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Option Social Media: L’apprentissage par le jeu – la «gamification»: un professeur de la HEG-FR témoigne

14 mai 2021

Durant cette semaine, vous avez pu découvrir le logiciel mis en place au sein de la classe 8H de l’école primaire du Jura. Qu’en est-il pour les formations supérieures ? Benjamin Hoyt, maître d'enseignement d’anglais auprès de la HEG Fribourg, nous livre son expérience au sujet de la gamification.

Do you think that teaching and playing are compatible and why? (at any grade level?)

Yes, absolutely. I think that good teachers have always inspired learners to feel personally connected to a subject and encouraged them to actively explore it. Personally, my most successful learning experiences happen when I have a real purpose for learning—for example, I don’t just want to learn Microsoft Excel, I want to do something with some data that I have. Because I’m working on a bigger goal, I am happy to experiment and I won’t give up when things get difficult. I will also try different methods to achieve my ultimate goal. These elements of experimenting, not giving up and trying new methods are all natural parts of play which can be utilised by teachers to encourage successful learning.

Do you think games can increase the quality of teaching?

Yes, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Simply adding game elements such as points, badges, rewards, achievements, etc. to a course doesn’t actually change anything about the teaching that takes place. The teacher needs to create goals for the students that are bigger than just the assignments. By slightly changing the focus, it encourages students to take more responsibility for learning and find their own way to succeed. Gamification can also make the individual elements of the subject matter more apparent so learners can understand how the different competences relate to each other and work on their individual weaknesses.

What subjects do you think could be adapted into a game?

I think almost all subjects could be adapted in this way, although it might not be desirable in all cases. Subjects like languages are well-suited for gamification, in my opinion, because student abilities within a class are normally quite varied and students bring a lot of their own knowledge and motivation to the class. There are also a number of discrete skills (such as vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, etc.) which all contribute to the mastery of the subject. It can be good to recognize our own strengths and weaknesses within a subject so that we can adjust the way we approach a task. In fantasy games, some players are fighters and others are healers. In sports games, players have different ratings for speed and power. All of the different players can be successful within the game if they use their skills appropriately. In a gamified course, learners should be able to observe the development of their own skill levels and this should provide them with extra motivation.

There are some situations where gamification may not be a good choice. During a short course, there isn’t time to allow the students to reach the learning objectives in their own way. Lessons and examinations must be optimised for speed and learners are expected to motivate themselves during the course. At the highest level of subject proficiency, it may be unacceptable for students to pass the course with deficiencies in any of the required skills.

How do you see education in 2031?

Change in education is a very slow process. One reason is because of its importance—people are very reluctant to change a system that has been producing good results for so long. The pandemic has also been a big challenge for teachers, especially around the topic of technology, and many teachers will be very reluctant to adopt more software and apps to their teaching after their experiences over the last year. However, the good news is that many of the principles of gamification do not require a technical implementation. Improvements to student motivation and engagement can be made with some changes to course organisation and the way course goals are explained to the students. Once this change in mindset takes place, and students and teachers are used to this new way of imagining the learning process, people will be more open to software that supports this. If teachers try to adopt new software tools before they change their way of thinking, then the experience will not be so good.

Quel est le point de vue des entreprises ?

Dès demain, sur le compte Instagram de la HEG-FR, vous découvrirez le témoignage d’Eve Brochier, Digital Learning Specialist auprès de Liebherr Machines Bulle SA. Restez connectés !

Curieux ?

Nous vous invitons à suivre les publications sur le compte Instagram de la HEG Fribourg ainsi que nos articles de blog afin de découvrir plus précisément ce concept. En complément, vous pourrez également prendre connaissance de témoignages de professeur.e.s, étudiant.e.s Bachelor et membres de la direction de la Haute école de gestion Fribourg.