Motivation is one of the most important foundations for successful language learning. Maintaining your students’ desire to learn requires structured content that allows a natural and progressive study (where students are aware of their progress and their need for self-realization is fulfilled). However, they also need extra elements that encourage and stimulate this motivation, integrating online learning solutions.
In recent texts, emphasis has been placed on the need to improve educational quality, to develop talent and to tackle the issue of school dropouts. High dropout rates are a problem that all types of educational centers (public, private or businesses) face. To combat this, and to encourage students to take advantage of learning opportunities, a motivation and coaching plan is necessary. This can be achieved by using online learning solutions such as a virtual campus or LMS (Learning Management System) which is capable of setting goals, measuring achievements and communicating them to students (gamified assessment).
This configuration promotes a type of learning that focuses on gamified exercises where students earn achievements, learning by doing, which activates the student’s need for self-realization, improves their determination and prolongs their interest, thus combatting the dropout issue.
Who becomes less motivated when their reputation comes into play? This system creates low-level competition among the students, but it’s enough to create the necessary engagement without letting pushing any goals into the back seat. Successful examples of badge systems like Dexway’s are used at prestigious universities such as MIT, the University of Michigan, Seton Hall in New Jersey and the University of California, where their badge and gamification systems are well-known.
In this sense, motivation can be broken down into two types: intrinsic, when it comes from within the student and their ability to excel, and extrinsic, when external factors are what motivates them. Dexway learning solutions combine both into a global method that integrates the best content with gamified monitoring and assessment. This gamified assessment system combines different learning processes based on games to elevate student engagement and offer new assessment parameters to teachers.
With Dexway’s learning-by-doing method, students learn by practicing in real-life situations for a full language immersion experience. This allows students to practice their language skills (writing, reading, listening and speaking) with other learners while having fun.
The content is structured in accordance with the CEFR and offer 100% learning, with no gaps. Students are aware of their progress for each activity and teachers have access to their scores for continuous assessment. These aspects represent the foundation of intrinsic motivation: structured and balanced material that allows students to progress in a fun way with attainable goals while keeping them interested and strengthening their self-determination.
Games and gamification both can lead to high levels of learner engagement and motivation
Karl Kapp, Bloomsburg University.
In 1975, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, from the University of Rochester, postulated three innate psychological needs in people (Self-determination Theory): competence, related-ness and autonomy. Self-determination arises from a combination of the three, which are all present in Dexway’s language courses. Dexway’s online language solutions guarantee natural and progressive learning, which allows students to participate socially in Dexway’s global language community and lets them progress at their own pace through the different lessons and activities.
The R.A.M.P (Relationships, autonomy, mastery and purpose) model adds a fourth dimension: purpose. Striving for a goal can be just as powerful as the rest of the aforementioned reasons. For most Dexway students, they want to learn languages to improve their job prospects or earn an official certificate, among other reasons.
Recognition badges and improving gamified assessment
The other dimension of motivation is extrinsic motivation, where external factors motivate students to work hard or even increase their desire to beat, not only their own grades, but also their group’s grades. To do this, Dexway solutions establishes a plan for setting goals, measuring achievements and awarding stars, cups and medals to assess individual effort. But Dexway also encourages competition and improvement through individual progress, as well as through a leaderboard to show the rest of the classmates’ progress.
Students progress through their language course (English, French, Spanish… up to 8 languages available) earning different badges according to their aptitude, but also their attitude.
Rewards can be obtained from grades received on exercises, partial tests or final tests, by maintaining a good work pace, by practicing with other users in the community or by accessing additional activities such as vocabulary or karaoke. Dexway courses reward “Behaviorism,” “Achievement” and “Mastery.” The goal is for all types of students to find a reward in gamified assessment that will prolong their motivation over time.
This system rewards students who keep a good course pace, turn in assignments on time and participate in the community and in additional activities. Each student has the opportunity to learn at their own pace, using the tools that the course offers to practice what they have learned in the lessons, the vocabulary sections, karaoke or conversation groups. Students are rewarded with points that increase their rank in the course.
Gamified monitoring determines a series of milestones and when students achieve them, they earn trophies. Students can view the list of achievements at any time and try to accomplish them. Additionally, teachers can award medals to students who they think have excelled. Dedication to the course is rewarded.
Talent and excellence are rewarded. Mastering course concepts has a reward. Grades received on exercises, partial tests and final tests for each student give them points for their personal calculation.
The teacher can configure the course so that students’ personal grades are displayed on a leadership board which all students can access to check their rank within the group. That way, students get the recognition they deserve, depending on the effort they put into the course. This gives them the confidence and strength to continue striving to perform well and surpass others.
CAE’s online learning solutions use a gamified assessment to help involve the student in the learning process, enhancing their personal motivation and developing mechanisms to keep them interested.