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Gamification and Simulation in Education and Corporate Learning

In the article, we talk about the benefits of gamification in training, why it’s becoming a necessity in the Education field and what are some brightest examples of gamification software across the world.

Why is education not effective without gamification? Psychology, social impact and technology hidden behind

Children are potential target learners, as well as teenagers and university students. In terms of the rapid spread of technology, all the groups, especially younger ones, tend to be more impatient, accustomed to visual learning and quick changeable pictures, that attract eyes and capture minds. To sit down in one place and draw attention to one object – a book, let’s say, is pretty difficult for them. Spending time on social media scrolling the feedback page is a bit more easier. Dynamic and emotionally loaded content of images, videos, gifs, infographics form a mass of information that is practically never fully remembered by a user. Such scrolling serves only as a time killer or a mere entertainment to let our brains have a rest. However, the effect is tremendously unsatisfying. The fact is, our brains become more lazy getting accustomed to a daily habit of relaxing scrolling, rather than concentrating on one separate thing. We give way to petty ourselves and forget what discipline is in studies, which is not about complying with school rules, but about self-motivation to filter the information we actually need and determination to remember, revise it and learn on the spot not procrastinating.

Fortunately, society starts to actively use the merits of our high-tech world such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and gamification for learning and development. We are 21st century’s observers of how learning is tremendously revolutionizing the way it is organized, conducted and used. Gamification and elearning software is hardly important to adjust studying process to kids and students for whom traditional approaches are boring, last era attainment.

Deeper into definition of gamification

Gamification is a practice to improve learning approaches and methods, used in business environments, educational institutions, motivational programs, psychology sphere and more with the help of a game. The game can be digital, so in the form of an application, or non-digital, when used during classes and included into curriculum programmes (games with cards, on-boards, role games, etc). Wikipedia defines gamification as the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts, then explaining techniques of gamification: “Another approach to gamification is to make existing tasks feel more like games.”

Why to differentiate game-based learning from gamification

Numerous resources differentiate gamification from game-based education, because both have gaming elements. Gamification elements in education means that learners study some parts of educational programs, like vocabulary or nature exploration, via use of technologies, let’s say video. For the rest of the curriculum, learners are on their own, and teachers are struggling to help young talents grow and improve.

While game-based education facilitates better personal self-exploration. You have an application in which you mark your strength, then you set the goals, tracking achievements in real time. Thus, your abilities are something already new, you add to them more skills and become more motivated. It’s a path, customized to your preferences, working conditions and learning abilities. All in all, it allows you to come over blockers and upgrade knowledge to the next level.

The two concepts seem to be very close to each other. For one gamification in education can mean the same game-based education means for the other. Why? Because gamification in learning and education is not yet integrated everywhere. It is a well-known term for business, IT environments, universities, schools and educational organizations which develop progressively and certainly use it for the benefit of modernization. However, many countries are still on their path to adoption innovations and e-learning software to education systems.

What is gamification software?

Let’s look at gamification software for education through e-learning context. Studying process can be followed by software solutions – educational apps with game elements. For instance, applications for online-courses may include parts of gamification: some scoring systems and gamified profiles.

Software educational games are designed to educate faster and completely replace writing in copybooks and reading textbooks with new online digital experience. The result of a completed game is practical knowledge, a skill gained via constant repetition and freedom to make mistakes. So, gamification in education is rather an umbrella term, that comes from gamification in general and is based on the next milestones:

 game elements
 interactive learning
 motivational approach
 creative thinking
 faster skills mastering
 continuous learning

Gamification examples in education

Countries that stay at the forefront of promoting gamification software for education are: Finland, Denmark, North America, Sweden, England, Norway, Japan, China. Finland is actively progressing in applying gamification into learning. The USA also stands out with gamification solutions and the great merit should be paid to Universities in Washington, California, Pennsylvania and other cities. Among some world-known gamification examples in education are:

Kickstarter – an American crowdfunding platform, has launched a campaign on Canny bot – a robot toy that can be controlled remotely via a programme and is used to teach children practical coding skills.
Khan Academy – designs interactive video short lessons and supplies users with practice exercises and additional materials for creative learning of different subjects at their own pace.
Quizlet – a web and mobile application to study Math, Science, Languages, Arts quicker via games and flashcards for free. It’s used by half of the universities of the USA and is said to help with progress a lot.
Duolingo – language-learning game with more than 8 millions downloads on Google Play. The social app encourages to level app earning points, get virtual currency and learn with friends.
ClassDojo – an interactive, funny and practical solution that connects children with teachers and helps create and manage better learning via virtual classes, sharing media and messaging.
Kahoot – a solution to use at school and at work for e-learning. While playing, anyone feels more comfortable and confident in vocabulary quizzes, multiplication, geography and more.

How to use gamification for modernizing studies and improving corporate training?

Tutoring at classic educational institutions is not the only sphere where gamification can be used. Hardly important education is for Healthcare, Science, Public Sector, Marketing, Logistics, Finance. Companies integrate and discover new ways for modernizing the processes via gamification. Benefits of gamification in education are priceless and we offer some use cases how it can assist in different learning purposes.

Inoxoft, building custom software solutions for Education, cooperating with partners in the field of Science and Language learning, emphasizes how crucial is expertise in elearning and education management software development that helps transform Education field and related domains for better.

New Amigos – game-based app for learning languages via real-time streams with native speakers

Inoxoft delivered a digitalized language-learning solution that is now widely spread across the world for studying foreign languages and finding friends. New Amigos is based on interactive board-game, has a scoring system and levels of difficulty. Users can reach B1 level even with elementary knowledge in a foreign language.

The solution can be easily integrated into the curriculum or just become useful entertainment for language-lovers. You can go through 3 levels of difficulty by translating words, dialogues and numbers. An awesome feature is the ability to connect from different browsers for video chatting with native speakers, schedule time for your online meet-ups and invite friends across the world.

Gamification in scientific learning and studying the Universe

Science is now something different and much more exciting than it used to be and it is all due technology. Inoxoft delivered a web-platform for remote observation of space that serves as an online observatory and gives everybody a chance to control 6 telescopes in the night sky. The solution is used for exploring and studying the Universe. To make the educational part of the solution more effective, extremely comprehensive, we implemented a gamification method. Users can earn badges, open up new information and thus it keeps them tuned and motivates them to move forward in studying space.

Gamification and “Hour of code”

Hour of code is world-known practice when programmers teach children on computer science and some elementary knowledge on how to write code. For such a case, gamified learning is an ideal variant to attract students’ attention, inspire them and help them construct things at that very moment.

Gamification techniques for corporate training

Corporate training software brings fun, but aims at real results. Gamification techniques for corporate learning have a lot of benefits for the workplace helping employees replenish their daily life at offices with excitement for knowledge and desire to achieve. Gamification training software should rather promote friendly competition and positive attitude to others’ accomplishments, develop an ability to work productively in groups, create a sense of responsibility. Digitalization at work also serves to enable people with tools that activate their creative thinking and increase courage not to be afraid of mistakes.

Useful ideas

Business owners can empower their corporate culture with a new portion of excitement and motivation. These are some useful ideas how:

  • Use gamification for creating and managing internal currency. Earned coins will allow employees to buy coffee, earn visits for training, etc
  • Gamification and Badges to increase and manage Motivation inside the teams
  • Mission-based activities to add value to everyday responsibilities. Let you teams play a game to complete some task. Everyone has his or her mission to reach necessary results that will impact the company’s success directly

Why is design important in elearning applications?

Visualization is such a powerful thing we can’t imagine. Because people associate certain symbols with certain concepts and transfer it to their own life experience, it’s important not to misjudge ideas for design, to insert close-to-life experience into each element, so that it resonates in people’s minds. Background, shape of elements, animations and sounds influence our perception and the way we treat the application. The simplest examples can be made with colours – red, green, black in different contexts evoke different emotions. To evoke more motivation and excitement, we’ll certainly remind users that there are levels that are closed, and put a “no access” label to mark it.

Gamification in Recruitment

Cognitive ability assessment is important for recruitment. There are a variety of tests that are often gamified and offer some tricky tasks to solve. Challenges make a candidate draw a parallel of what’s going on in his mind with real life and find a solution. Gamification in defining abilities and talents encompasses more points on which people can be assessed. For instance, how much time spent on finding the solution, how they interact with what’s appearing on the screen, if their reaction is quick enough and how they control emotions.

Definition and Types of Simulation Software

What is simulation software? Simulation software models any real-world system or process. Simulation is a more complex process that requires special equipment and can be used for teaching narrow-field skills, such as pilot flying or car riding. However, simulation can go further and be more complicated, though giving more abilities to society. Michio Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics, prognoses the invention of Virtual Reality contact lenses with the Internet in it. The University of Washington has already started the work on its implementation. The key point is to solve how the image forms in front of the eyes. According to the idea, it should appear with the help of light-emitting diodes. The invention should recognize facial expressions, conduct automatic translation from different languages and will provide with other data.

Simulation Software for education by functionality

Agent simulation software is used to allocate certain functions, responsibilities and behaviours to a user. Thus, people find themselves in environments where they are to interact with other people or objects, for example, at art gallery simulation people would go through exhibition halls, choose paintings and learn about the authors.

Simulation software for instructional education is used for teaching how to operate, compose and decompose, create engaging equipment, design or pieces of work. Its purpose is to facilitate close-to-life practice, reacting to users mistakes and simulating exact causes of failures so if they happen in real life. Some examples of software simulation for engineering, constructing and design:

  • Ansys – company specializes in multiphysics engineering simulation and 3D design software
  • Altair – focused on the development and application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions
  • CATIA – a unique multi-platform was developed by the French company Dassault Système and is used to create computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, computer-aided engineering, PLM and 3D

Simulation software by sphere of application

Some types of well-known and widely used business simulation software for education and the ones that have practical application in medicine, military, flight training, marketing, fintech, logistics:

  • Pilot training computer simulation
  • Stock market simulators
  • Driving simulation platforms
  • Physics Simulator apps
  • Emergency rooms simulations
  • Real-time 3D simulations with systems of cancer, heart and soft issue environment
  • Logistics simulation software with virtual displaying of trucks, warehouse stocks, equipment, etc

Bright example of simulation software for higher education is how in 2018 Imperial college launched holographic lectures and students now have the possibility to attend the world’s first live hologram classes.

Pros and cons of gamification and gaming in classroom

Each successful innovation in education is a well-thought plan and demands investment. It’s not just about fun and entertainment, it should be adaptive to the whole chain of learning processes at schools or development strategy plans at companies. Gamification apps for education are worthless without defined goals, estimated future results and understanding why we invest in it. Think whether there are not missed key learning goals or badly predicted results.

Consistent approach and stability makes all learners on the same page, create a smooth transition between real life learning and gamified learning, know how to apply scoring systems and what to do with “punishment”, so that not to hurt anybody’s motivation and desire to learn.

Games can side-track from daily-routines that sometimes are essential to keep pace and perform all things in time. It is important to have a well-thought gamification process that would stimulate any kind of activities, not just sitting and playing the game because it’s funny.

Gamification in any environment can evoke competitive spirit in those who are involved. Sharp competition can transform learning into a negative experience and cause misunderstandings in a team or among classmates. That’s why the approach to gamification and how the education would be built on it should be very reasonable and reflect the right values.

Benefits of gamification in learning are enormous. Both in corporate relations and classroom environments, if working in a team, learners can see what level they are, how they comply with tasks and receive feedback. Benefits that outweigh disadvantages of gamification in education:

  • Increases productivity
  • Promotes personal development
  • Improves learning experience
  • Accelerates skills acquisition
  • Evokes creativity and critical thinking
  • Offers personalized learning
  • Encourages to socially engage
  • Enables repetitive and mistake-friendly approach
  • Helps track learning pace and time
  • Offers learning prizes and motivates

Why the 21st century’s Education is worthless without Gamification

Advantages and disadvantages of gamification can be regarded from different angles and many people stay skeptical to such a way of learning, while others actively stay for gamification. However, technological progress does not allow us to come to a standstill in education. We are to use new ways of teaching and studying, but do it wisely, planning, evaluating the prospects and setting right goals. The minimum example to convince people of the importance of using gamification and applications in education:

  • 35% of Millenials – not satisfied with rewards, recognitions of their work
  • 50% – concerned with a lack of opportunities for advancement
  • 21% – interested in switching to other industries

The last indicates that job tenure and regular switching between interests, so jobs, positions, domains is a widespread practice. The solutions for all this can be found in gamification and applying a more interactive approach into learning.