The UK GCSE results are out this week and it is predicted by an education expert that girls will outperform boys. One of the reasons cited for this is that girls kept up with their studies better during the periods of lockdown, whereas boys played more PlayStation games. The girls scoring higher on GCSEs isn’t new however, they have been outperforming boys in all subjects apart from statistics and physics since 1988. This raises the question – how do we make exam revision more fun and appealing for boys (and girls) who would rather be playing video games? The answer is to gamify the process and use technology to improve education.
How does gamification work?
Gamification is taking something that is not normally entertaining and applying game mechanics to it to increase levels of interest, loyalty and fun. Using gamification boosts engagement and makes the education and training process far more immersive. It boosts participation by 52% and improves knowledge growth by 27%. If you use gamification for learning and revision, students can keep track of their progress and set goals in the same way they would if playing an adventure game. They can also improve their connection with other learners, working together to achieve shared targets, ultimately gaining more skills and knowledge. Gamification also offers the promise of a reward at the end, and that reward isn’t just doing better in your exams – you are also improving your work prospects for the future.
Using gamification apps
Boosting your short term memory is key to passing exams, and this can be improved using gamification apps that are designed especially for exams. Oxford Revise uses modules and quizzes to help learn the background knowledge that you need for your GCSE exams. The app features a series of fun quizzes that you will get scored in stars for, just like you would in Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds. If you achieve enough stars, you will get a mastery crown and unlock the next unit. These game features are found in many mobile games. The Pearson Warm Up app helps students revising for their English International Certificate. It uses point scoring, badges, peer competition and avatars to increase engagement. Using an app has the added benefit that you can do some revision any time and in any place.
Group revision techniques
Revising for your exams with other students can make the experience a lot more fun and engaging. You can also use gamification techniques to help you become immersed in the learning material together. Making use of a reward scheme using points and setting up a leaderboard is very effective. Remembered the metal elements on the periodic table? Have five points. Understand how to work out the diameter of a circle? Have five points. At the end of each revision session, you could reward the winner with a simple prize like a bar of chocolate. You can also work together with other students to create a narrative within your learning, like in the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Create a mythical land that you can only progress through by mastering certain knowledge. This works particularly well for humanities subjects like history and philosophy.
Revision can be dull if you are simply reading material and then trying to remember it. Using gamification techniques can help you to absorb the knowledge and make it engaging and fun.