'Gamification Enables Immersive Learning, Strategic Thinking'
KOCHI: Gamification in education can enable immersive learning and development of strategic thinking in students which is considered as one of the most important 21st-century skill, according to Dr Manu Melwin Joy, Asst Professor at School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT).
In his introductory remarks at the 73rd Rajagiri Round Table Conference on Learning Through Games: Art and Science of Serious Games organised by Rajagiri Media, Dr Manu, a gamification evangelist, who has recently developed serious gaming apps, said that of all the type of games, strategic games are the most popular among gamers outclassing shooter games, arcade games, sports, puzzle games among others. Corporate world is pumping billions of dollars to instill strategic thinking in their workforce. If such skills are developed in students in schools and colleges by voluntary involvement in games, it will be a win-win situation for students as well as the industry that is going to hire them in future, Dr Manu Melwin Joy said.
Asha S Kutty, faculty of MD College, Thrissur and a gamification researcher, pointed out that there is empirical evidence that serious gaming helps in understanding of concepts, retention of knowledge, development of socio-emotional skills, better academic performance, development of positive attitude towards learning and making learning happy and pleasant.
Children love humour, appreciation and interactivity and if such elements are built into gaming apps, the question of addiction to gaming will not arise, according to Mr Amit Agrawal, IIM-B alumni and founder of OckyPocky, India’s first English language learning gaming app for pre-school children. Parents have to be careful in choosing apps and certified as safe and age appropriate in Google Playstore and Apple Store, he added.
Dr Varghese Panthalookaran, Professor at Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology (RSET) pointed out that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning can be immensely benefitted by gamification and that students can also be involved in the development of games.
Dr Meenakshi Narula, Principal of Shemford Futuristic k-12 School, UP said that gamified learning should make children addicted to learning than games.
Dr Mark Griffiths, Psychologist and Professor at Nottingham Trent University, who has done the most number of studies on video game addictions globally, pointed out that excessive gaming and addiction are different and only a small minority of gamers may be classified as addicts. The World Health Organisation has included ‘Gaming Disorder’ in international classification of diseases (ICD) as there is enough empirical evidence to suggest that a small, insignificant minority play games to the exclusion of everything else in their life.
Dr K Thiyagu, Central University of Kerala, Deepu Xavier (Zappyhire),Melvin Bell ,Focus Games, UK, Rahul P Balachandran, Inker Robotics, Nilesh Sinha, CGI India, Nibu John Thomas, Researcher at IIT-Madras, Melvin Bell, Focus Games, UK, Nasir Kaihan, Project Officer, UNESCO, Kabul were the other panelists. Sreekumar Raghavan, Editor, Pallikkutam anchored the event.