Talking about gamification in terms of learning and adult education
might seem contradictory, especially as it was long thought that learning through play was only for children. It is usually expected that students must enjoy learning for the sake of gaining theoretical knowledge.
These are among the issues that the gamification of learning tries to address. Take for instance, the way teachings are organised in kindergarten and in high school, a clear example: You may find that toddlers seem to be playing all the time whereas teenagers and young adults spend their time only sitting and listening to lectures.
It appears that the more a child ages, fewer opportunities are available to learn through play.
Two notable consequences may surface: First, fewer adults think they can learn through play, some might even think that doing so is immature. Second, the relationship with learning new things as an adult can be negatively perceived, like when saying that learning is something hard, time-consuming, useless, or boring. These negative emotions can ingrain self-limiting thoughts and make adults prone to give up if results are not immediately tangible. This can be perceived as a side effect found described in Knowles’s work. The seven principles of andragogy, (1980) educator Malcolm Knowles introduced this concept which includes self-direction, transformation, experience, mentorship, mental orientation, motivation, and readiness to learn, along with detailed characteristics defining adult learning.