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Higher Ed Isn’t All Fun and Games…Yet

by Kentaro Toyama

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Article excerpt

The Looming Gamification of Higher Ed

For now, gamification has been taken up by pedagogical early adopters, but the phenomenon seems poised to spread as more professors join the trend and tools supporting gamification proliferate. Soon students everywhere will be on semester-long quests and will be earning a million points per exam.

Our take

Pedagogy Must Trump “Fun” When Choosing Teaching Methods

Games—or gamification—in the classroom can be a fun way to learn, but there is risk of going overboard in the quest to better engage students through new technologies that allow for competition, creativity and flexibility in learning options. With classrooms populated by students whose entire lives have been augmented by computers and video games, gamification seems like a natural tool to bring into the classroom to boost engagement. The question remains, though, will gamification boost learning?

In some cases, yes, and there are case studies to demonstrate this. But, instructors must be cautious to not over-rely on any one tool and to ensure that any choices are based on sound principles of pedagogy.