Gamified EdTech turns STEM subjects—considered to be difficult and boring—into fun and engaging experiences.
Imagine signing in to your class, but instead of joining a Zoom meeting, you enter a virtual world where you can choose your avatar, play games with your peers and earn points for assignments done well. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the concept behind gamified education technology (EdTech).
Education is undergoing a massive transformation. From science to humanities—you can learn nearly anything online. Gamification goes a step beyond that. Not only do you learn topics online, you learn them through playing and interacting with them.
What is gamified learning?
Gamified learning is about introducing game-like elements, such as avatars, rewards and more, into traditional learning methods. Students are taught educational topics in the form of video games, thus making learning fun, engaging and interactive. Owing to Covid-19, schools had to switch to online modes of learning. While online classes are great, they can be devoid of interactivity among peers and teachers. Gamification aims to replace that. Students play alongside each other and learn at the same time.
In a study conducted by Jared R. Chapman & Peter J. Rich on gamified learning, nearly 68% of students reported feeling more motivated during a gamified course as compared to a traditional one. What’s more? The study found that the most motivating game elements for students were points for assignments, due date bonuses and penalties, due date flexibility and current grade indicators. These elements reflect autonomy, competence and performance review, all of which stimulate students’ active participation and concentration.
The case for gamified STEM education and kids
STEM comprises science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These subjects are becoming increasingly important given the 21st century tech boom. With more companies seeking to digitize their offerings and advancements in the field of medicine, it’s no wonder that there is a high demand for STEM graduates. In the U.S., over 3 million STEM jobs will need to be filled by 2025. Despite the demand, students are not pursuing the field. In the UK, the shortage of STEM-skilled employees is costing employers over US$2 billion a year.
There are numerous reasons explaining why many students do not pursue STEM fields. A Pew Research Center survey found that 52% of adults felt that students don’t pursue a STEM degree because the subjects are “too hard”. Additionally, others cited reasons, such as the high costs, great demand for time and perceived lack of usefulness of the degree.
How gamification can change the perception of STEM
That STEM fields can benefit from gamification is evident. By gamifying, subjects become fun, interactive and easy. Plus, it creates scope for diversification in the field, which is severely lacking today. While there is a range of online courses available for the STEM fields (to the relief of both parents and teachers), there are close to zero gamified options.
Not for long. Soon, parents will be able to introduce their children to STEM Unicorn, which is a gamified STEM EdTech platform created by Jumpstart Media. Here, children will be able to pick their avatars, learn topics using game elements and apply their learnings in different scenarios. It’s an all-inclusive gamified experience which aims to help students see through their STEM and entrepreneurial ambitions.
In the present environment—where startups are booming and tech and medical advancements are changing the course of the world-we need resources that help young adults understand a topic for what it truly is. Departing from the traditional, often boring, methods of learning STEM, gamified education will feed their curiosity. It will urge students to pursue majors and careers that help fill the existing job and gender gaps.
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