Gamification in an educational setting signifies the application of game design to non-game curriculum subjects (such as mathematics or language learning). The goal is to improve learning outcomes by increasing student motivation and engagement. Simply put, if students are immersed in a game-type experience, they are more likely to engage with the subject matter. Methodology as well as technology are key components in creating a gamified experience for the student. Educational research is evolving in its evaluation of the successful impact of gamification on learning.
The game of chess can provide a vehicle to introduce academic and life skills. For example, teachers may use chess to introduce literacy or mathematical concepts. Gamification can also be applied to how students learn to play chess. Online chess tutorial programs often include a gaming aspect to engage students as they learn the basics of the game.
Renate Otterbach, an educational researcher, offers the following observations. “Chess, like all games, is fun as it allows one to explore one’s skills and abilities in a safe and relatively low stakes setting. Chess is unique in that it has the potential to provide deliberate practice in cognitive and life skills. According, to research on expertise studies, deliberate practice is crucial to the development of expertise in any field. In addition, chess is essentially a mathematical game and as such provides training in mathematical concepts and logic.”
“Gamifying education: what is known, what is believed and what remains uncertain: a critical review.” Dichev and Dicheva. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education
“Gamification of education and learning: A review of empirical literature.” Majuri, Koivisto, Hamari.