Game-Based Learning Vs. Gamification: Two Paths to Learn.

Today at Spimbey, we have decided to bring an interesting topic to the table. If you are a parent or if you are constantly learning new things, you have probably heard the terms game-based learning vs gamification.
Game-based and gamification are often confused as the same thing. This probably has to do with the fact that both functions as learning strategies that can be applied to increase engagement in educational contexts.
Both of them aim to use the game, although in different ways, as a tool to feed the desire to continue, repeat, and to be able to improve, thus enhancing and improving the quality of education.
However, when it comes to game-based learning vs gamification, it is very important to know how to differentiate between them to be able to use the one that suits your needs and take advantage of its full potential.
As you already know from following our weekly blogs, playing games to learn is something we encourage deeply.
Let us learn a little bit more about the differences between these educational tools.

What is gamification?

Gamification is all about adding game elements to content or lesson that already exist in the real world. The idea behind this strategy is to promote some desired behavior from students in learning contexts.
For example: if we want to promote engagement and motivation to pursue a goal (like the resolution of a math problem or finishing the homework at a certain time), we can use game elements such as point systems, or a particular narrative, to make the task more accessible and interesting to the child.
  • Interactions
  • Point systems
  • Experience points
  • Narratives
  • Goals
  • Reward systems
  • Dynamic interactions
  • Medals
  • Progress bars
All of them are gamification strategies we can apply to give a new turn to old teaching material that may have fallen into disuse. These game mechanics aim to make the most out of the learning experience by removing boring, copy-cat lessons with off voices.
The use of gamification is ideal for content based on memorization, which seeks to improve or teach a specific skill or increase the visibility and perception of actions and behaviors that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Likewise, we can use gamification to shine some new lights into learning content that already exists but lack dynamism.

What is gamified learning?

Contrary to gamification, game-based learning is when the learning experience becomes a game itself. To teach complex themes, the different activities to follow are designed in a way that playing and learning are intertwined. It is about learning through games.
Game-based learning promotes a healthy environment that encourages children or adults to acquire, practice, and improve skills. This kind of learning favors the retention of knowledge by making children or adults feel more engaged with the subject because the learning process is fun and challenging.
Gamified learning is an excellent tool to facilitate abstract thinking and creativity. By making the learning process fun and interactive, a child in a classroom will be able to grasp content that otherwise he or she will lose interest in just because nothing is appealing in the content.

Is one better than the other?

Well, as usual, the answer is not that simple. It is all about context. Both strategies are awesome to encourage learning and to make it entertaining, but the context will give you a better idea of whether to apply game-based learning vs gamification.
We must say that it is not really a battle rather a friendly match. They can coexist when applied properly. We encourage you to find the one that suits your children’s needs the best.
Spimbey is the pinned location for fun.
And what can be better than having fun and learning something? Everybody loves a win-win situation.
Did you find this topic interesting? Care to share some insights of your own? Leave a comment!
We will love to hear about your experience with these types of dynamics and if you have already implemented some of them at home.
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