Gamification of Learning: How Online Education Works Today

According to analysts at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence LLP, the online education market will reach $ 319 billion by 2025 – that is, an increase of almost 70% compared to 2019. The forecasts of analysts from Renub Research are even more optimistic – $ 350 billion by 2025. The market is growing, technologies are spreading that eliminate the weaknesses of e-learning – low emotional involvement of students and the lack of high-quality personal feedback in the case of online courses. The founder of the CODDY school of programming for children Oksana Selendieva spoke about promising trends in online education and what the learning process might look like in the future.

Real communication in virtual space

The future of e-learning (e-learning – “Hi-tech”) lies in solutions and technologies that increase involvement in the learning process. After all, the main disadvantage of online education in comparison with offline education is the lack of close emotional contact with the teacher and the group. People are social “animals”, therefore, the percentage of those who complete the training to the end depends on the feeling of connection and return during classes. In online courses, it still remains low – an average of about 10%.

Therefore, the trend is “curriculum as a community” – the organization of the educational process in such a way that its participants interact with each other, reveal their ideas and receive feedback. For example, it can be a blog section on a training project website, where any user can post their own note and rate the posts of other users. The main idea is to create a community that motivates people to return to their studies. Thus, learning platforms take on the form of social networks.

A promising direction is classes in VR space with the effect of presence. Already, owners of VR glasses can organize a meeting in virtual reality, which will not only create an atmosphere of belonging, but also provide tools that are not available during the usual Skype session. For example, the Rumii service allows you to create a VR meeting for free with the ability to interact with 3D objects for a group of up to five people.

The AltSpaceVR project allows users of virtually any VR platform to quickly organize exciting VR events that other community members can join. and vSpatial are helping to break down the barrier to virtual communication. There are more and more similar space as service projects (from English “space as a service” – “Hi-tech”) that allow people to effectively interact without leaving home.

With the popularization of renting virtual spaces and the development of the technologies themselves, it is no longer so difficult to imagine, for example, a wrestling class in VR. When the teacher chooses the optimal “cloudy” hall, and the group puts on improved analogues of the Perception Neuron suit and joins the class at the appointed time.

These VR activities are not a whim. Even in this particular example, at least one advantage can be noted – a low probability of injury in comparison with real sparring. In general, learning in VR is safer, which is especially pronounced in connection with the coronavirus epidemic – classes at home eliminate the risk of infection. And, of course, there is no need to waste time on the road.

Gamification of learning and educational addiction

According to Statista, there are more than 2.5 billion gamers in the world now. People are happy to compete even in games without real prizes and are often interested in their story more than information useful for personal and professional development. Therefore, the future belongs to solutions that organically weave game mechanics into the educational process – this involves the user.

Specific gameplay mechanics literally “add” a person to dopamine – a neurotransmitter that causes a feeling of satisfaction. With simple dopamine hooks, such as scoring points, leaderboards, collecting rewards, and unlocking levels, people willingly start learning as well.

A striking example of successful gamification is the service for learning English Lingualeo. Thanks to its intuitive gameplay mechanics with earning points, the ability to compete with friends and a sense of constant progress, learning with it is really addictive. Similar mechanics are used in the language learning service Duolingo, which is used by over 70 million people.

Also, the gamification of learning allows you to decompose the learned skill into a sequence of simple steps with clear goals, helping to hone it to automatism. Therefore, it is successfully used for teaching physical skills.

For example, the Virtual Reality House app, a virtual home simulation, makes it easy to train plumbers. Using it, they can safely make mistakes and hone action algorithms in case of different breakdowns, choosing different scenarios of complexity.

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