Challenges with Gamification in Higher Education: A Narrative Review with Implications for Educators and Policymakers
Keywords:higher education, game-based learning, gamification, classroom technology, pedagogy, motivation, challenges
This narrative review critically examines the application of gamification in higher education. Gamification, the integration of game elements into learning, is increasingly used to enhance student engagement and motivation. However, the effectiveness of gamification depends on its alignment with learning objectives. Superficial use of game elements, such as irrelevant badges, can hinder meaningful learning outcomes. Moreover, over-reliance on extrinsic rewards can lead to short-term motivation but may compromise deep learning. Additionally, a competitive culture fostered by gamification might hinder collaboration and stress individual achievement. To harness gamification's benefits, educators must carefully design game mechanics to promote collaboration, select suitable activities, and consider diverse learning styles. This review underscores the need for thoughtful integration of gamification and the importance of evaluating its impact on pedagogical goals in higher education. The article concludes by providing implications for research and practice.
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