By George Stergioulas from AKADIMOS
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rapid shift towards distance teaching, posing challenges for adult educators who may have limited experience with online or remote teaching. Some of the difficulties they may face include adapting to new technology in order to maintain the learner’s engagement. The transition from the traditional (face to face) teaching to online learning sessions was surely extremely challenging for many adult educators, procedure which led as an outcome, to the manifestation of interpersonal emotional difficulties, from the perspective of the trainers and the adult learners.
Incorporating and assimilating new digital educational activities and practices is an essential part of adult educator’s responsibility to meet the evolving needs of their learners and to successfully adapt to the new educational scenario of distance learning. With the rapid advancement of technology, adult educators must adapt to new teaching methods, in order to engage and motivate the learners in the online learning environment.
Regarding this context, adult educators have to become more proactive in seeking and incorporating new educational methods – practices and activities that align with their learner’s styles and preferences. This process requires the willingness of adult educators to explore and experiment with new technologies, as well as their commitment, in order to keep up the pace with emerging trends in online education. This is where the educational method of digital ‘’Gamification’’ enters.
The conception of ‘’Gamification’’ refers to the addition of game-like aspects, such as leaderboards, point systems and badge awards to the educational process. The clear goal of the digital form of ‘’Gamification’’ is to increase the appeal of the content of the online educational session, by providing students with a joyful experience. This method can dramatically increase the engagement level of students, if it is done correctly.
Adult educators can incorporate the elements of the ‘’Gamification’’ process by:
- Stories: The development of an engaging narrative can enthrall learners and captivate them. This is a method of developing immersive materials, capable of keeping students interested.
- Competitions: The educational method of Gamification is capable of enabling students to compete with each other digitally, for example through the incorporation of leaderboards, promoting the positive and harmless rivalry, achieving a healthy atmosphere inside the online classroom.
- Reward System: By gamifying the online learning process, an educator can increase the motivational level of the adult students while keeping them engaged, by rewarding them with digital conceptions such as badges or medals.
What are the emotional benefits of the ‘’Gamification’’ procedure:
- Increased sense of motivation of learners, by making the learning process far more enjoyable and engaging.
- Reduced anxiety: By creating a comfortable and engaging digital learning environment, students will feel more relaxed, situation that will decrease their levels of anxiety
- Sense of accomplishment: Students who complete their tasks, will receive awards, resulting to the boosting of their levels of confidence and self-esteem.
The online educational methods have the potential to significantly enhance the emotional experience of learners. With the use of interactive tools, online education can provide a more engaging and supportive learning environment that fosters positive emotions and feelings of connection. Additionally, the flexibility and accessibility of online education allow learners to tailor their learning experience to their individual needs and preferences, reducing the stress and anxiety often associated with traditional classroom settings.
As online education continues to evolve and expand, it has the potential to revolutionise the way they approach learning, providing an emotionally rich and empowering educational experience for learners of all ages and backgrounds.
Alexandra Hemmer. (N.D). Gamification in e-learning: What is it? Examples and benefits. Easy Generator: https://www.easygenerator.com/en/blog/e-learning/gamification-in-elearning/
Stephanie Karaolis. (2021). 4 awesome examples of gamification in e-learning. Elucidat: https://www.elucidat.com/blog/gamification-in-elearning-examples/