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Epic Meaning & Calling in Educational Gamification

Gamification by Dara

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the quest to engage, motivate, and empower students is a perpetual one. One remarkable approach that has been gaining traction in recent years is gamification. Gamification harnesses the innate human desire for challenge, reward, and accomplishment, making learning an epic adventure. At the heart of this approach lie two crucial psychological principles – Epic Meaning and Calling. 

In this blog post, we will dive deep into the concept of Epic Meaning and calling in the context of educational gamification and explore how it can be harnessed to enhance learning outcomes. From understanding the psychology behind these concepts to practical implementation in the classroom, we’ll explore every facet of this dynamic strategy. Let’s embark on this epic journey towards more engaging and impactful education.

Understanding Epic Meaning & Calling

Defining Epic Meaning & Calling in the Context of Gamification

Epic Meaning and Calling are not just buzzwords; they are key components in designing gamified educational experiences. Epic Meaning refers to the idea of connecting an individual’s actions or tasks to a broader, meaningful purpose. In education, this means making students feel like their learning has a significant impact on the world or a larger cause.

Calling, on the other hand, centers on aligning an individual’s values, interests, and aspirations with their actions or tasks. In education, it’s about creating learning experiences that resonate with student’s intrinsic motivations and passions.

Psychological Principles Behind Epic Meaning and Calling

At the core of Epic Meaning and Calling are powerful psychological principles. Epic Meaning taps into a fundamental human need for significance and contribution. Students who believe their learning has a meaningful purpose are more likely to stay engaged and motivated.

Calling, on the other hand, taps into the self-determination theory, which posits that people are more motivated when they feel their actions align with their personal values and goals. When learning activities resonate with a student’s Calling, it becomes a more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

The Power of Educational Gamification

Effectiveness of Gamification in Enhancing Learning Outcomes

The benefits of gamification in education are well-documented. Studies have consistently shown that gamified learning environments improve student engagement, participation, and retention rates. Educators can create dynamic learning environments that captivate student’s attention by integrating game elements like challenges, rewards, and interactivity into the curriculum.

According to a study conducted by the University of Colorado Denver, students who experienced gamified learning scored 14% higher in skill-based knowledge and 11% higher in factual knowledge than those in traditional learning settings.

Moreover, a report by the eLearning Industry found that about 70% of students prefer gamified classes and learning experiences over traditional education methods. These statistics underscore the potential of gamification in education to transform the learning experience.

Applying Epic Meaning & Calling to Learning

To tap into the transformative potential of Epic Meaning in the educational setting, it’s crucial to instill the belief that the act of learning serves a greater, overarching objective. This can be achieved by framing educational content within real-world contexts and illustrating how the knowledge gained can make a difference. For example, teaching environmental science can be stated as contributing to a sustainable future.

Calling can be integrated by aligning learning objectives with student’s values, and aspirations. For instance, allowing students to choose research topics that resonate with their passions can foster a sense of Calling. This personalized approach empowers students to take ownership of their learning journey.

Epic Meaning and Calling can be applied across various subjects and scenarios. In subjects like history, emphasizing the importance of understanding past events in shaping the present and future can create Epic Meaning. For Calling, subjects like literature can be tailored to student’s interests by allowing them to explore genres or authors they are passionate about.

Techniques for Educational Gamification

Let’s delve into specific gamification techniques that can be employed to enhance educational engagement:

  • Points and Rewards: Implement a point system where students earn rewards for completing tasks or achieving milestones. These rewards can be virtual badges or tangible incentives, creating a sense of accomplishment.
  • Leaderboards: Foster healthy competition by displaying leaderboards that showcase student progress. This drives students to excel and surpass their peers, boosting motivation.
  • Progression Systems: Create a clear pathway for students to progress through the curriculum, much like advancing levels in a game. Each step forward becomes a tangible achievement.
  • Storytelling and Narratives: Craft compelling narratives around the educational content. Make students the protagonists in their learning journeys with challenges and triumphs.

Case Studies: Duolingo & Kahoot

Two prime examples of gamification in education are Duolingo and Kahoot.

Duolingo, a language learning app, leverages gamification to great effect. By framing language acquisition as a quest to unlock new worlds and cultures, Duolingo creates Epic Meaning. Additionally, the app tailors lessons to users’ interests and progress, aligning with the concept of Calling.

Kahoot, a quiz-based platform, employs gamification to promote healthy competition and learning. The leaderboard system fosters competition among students, making learning engaging and fun. Kahoot exemplifies how gamification can create a sense of Calling by allowing students to choose quizzes aligned with their interests.

Best Practices for Implementing Epic Meaning & Calling

Here are some best practices for educators looking to integrate Epic Meaning and Calling into their teaching strategies:

  • Understand Your Students: Know your student’s interests, goals, and values. Tailor your curriculum to align with their aspirations.
  • Create Compelling Narratives: Craft engaging stories or contexts that make learning feel like an epic adventure. Connect lessons to real-world applications.
  • Provide Autonomy: Allow students to have a say in their learning process. Offer choices and opportunities for them to take ownership of their education.
  • Encourage Collaboration: Foster a sense of companionship among students. Collaborative challenges can create a feeling of unity and purpose.
  • Continuously Evolve: Keep refining your gamified approach based on student feedback and changing needs. Gamification is not static; it should adapt and grow with your students.

When implementing gamification techniques, it’s essential to tailor them to different age groups and subjects:

  • For Younger Learners: Use simpler game mechanics and bright, engaging visuals. Focus on rewards and recognition to keep their motivation high.
  • For Older Students: Introduce more complex challenges and competition. Encourage critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • For STEM Subjects: Incorporate hands-on activities and experiments to make learning tangible and exciting.
  • For Humanities and Arts: Emphasize creativity and self-expression. Allow students to explore their passions within the curriculum.

In conclusion, Epic Meaning and Calling, when integrated into gamified educational experiences, have the potential to transform the way we teach and learn. By understanding the psychological principles behind these concepts and applying them in educational settings, educators can create dynamic and engaging learning environments that inspire students to reach their full potential. Book a demo with us to find out more about Educational Gamification.

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