students play. Both gaming and game-based learning are different from gamification.
Gamification, on the other hand, is not a game. It uses game elements that come from games to enhance content effectiveness and promote better retention of information.
How gamification boosts learning
When gamification is applied to learning, educational content is integrated with game mechanics to foster desired learning outcomes. In gamified lessons, the learning process becomes a lot more engaging while providing incentives for students to achieve learning objectives. Gamified learning has the potential to change perceptions and develop skills through a practical, applied, and hands-on approach to learning.
Gamification and math learning
Gamification changes math from work into play. For young learners, math can be a new and unfamiliar subject. Gamified learning can help ease them into picking up math as they gain more knowledge and solidify their foundation. Spark Math is a program that uses gamification to boost math learning and help our students learn math better. Here are some ways that gamification enhances the learning experience.
- Build real-world connections
Understanding the connection between math concepts and real life can be difficult for children. Abstract concepts such as fractions are not easy to visualize. Gamification can bring learning to life and provide an environment for children to apply the skills they have learned. This significantly improves their learning experience and encourages them to adopt new knowledge.
- Improve retention of knowledge
Who says that practicing math can only be done with worksheets? Gamification opens up new avenues of approaching math. Interactive and animated elements present in gamified learning transform math into a subject that is more fun and engaging. When children are interested in what they are learning, it helps them gain a deeper understanding and boosts their retention of knowledge.
- Increase willingness to do math
In math, practice is essential for students to master a concept. Gamification can motivate and drive students to practice math. It also provides a strong foundation for children to build healthy studying habits because they want to practice or “play” math every day. Math mastery often requires a “rise and grind” mentality and gamification can be the engine that drives that habit.
- Makes math more approachable
Spark Math and Gamification
Gamification creates an emotional connection between the content and students. For example, Spark Math’s math program features 3 animation characters: Abby the Bunny, Benny the Monkey, and Casey the Mouse. By turning often repetitive math practices into math adventures with the trio of characters, Spark Math courseware makes students more engaged and receptive to learning.
Math may appear to be a repetitive or challenging subject to children, but it does not have to be. Gamification of learning is effective in enriching children’s learning experience and promotes engagement. For children who may struggle with difficult math concepts, gamified math learning can help in enhancing their experience and improve their performance.
Looking to check out Spark Education for yourself? Spark Math Classes are currently available. Spark Math is an education program perfect for helping kids use the skill they learned all year in fun and engaging ways. Available for students from Pre-k to 6th grade, Spark Math’s online program features online classes, gamified lessons, and a real experienced teacher. Try it for yourself by signing up to try a free demo class today!
Want to find out what your student should know before entering the new school year or some fun STEM activities by grade? Check out our Spark Math blog for great news and activities the whole family can enjoy. Check out our Pinterest Page for more fun activities!