I gamified my courses and I hate that…, Mikolaj Sobocinski
Purpose: Gamification seems to solve all our problems in education. Students become engaged and motivated – they learn so much more than in the traditional system. Conducting lessons becomes a pleasure, an adventure, a catharsis! While checking attendance, participation, quizzes, tasks, assignments, projects, missions, and quests on a daily basis is a bliss. Unfortunately, that is not true. That is only a dream or part of the advertising campaign of yet another so-called professional or seasoned gamifier. Preparing, organising, and designing gamified courses are not a stroll in a park. Every teacher must forsake leisure and family time alike unless they have ample support from colleagues, administration, and IT department. The purpose of this paper is to present the author' s approach to gamification and share some insight into the author’s experience from designing gamified courses and workshops since 2009.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper concentrates on hands-on experience, mistakes, and solutions in order to approach a major issue: should we introduce gamification in education at all?
Findings: In reality, gamification can be the root of all evil if done too hastily, too cheerfully, and without prior understanding of students’ needs, school facilities, and our own abilities. Gamifying a classroom (or a whole school) is a massive project which should be managed with all risks, weaknesses, and threats possible to imagine. That is why, it is advisable to know what to expect, what to fear, and what to avoid in order to choose the path of righteousness, to master the trade, and to reach everlasting glory. When discussing gamification in education, we must face reality, we need to understand what gamification can provide, but also what it can devour. Educational milieu is too sensitive and our students are too precious to apply unverified solutions without the adequate preparations.
Originality/value: The author offers a few answers to the question as well as a handful of suggestions towards the successful introduction of gamification in education.
Keywords: Motivation; Education; Engagement; Gamification; Designing courses.
Citation: Sobocinski, M. (2017), "I gamified my courses and I hate that…", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 14 No. 2/3, pp. 135-142. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-06-2016-0046