University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 50-58
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1008
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Gamification refers to taking concepts usually associated with videogames and applying them to other types of recreational activities. In itself gamification does not equate to games. It concerns a different concept that has less to do with games than with marketing, motivation and user loyalty. The idea behind our proposal begins with the consideration that, despite the current availability of more and better teaching tools, there are times when they are not effectively reflected in students’ learning outcomes and skills obtainment. To a large extent, ensuring that students are fully motivated by and committed to the materials they must study involves finding the strengths that arouse their interest in those materials. No matter what the setting, from childhood we are attracted to games, which allow us to learn and practise skills that we later use in day-to-day life.

Numerous studies show that games encourage learning, given that when fun features in the process, motivation is increased and stress lowered. It is clear that when students enjoy learning, students learn more and better. Videogames are a prominent type of game applied in the teaching environment. The use of videogames increases the degree of satisfaction, which in turn boosts learning and memorisation. Furthermore, videogames are interactive materials capable of attracting students’ attention and securing the complete immersion of players in the task being performed, and at all times allowing them to decide what to do, in addition to encouraging competitiveness and collaborative work. To that we must add the fact that players obtain immediate feedback after each action during the game, allowing them to learn through trial and error, which are desirable features in a constructivist learning environment centred on the student. Finally, contrary to what may be thought, the teacher also has the possibility to play a part as occurs in traditional teaching. This is due to the fact that participants, when using video games, leave tracks that provide the teacher with clues about the progress of the activity on the course, and in a very precise manner that allows the teacher to act consequently.

Our proposal has been designed by a wide group of teaching staff –called– drawn from various departments of the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Granada, with more than a decade’s experience. Our projects are focussed on boosting the cross-relationship between different materials involved in the teaching of translation, for which we have designed a didactic model known as PATT(Professional Approach to Translator Training ), and also created and facilitated access to tools and resources of interest in this field. With this project we seek to add gamification to our didactic model and to the already implemented teaching tools.

Our proposal is based on ‘skills training’. This time, the methodology, fully compatible with our didactic model and with the tools already proposed and applied, pays particular attention to what are known as ‘simulation games’ as a method for training students in professional situations that they will most certainly have to face in their future careers. For that purpose, we have implemented a series of video games that seek to reinforce some of the skills in the Translation and Interpreting Degree. The results have been very effective because participation has been very high and satisfaction generally positive.
Gamification, university teaching, new technologies.