Why Gamification might be the solution to low grades in mathematics in primary classes

Learning Mathematics through a game may sound ridiculous. But stick around a for while and you’ll see that its not as ludicrous as it may sound. Gamification is the application of techniques commonly used in games to other areas such as teaching mathematics. When well used, gamification can make traditionally unattractive areas such as mathematics more appealing and natural

In the previous article, we saw laziness as a big enemy to learning a discipline like mathematics. If you’ve played a game before, you know that it takes playing more than just casually to make progress. Then why is it so hard for one to apply the same volume of commitment to learn mathematics? Flash back still to the last article. We see math as a progressive discipline that needs one to grasp one concept at a time. In classrooms, it may not be possible for everyone to learn these concepts at the same rate due to our different abilities. With time, a slower learner may get frustrated and may not think that Mathematics is worth their effort. With a game, things are quite different. Much as it takes some skill to make progress while playing a game, there’s an aspect of fun. This is hardly ever found in a classroom especially in a mathematics class.

Another upside to using a game is that each player can progress at their own pace. Unlike the school system where the syllabus has to be covered within a given period of time, a game doesn’t have such limitations. Just Imagine the President’s wife (who is the minister for education by the way) declaring, “All students must finish level one of Kamati by the end of first term!” That would be straight up crazy.

According to Wikipedia, “A game is a structured form of play, usually undertaken for entertainment or fun and sometimes used as an educational tool.” In the definition, we see that a game is structured which is a similarity with mathematics as a discipline. We also see that a game can be used as an educational tool. But let’s be honest. Games, especially RPGs, are usually played for fun. A study by Essex University has found that we enjoy playing games because they’re the best way to try out characteristics we’d like to have, or they allow us to try on different hats.

When a player of a game is given a chance to be a character they share similarities with, or one they’d like to be, they’ll get the satisfaction they’re trying to find. At least a great deal of it. Now look at it from the perspective of someone who would like to improve in numbers. You’d have the chance to learn the way you want.

This game is therefore aimed at allowing the player grasp mathematical concepts at their convenience. Being a game, they’ll surely want to advance to the next level. However, like any other game, they’ll have to overcome a couple of obstacles before advancing to the next stage. These obstacles are designed in form of numerical challenges. These challenges will be progressive starting with simpler ones. With a strong desire to advance to the next stage, the player will have to complete the task so as to advance to the next level. It is also important to note that the aim of the game is to assist learners understand the fundamentals of mathematics and not to replace teachers.

As mentioned earlier, Kamati is an RPG game. Not the RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) that you’ve probably seen in blockbuster movie, but a Role Playing Game. This means that the player takes on the role of a character in a fictional manner. Even if it’s an RPG, Kamati isn’t exactly the kind of world we know today. Kamati is fantasy world through which the player traverses as they learn Mathematics. We’ll take a clearer look at the story of this fantasy world in the next writing

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