Unit 5.1 Gamification and Learning & Active Learning & Experiential Learning

Unit Introduction

The concept of gamification is an approach based on “Learning” and it is an active action process. The profile characteristics of the target audience are based on the principle of analyzing their needs and planning the learning process in the most effective and efficient way. The basis of this approach is based on the theory of “learning and experiential learning”, and the use of interactive and hybrid tools should be adopted.

With this unit there is a learning-based approach to preparation, planning, implementation and evaluation processes of youth work practice and developing a common working culture for the target audience that will respond to different needs and expectations, and to creating an “effective learning environment”.

.

Unit Objectives:

  1. To transform the gamification process into a viable learning process for the target group
  2. To provide information on the concept of “learning”, which is the basis of gamification.
  3. To present theoretical information and tools about learning approaches and styles

Unit Content:

The simple initiation of interest in the topic would be enough for young people to pay attention to the topics and find solutions by exploring individually or in teams of interest. The component of fun needs to be added to make young people more relaxed while discussing sensitive topics. Besides, the mechanics of the game has the ability to explain the consequences of each action, even if it appears only in a simulation game. Simulations, similar to the job training and learning, makes young people think about the solutions, discuss them with peers, make new connections and expand their horizons.

Learning Activities:

  • 1 Content session with suggested video
  • 1 Exercise

Introduction to Gamification and Learning

As a concept, it was included in our lives in 2010. By definition, it is confused with many concepts. The fact that the concepts of “game” – “toy” – “gamification” are intertwined as definition and this approach causes decreases the sensitivity of the concept of “gamification”. Gamification is based on using game thinking processes and mechanisms to direct users’ interests and solve problems” (Zimmermenn & Cunningham 2011), and it can be used to promote desired behavior” (Lee and Hammer 2011).

Gamification has been growing generation after generation, but specifically and more importantly after baby boomers. Today, gamification is expected to develop more in areas of our lives with the Alpha generation. Gamification is becoming more of an approach to scientific development and change of the society.
Concept of gamification is about applying game-based thinking as a tool to many different spheres, like education, economy, new processes, businesses etc. Through gaming methodology, the youth energy and spirit is excited and the human brain is stimulated by releasing endorphin and dopamine, this helps to establish new mechanisms in any sphere applied.  Throughout gamification we create new experiences about the intrinsic powers within, including the level of focus, observation and persistence. Therefore, gamification as an extremely powerful tool if utilized early in educational programs specifically. [1] 

Since the gamification concept is about creating social challenges by showcasing the game leaders and then linking all of this to a theme or value that would make the story more cohesive, there are several gamification constructs that make it attractive for youth and those who carry youth spirit and energy. Basically, using gamification we can make any task more delightful to participate in.

[1] Buheji, Mohamed. Handbook of Youth Economy. AuthorHouse, 2018.

The Benefits of Gamification

Youth workers can establish an environment in which young people can receive peer support. This is especially significant for young people who might have limited social engagement outside of a group, sometimes representing their exclusive form of social contact.[1]

Great source to develop young people’s skills

Now there are a huge number of online games and applications that help young children learn to read, write and count. Some apps use a camera and tactile contact with the device so that children can better understand the material through touch.

Good for brain and concentration

Games that are immersive and require strategy and problem-solving skills to win, require players to remember and take in a lot of information. Regularly playing these types of games can help improve children’s short and long-term memory and help the brain process information quicker. Also, games capture players’ imagination helping them to stay focused on certain tasks and builds their perseverance to achieve a goal.[2]

Build skills for the future career

The more complex multiplayer games help teach players how to be strategic, analytical to assess risk and reward and call for them to react quickly to changes in the game. All these skills that they use can be transferable to real-world jobs that rely on problem-solving, analytical skills and strategic thinking. Offer a new way to understand culture and perspectives. As games allow children to immerse themselves in virtual worlds and at times connect to people from around the world, it can be a great way for them to learn about different perspectives and cultures.[3]

  • Gamification Diversity for different learning styles
  • Reinforcing knowledge
  • Relevance – motivation
  • Time
  • Encoding to long-term memory

Different Learning Styles

  1. Activists
  2. Reflectors
  3. Theorists
  4. Pragmatists

 

1. The best learning environments for Activists

  • New experiences, challenges and opportunities
  • Participate in short and spontaneous events such as business games, competitive tasks and role play exercises
  • Below the spots, when they are visible
  • Learn effectively when they are thrown at the bottom of a task that they consider difficult.

 

2. The best learning environments for Reflectors

  • When they watch the activities, reflect on them and evaluate them in detail,
  • When allowed to think before taking action, to intimidate before commenting,
  • When they have the opportunity to go over what has happened and what they have learned.
  • They learn when they can make decisions without pressure and time constraints.

 

3. The best learning environments for Theorists

  • When they find time to methodically examine the links and relationships between ideas, events and situations,
  • In structured situations with clear objectives,
  • When there is a chance to question and dig into the basic methodology, assumptions, or rationale behind something.
  • They learn effectively when they have intellectual difficulties.

4. The best learning environments for Pragmatist

  • When there is a clear relationship between the issue and the problem at work
  • When shown techniques with clear, practical advantages that can be adapted to their own work,
  • When they can try the techniques in the company of an expert,
  • They learn effectively when they can concentrate on practical subjects.

[1] https://www.digitalyouthwork.eu/?material=gaming-as-youth-work-en

[2] https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/online-gaming-advice/online-gaming-the-benefits/

[3] https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/online-gaming-advice/online-gaming-the-benefits/

 

For better understanding on learning components, you can check table 1 below and watch this (in English) on Kolb’s Learning Cycle.

 

Table 1 Learning and Design

Learning Design is the framework that supports learning experiences. It refers to deliberate choices about what, when, where and how to teach, and it requires decisions to be made about the content, structure, timing, strategies, sequence of learning activities, and the type and frequency of assessment in the course of delivering youth work, as well as the nature of technology used to support learning.

Exercise 1

Title

 Decide Now” Spinner Game

M5 U5.1 Ex1

 

Objective

To use the internet to find out what kinds of settings are available for disadvantaged young people in your local authority area.

Module, Unit

Module 5 Unit 5.1

 

Description/

Instruction

Application

https://decidenow-app.com

 

The “Decide Now” app is downloaded via your smartphone.

The title of the wheel game, the number of slices and the names of the slices are prepared in the spinner game. The application is recorded and kept ready for use at any time.

Topic selected for the application

“Gamification- choose your team mission”

Task segments of the title:

Preparing poster (what is?)

Use drama

Storytelling

Keywords (min. 30 words)

Drawing

Preparing poster (what is not?)

 

A representative from each team turns the wheel on the phone screen and the resulting slice decides which tool the team uses to make a description of the “Gamification” topic.

Additional information for trainers

As a youth worker, you can do surveys, exams, etc. in the field of Google Forms. You can create working memory using tools

Time needed

45 Minutes

Comments

The game can be used according to different contents.