By Edgardo Hidalgo Chacón- Education Degree student
Did you know that, according to Plass et al. (2020), promoting gamification through challenges in educational environments enhances collaboration, generates high cognitive abilities, and reduces the need to use paper worksheets? From the above, it can be recognized that students can explore, learn, and share through games, given that these stimulate interest and attention. Didactic materials should thus be focused on playful strategies that have students plan, play, take part, and collaborate with their peers in such a way that they take on leading roles in the classroom. Through materials adapted or created for gamification, academic and personal skills and competencies are developed, which benefits the learning path. As a result, such materials must be adapted to new trends, in which the development of constructivist teaching is favored. Therefore, challenges through gamification can transform simple materials into meaningful resources that enhance meaningful learning.
When using innovative, creative, and didactic resources focused on gamification, learning indicators are more easily met and show better results. Gómez-Galán (2020) sets forth that gamification is an educational innovation that enhances didactic mediation’s dynamic nature. This does not require the distribution of traditional materials, and generates interest and motivation, which translates into productive, enjoyable lessons. From the above, it should be considered that using innovative materials does not mean delivering colorful or appealing graphically illustrated handouts, but generating radical transformation so that the teaching and learning process is playful, and in which objectives are met through engaging tasks. Based on the preceding, if educators aspire to promote innovative education, didactic resources must be novel through gamification.
It should be noted that many institutions may lack sufficient technical or didactic resources, a situation that may partially hinder innovation of the learning process. However, technology or scarce resources are not a permanent barrier since the teacher can design games linked to the curricular content, plan challenges to resolve activities, encourage collaborative work, apply alternative evaluation, and transform didactic delivery. It is recommended that handouts and photocopied books no longer be used as the only resources for teaching. These do not meet the current demands of education in the twenty-first century. “Innovation is not about using technology, but about being creative, taking the initiative and stopping doing the same as always” (Bayode, 2020). In short, promoting challenges through gamification is an ingenious alternative that generates benefits for the learning process. In case gamification is not a feasible alternative because of the available resources, game-based teaching can be developed, which is viable because, through creativity, every instructor can transform the contents into playful resources.
From what we have seen, it can be recognized that innovating didactic materials for the learning path requires a substantial change to the methodology used, such that the students plan, organize, learn, and share. This is how gamification challenges constitute a viable alternative that has more advantages than disadvantages, given that student profiles are contextualized, and students take on active roles. The above is justified since, beyond developing the prescribed curriculum, the attempt is made for students to develop soft skills, such as empathy and co-responsibility. Thus, through this alternative, high cognitive abilities, which represent the linchpin of constructivism, are enhanced.
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