Game based learning and gamification are the same thing? Right?
Whilst they are based on the same origins, they are very different things. So what is Game based learning vs gamification ?
Some basic definitions to get us started:
“Gamification takes game elements (such as points, badges, leaderboards, competition, achievements) and applies them to a non-game setting. It has the potential to turn routine, mundane tasks into refreshing, motivating experiences”
Game based learning definition:
“Game based learning (GBL) is a type of game play that has defined learning outcomes. Generally, game based learning is designed to balance subject matter with game play and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.”
Common origins of games and gamification
Both gamification and game based learning are based on the models and theories of games.
Gamification is not learning or activities that are part of a single game, or structure. There are no single ‘correct’ approaches.
Gamification sets out to reward certain behaviours or actions within the real world of buying products, looking at suppliers or doing an everyday job.
Gamification can be used to help individuals focus on small actions that otherwise might be ignored or overlooked. It can of course create competition, but that is often a side effect, not a target. Some people will turn the ‘collection’ of points or position on a leader-board into a competitive environment. Others will just take it as feedback. There is no ‘right or wrong’. There is no single path or correct approach.
Gamification has been in society for a life time. Youth groups have used this as “badge collecting” or status strips. Neighbours have long aimed to “keep up with the Jones’s”.
In essence gamification is about motivation and engagement.
Game based learning, will typically follow a fixed structure. There will be right and wrong paths to travel. There will be pre-determined learning. Not all game based learning requires use of video games, or game boards. Some with use journey or decision trees.
Typically game based learning will take the learning journey and turn it into a game. The game will have a defined start and end point. To a greater extent there will also be a fixed journey.
The real difference between gamification and game based learning
Game based learning is used in the classroom to create a safe environment for learning new skills
Gamification is used in the real world as a motivational or engagement strategy.
Game based learning vs gamification, how do you use them in your organization?