The ultimate goal of learning is to educate students in the most straightforward and understandable manner.
If we recall childhood, we learned and retained those concepts better, which were taught to us through non-conventional ways like experiments or diagrams or games.
Multiple studies have proved the positive effects of gamification in learning. Just as exercising has positive effects on our bodies, when students are engaged in learning through games, their brains are put to exercise, which positively impacts their learning process.
Let’s look at how ‘gamification’ could also help students in learning coding better.
Inciting learner’s interest in coding
For Indian school students, coding is relatively a new subject. Teachers must use tools and methods that help incite and retain students’ interest in the matter. Therefore, gamification becomes a great tool to arouse students' interest in coding. While learning through gamification, students learn how to approach ambiguous and challenging problems in a simplified manner, enhancing clarity in their thought process. It also aids in improving their problem-solving skills.
Makes learning coding a fun process
Games always incite a positive reaction, as it is perceived as an activity detached from studies. Teaching coding to young minds to make it fun and interactive uplifts the entire learning process for kids. Learners are more aware if taught through games. Precisely the reason why game-based applications whether related to academics or entertainment are a big hit among audiences of all interests and age groups.
Develops an early sense of entrepreneurship
By simplifying concepts, gamification enhances student engagement that aids change of perception and attitude, leading them to develop skills through a practical and complete hands-on approach to learning. Game-based learning of coding helps students acquire necessary skills that could help them tackle everyday obstacles on their entrepreneurial pathways if they chose so. Multiple studies have proven that gamified learning increases students' motivation and assists in creating entrepreneurship-related skills mentally from an early age.
For example, one could see many examples today of young kids developing applications in the field of healthcare, education, agritech and more, with a larger aim of helping society. It clearly shows that learning code is equipping them with a sense of independence and accountability at a young age.
Creates competitive motivation
Ever thought of why players turn up on cricket or football fields despite the scorching sun or freezing mornings? It is because challenges motivate humans and provide them opportunities to outperform. Challenge-based gamification can have a similar effect on a child’s learning abilities. Just like on-the-field competitions, challenge-based gamified learning techniques can significantly enhance students’ interest in coding, simultaneously teaching them a well-planned and systematic approach to achieve things.
For instance, Hewlett Packard Enterprises recently conducted HPE CodeWars 2021 India Edition, a first of its kind virtual coding competition for high school students. Over 3000 students participated in the competition. Students from Grade 9 to 12 solved 25 coding problems using programming languages like C, C++, Python, and Java. It was a test of their coding, mathematical, and logical skills at the highest level possible. The winner also received a chance to run his coding experiments on HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2 (SBC-2), which has been launched in space to be used on the International Space Station (ISS).
Increases likeability for STEM
The purpose of introducing gamification to non-game based contexts is to enhance learner interest, engagement and motivation, and the same applies to STEM subjects. Gamified coding can increase students’ likability for STEM subjects, which could eventually help them explore successful careers in STEM. Worldwide, there is an increasing demand for skilled Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals to meet the future challenges related to scientific and technological innovations.
Regardless of the subject, the gamification of learning can help educators create exciting, educational, and entertaining content. Game-based education certainly does not mean turning the knowledge-seeking process into a game, but it does play on the psychology that drives human engagement, which works very well on young minds.
With adequate supervision of passionate educators, students should be introduced to and taught coding through games, animations, art, and letting them have fun with tech. Once they realize it is a thing of play, they could take to coding like fish to water.