The Efficacy of Simulation and Gamification in Learning

As modern science is improving, so does the barrier needed to have a functional understanding of what works and what doesn’t. For adults with mature comprehension abilities, we can manage understanding all the complexities- especially if we have a background in it. But when do we start teaching children these matters? The answer to that is now. We have to start teaching them now.

We want our children to eventually handle serious matters of the future. They will grow up to do intensive research on PROTAC degradation assays and gene-splicing technology. The kids of today will push the limits that we know, farther than what we initially imagined being possible. But before they can get there, we need to teach them first and we need to teach them in a way that they will enjoy and see the value in what they’re doing.

That’s why simulation and gamification are effective tools. Below are some ideas of why it’s best used to teach children.

Having Fun While Learning

Children naturally look towards fun activities, and educators know this all too well. Video games dominate schoolroom conversations, often in favor of more educational topics. And this is where gamification can come in. Video games aren’t interesting just because they’re games, they’re interesting because of what makes games fun.

Gamifying the learning process through the implementation of game-like elements and mechanics into educational subjects can make the act of learning a bit more tolerable for the children. The best educators are already implementing gamification in their methodologies, and more should adopt this strategy as well.

Visual Aids Still Work

In our youth, we might remember complex charts, dioramas, and visual aids that our teachers used to demonstrate a concept. This is because students learn a lot faster when they have a physical or visual object to work with. It’s far easier to explain the insides of the Earth with a diorama of the Earth’s crust versus just explaining through words. Fortunately, the teachers of today are far more equipped than the teachers of yesterday.

Through 3D printing, they can create very specific models of almost anything, allowing them to immediately create a working model of anything that they want to teach (which is particularly useful if there’s no available model for it). 3D rendering also allows teachers and students to go more in-depth with the analysis of many physical and material subjects, such as biology, geology, even astronomy, and more.

Immersive and Interactive

Traditional classroom formats aren’t really the best way for every child to learn. While the conventional lecture style of teaching might apply to adults who understand the need for such methods, kids might simply see it as boring or uninteresting. Through the use of gamification and complex visual aids, however, they can feel as if they’re taking part in the learning process.

They can be immersed in the act of learning: going through 3D models of the pyramids to explore its facets (and help memory retention) or they can experiment with live chemicals and compounds within the safety of a school laboratory to better understand the concepts behind them. Essentially, immersive and interactive methods are the new “hands-on” approach that many of us learned with.

Removing the Fear Of Making Mistakes

Children should be allowed to make mistakes- and to learn from these mistakes. Both gamification and simulation work under this idea. Kids can make a mistake, see its immediate effects simulated, and learn from it. Because they have direct experience over it, their retention and understanding increase significantly.

This also teaches them something important in life: that making mistakes is okay, and it’s more important to try again. Having a healthy respect for failure but understanding that mistakes are normal is a good life lesson that is best started at a young age.

It’s Cost-Efficient and Effective

Frankly, the time and resources invested into simulating and gamifying lessons are more than worth it as the results are astounding. Students learn considerably faster with less time and manpower involved when employing these techniques. Their retention and comprehension are significantly improved as well, being able to carry their learnings over to similar fields.

It is what every educator wants: a method that will allow their students to learn better while having fun in the process. And it’s also what many institutes want: a cost-effective approach to yield better results at the fraction of the cost. There might be the initial barrier of having to spend on upgraded equipment, but it will pay itself off almost immediately.

Teaching and learning methodologies will always evolve. It’s important to stay updated, especially if you’re an educator or a parent who simply wants the best for their children.

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