Gamifying Learning in the Classroom

Deb Mahato
4 min read


Innovative teaching methods are crucial for engaging students and promoting effective learning. One such method gaining popularity in classrooms is the use of card games. Beyond their recreational value, card games provide a unique opportunity to combine fun, collaboration, and academic growth. This article explores how incorporating card games into the classroom setting can lead to better learning outcomes for students, highlighting two popular games: Marriage Card Game and Callbreak Legend by Bhoos Games.

Active Learning and Concept Reinforcement

Card games offer a refreshing alternative to traditional instructional approaches, fostering active learning among students. Rather than passively receiving information, learners actively participate in the game, making decisions and applying concepts in real time. This hands-on experience encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning skills. Also, playing cards are convenient for classroom games because they allow the instructor to implement the experiment quickly, even in large classes. Cards also permit students to keep their choices secret until asked to reveal them. In addition, there is no need to collect and match “decisions sheets”. Other devices can substitute for cards but they found ordinary playing cards to be inexpensive and effective

A study by Robert Baker (1999) looks at published research on the use of cards and reviews pedagogic concerns directly related to the implementation of playing cards in the classroom--including the appropriateness of manipulatives, the link to cooperative learning, and societal perceptions of card playing. The article discusses natural connections and relationships between cards and topics in current college mathematics curricula and suggests some diverse activities and demonstrations that directly address topics and techniques in contemporary mathematics. The study also demonstrates that a deck of cards can be useful in modeling, motivating, and teaching the techniques of: elementary probability, elementary statistics, set theory, abstract and linear algebra and their notations, business mathematics, Game Theory, and technical mathematics. Content-focused interactive activities present an alternative approach for math-anxious adults and non-traditional students, who may be disenchanted with a traditional presentation of the mathematics curriculum.

Research by Huck et. al. suggests that even dry topics like Pearson’s r and Spread can be explained much more easily with the use of playing cards as a simple and enjoyable classroom exercise.

Research conducted by Lee et al. (2017) demonstrated that incorporating card games in the classroom significantly enhanced students' understanding and retention of complex concepts. The study revealed that students who engaged in active learning through card games outperformed their peers who solely relied on traditional teaching methods.

For instance, the Marriage Card Game can be utilized to reinforce mathematical concepts. Students must employ mental calculations to determine the value of their hands and strategically plan which cards to play. By doing so, they practice mathematical operations and enhance their mental arithmetic skills in an engaging manner.

Collaboration and Social Interaction

Card games provide an excellent platform for students to collaborate and interact socially. By working together towards a common goal, students develop essential teamwork and interpersonal skills. They learn to communicate effectively, negotiate, and cooperate with their peers.

Research conducted by Johnson and Johnson (2018) emphasized the positive impact of collaborative learning environments on students' academic achievements. The study highlighted that card games, as a collaborative activity, fostered a deeper understanding of the subject matter, improved communication skills, and promoted a sense of community among students.

While Marriage Card Game is not team-based, it still promotes collaboration in the form of partnerships. In this game, players form partnerships and must communicate and strategize with their partners to win tricks. This collaboration fosters a sense of camaraderie and encourages students to rely on one another's strengths, promoting a supportive classroom environment.

Similarly, Callbreak Legend, as an individual-based trick-taking game, can still encourage collaboration and interaction among students. Teachers can incorporate variations or adaptations to promote cooperative play, such as having students work in pairs or small groups to discuss strategies and make decisions collectively. This collaborative setting promotes inclusivity, and active participation, and enhances students' ability to work together towards a shared objective.

Engaging and Fun Learning Experience

Card games inject an element of fun and excitement into the learning process, making it more enjoyable and memorable for students. The element of competition, coupled with the thrill of uncertainty, keeps students engaged and motivated to actively participate.

Research by Becker et al. (2019) highlighted the positive impact of gamification on student engagement and motivation. Card games, as gamified activities, provide an interactive and stimulating learning experience that captivates students' attention and encourages their active involvement.

Marriage Card Game, with its strategic gameplay and decision-making, provides an engaging experience for students. The game requires players to think critically, plan their moves, and adapt their strategies based on the changing dynamics of the game. This mental stimulation enhances students' analytical skills and promotes a sense of excitement and engagement.

Similarly, Callbreak Legend, as a trick-taking game, presents students with challenging situations that require quick thinking and decision-making. The game's dynamic nature and the need to anticipate opponents' moves make it both challenging and enjoyable. By participating in these games, students develop cognitive flexibility, logical reasoning, and problem-solving abilities.
Incorporating these engaging and interactive card games, such as Marriage Card Game and Callbreak Legend by Bhoos Games, into the classroom can add an element of fun while promoting academic growth. By creating an enjoyable learning experience, educators can enhance student motivation and facilitate a deeper understanding of the subject matter.