Gamification of Education

Elements of games added to conventional learning to make it more engaging is the gamification of education. These elements could be point systems, challenges, social connections, player control, goals, rewards, feedback, etc. They are applied while teaching to increase student engagement.

Gamification of education allows for “fun while you learn”. The way players interact in virtual gaming is one of the key motivations for the education industry to implement gamification in education. Games trigger emotions and engage us better. Such learning relieves the pressure on learners and simultaneously encourages them to participate.

Games are also effective because they are competitive and competition gives rise to mental toughness, better collaboration, and enhanced social and emotional learning. Efficiency is gained through such learning because the learner is in charge of their own learning journey.

Digital Twin Technology

A digital twin is a ‘virtual clone’ of any real-world object. It makes real-time judgments using real-time data, simulations, algorithms, and machine learning. Students can walk through the universe from the ease of their schools or homes. The use of this technology can help in better understanding of Model building, surgical training, and other practical instructions. Whereas real-world simulations can replace chemical labs and hands-on dissection labs.

The use of digital twin technology in education will allow students to participate, compete and learn in a simulation environment. Also, combining and visualising data using digital twin technologies will improve decision-making, give rise to immersive learning experiences and enable effective planning as well as action. Its use will also allow us to correct any shortcomings of a decision before making it a reality.

How will gamification of education using digital twin technology benefit learners?

Having disrupted learning all over the world, the pandemic has led us to not only rethink how education could be improved in isolation but also how we can foster immersive learning experiences. Virtual reality has answers to it. 

Self-learning apps are already using gamification to engage the learners. But, a nascent idea of gamifying digital twins is gaining momentum. Digital twin technology is one of the growing technologies related to industry 4.0. It paves way for experiential learning by combining game elements, data and technology and is especially relevant to higher engineering, manufacturing and medical education.

Today, the use of simulations is common in education. But now, more and more simulations are being upgraded from static scenarios to real-world scenarios. Simulators alone aren’t as effective as they are with the use of gamification techniques because gamification engages the learners for a longer time and motivates them to get more involved. Therefore, gamification approaches such as the liberty to make mistakes, practice, repeat and collect awards are also getting integrated into simulations.

Universities like Stanford and Copenhagen school have already adopted this technology in higher education. Researchers suggest virtual game-based learning encourages immersive learning, cognitive development, creativity and better decision making. Even NASA used digital twin technology to explore the unexplored in space. Similarly, a platform named digital twin studios designs safety training video games using digital twin technology for the workers in the Oil and Gas industry.

The use of digital twin technology has recently also aroused the interest of healthcare practitioners as a possible solution to overcome healthcare limitations and expand the possible treatment options. Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, for example, are working on a project to create a "digital twin" of an individual using data collected from in-home and on-body sensors. Its development will enable future health care practitioners to employ artificial intelligence for evaluating various treatments and their potential outcomes on a patient's digital twin before executing them in the physical world.

The digital twin reform in healthcare is still underway but soon, it is likely to revolutionise the ways of treating and diagnosing the patients. It has high potential in higher education as well. Medical students will be able to use digital twins of animal and human dead bodies to perform dissections and analyses. Concepts of virtual organs, genomes, anatomy and medical procedures can also be well understood with its use.

According to research, games can help to develop complex cognitive skills and metacognitive skills for deep learning. Simulators assist students to relate theoretical topics to real-world events and improve analytical abilities by allowing them to compare different points of view, build arguments, reflect, and evaluate circumstances. Their combined use in education can become a powerful learning tool.

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Gamification of digital twins for an enhanced learning experience will allow the learners to take lead in experiential learning. However, this concept has a lot of scope that is yet to be explored. It is a viable option because it is sustainable and effective. Large-scale application is important to turning digital twins' potential into genuine impact. It aims to reform the understanding of complex systems and subjects that need practical learning. Technology is all into our lives. We have adopted technology to make our lives easy. There are challenges to this but with its help, the students will be better prepared for real-life situations in near future.