Why (and how) Gamificationcontributes to education.
"In games we are chasing
our better selves."
- Roman Rackwitz
From the series of
Gamification & education:
The horizontal approach.
In games we are always chasing our better selves.
The human desire to be involved & engaged in a
game-like situation is what made us to succeed
all the challenges that we faced since
the beginning of human kind.
We are natural learners. But to
unfold this skill we need to
consider a few conditions.
Gamers voluntarily invest
countless hours in developing
their problem-solving skills
within the context of games.
- J A M E S P A U L G E E , 2 0 0 8
They [the gamers] recognize
the value of extended practice,
and develop personal qualities
such as persistence, creativity,
and resilience through
- J A N E M C G O N I G A L , 2 0 1 1
Replace 'gamers' with
'students' and it becomes
obvious why games could
be a great partner for our
THE BIG QUESTION IS:
"HOW DO WE EDUCATE OUR
CHILDREN TO TAKE THEIR PLACE IN
OUR GLOBAL SOCIETY, GIVEN THE
FACT THAT WE DON'T KNOW WHAT
THE FUTURE AND ITS ECONOMIES,
CULTURAL IDENTITIES, AND GLOBAL
CHALLENGES WILL LOOK LIKE AT THE
END OF NEXT YEAR?"
FOUNDER & CEO ENGAGINGLAB GMBH & RACKSOCIAL
W H A T S C H O O L C A N L E A R N F R O M G A M E S !
In good learning the learner must know, that what he learns
matters. A person's time and 'brain-resources' are scarce. So, it is
necessary to make it obvious to the student, that by participating
in this particular topic, he won't wasted his time.
Games make you an agent by letting you co-design the game while
playing it. The player's actions and his decisions affect the game.
There are choices, decisions & actions to take and so, the gamer is
co-designing the actual performance of the game.
("No, just to earn good grades, or to avoid bad ones, is not meaningful enough!")
Every student is different the same way every gamer has a
different set of skills and experiences. Good learning
environments need to find a way to customize difficulty
individually thus allowing you to solve problems in
"In games we are always chasing our better selves.
This is why we need to provide an individual 'Path to Mastery'."
- Roman Rackwitz
"The beginning of learning is to know:
Who am I gonna be?"
- James Paul Gee.
Games are great in creating an identity: Why the gamer is acting
and who he is going to be. Learning has the same potential of
being an invitation to become a new kind of person with his own
set of skills, goals and possibilities.
The difference between games and school is that the
former is more about problem solving, the latter
more about learning facts.
- Roman Rackwitz
We know that problem based learning is already well-known
but there is still a long way to go when it comes to its
implementation. Teachers often don't have the time to wait for
"There is just enough time for the geek to get it."
In games sequencing problems is level design.
"Early problems set the player up for later success."
- James Paul Gee
The human mind works best by breaking down problems in
order to solve them. This way people go from step by step
solutions to solving the overall complex problem. Therein lies
the vast potential of using problem sequencing in school.
It is interesting that we love to face challenges and even to
fail by trying to overcome them, when we think about
activities that we are doing voluntarily. E.g.:
Why is that? Because this is what our brain is designed for:
to learn! By failing within a particular environment
(see the slides: we experience
it rather as progress than failure. Without failing first, there
is almost no way to experience the pleasure of finally
Games, Sports, Hobbies
The 5 Pillars of Gamification)
keep the challenge at a 'cutting edge.'
discipline-mentality Story driven Divergent Thinking
Let's start by changing the perspective from rather thinking about education
as a knowledge delivery system of separated disciplines and head over to look
at learning as a process of progress within a given story or question.
Stories create a context that trigger curiosity, set the stage of why to deal with
content and make it easier to relate to the given situation individually.
School designed with a divergent thinking approach means to begin the
school year rather by looking at a complex challenge than just following
through a timetable made up by separate disciplines. The goal is to solve this
challenge, provided by the story. To be able to do so, students need to use all
different disciplines together and so, to think divergently and more problem
creates a meaning to deal with the school material, given by the story
--> meaning of school
it lets students chose, to a particular degree, how to 'finish the story'. They
learn that there are often numerous solution for one problem. They choose
their own 'role' within the story --> Agent Principle
the dependency of expertise in different disciplines enhances the need to
collaborate. Great learning happens with others --> relatedness
The horizontal journey of the students...
Journey through a story
From the point of view of a student.
Story A Story B
This is how most of the most engaging experiences - like playing games,
performing sports or just following your hobby - are designed from the users
perspective. By knowing where to start, and to see the different possibilities of
progress within a given context, it creates some kind of ownership of whatever is
going to come.
OUR BRAIN IS A PURE LEARNING ENGINE. IT IS ALWAYS
LOOKING FOR BROKEN PATTERNS AND HOW TO FIX THEM.
THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE LOVE TO EXPERIENCE THE
BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO US THAT THE ACTUAL LEARNING
IS ALSO MEANINGFUL. SO, WE PREFER TO KNOW A STORY
AROUND THE TOPICS WE NEED TO LEARN INSTEAD OF
JUST BEING TOLD FACTS TO BE MEMORIZED.
IF WE NEED TO MASTER OUR OWN JOURNEY WITHIN THAT
STORY, THERE IS A REAL CHANCE TO GET HOOKED ON IT.
ROMAN RACKWITZ | @ROMANRACKWITZ | FACEBOOK.COM/RRACKWITZ