As educators, we all want to motivate our students to learn and engage with the material. For years, gamification has been a popular strategy for doing just that. But now, edtech companies are shifting away from gamification towards alternative forms of motivation.
The Problem with Gamification
Gamification involves adding game elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to educational activities in an effort to increase student engagement. But as it turns out, gamification may not be the best strategy for motivating all students. Some students may feel discouraged by leaderboards or feel like they're being compared to their peers. Others may feel like the game elements distract from the actual learning.
The Rise of Refined Forms of Motivation
Edtech companies are responding to these concerns by shifting towards more nuanced forms of motivation. For example, CoCo Learn, a digital experience for children, allows students to create things together without the usual social media-like engagement tools. Other companies, such as Quizizz and Boddle, are grouping students by mastery level and rewarding persistence instead of correct answers. My students have been motivated when they have multiple attempts to show mastery over time.
How Teachers Can Apply This Information
As teachers, we can apply this information in our teaching practice by:
- Experimenting with different forms of motivation. Instead of relying solely on gamification, try incorporating other strategies, such as collaborative learning or project-based learning.
- Focusing on individual growth. Instead of comparing students to their peers, focus on each student's individual growth and progress.
- Providing opportunities for collaboration. As CoCo Learn demonstrates, students often enjoy working together to create something. Provide opportunities for students to collaborate on projects or activities.
- Rewarding persistence. Instead of only rewarding correct answers, consider rewarding students for their persistence in trying to learn the material.
By incorporating these strategies, we can motivate our students to learn and engage with the material in more meaningful ways.
Gamification has been a popular strategy for motivating students, but it's not always the best strategy for all students. Edtech companies are now shifting towards more nuanced forms of motivation, such as grouping students by mastery level and rewarding persistence. As teachers, we can apply these strategies in our teaching practice to motivate our students to learn and engage with the material in more meaningful ways.
Here are a few more resources about how to motivate students.
- How to Motivate Students: 12 Classroom Tips and Examples
- 21 Simple Ideas to Improve Student Motivation
- Motivating Students - University of Whitewater
- A Powerful Strategy for Fostering Student Motivation - Edutopia
- What Almost 150 Studies Say About How to Motivate Students - The Hechinger Report
❤ Enjoy this Article?