Gamification is taking the eLearning world by storm! Based on the concept of learning online, gamification is taking the learning journey to a whole new level! The organizations making use of gamification techniques are increasing by the day as the benefits of the popular eLearning trend are making it to the forefront. As the practice gains traction, we know that it’s definitely here to stay and will continue to make headlines.
The Role of Gamification in eLearning:
In education, gamification helps with increased user engagement. This is due to the unique experience that it offers, allowing the users to enjoy their learning journey. Being able to learn in a unique and creative way is not only rewarding but also motivates the user to progress.
What Exactly is Gamification?
Gamification refers to the practice of using various game dynamics to promote efficient learning. The mechanics of the game like earning points, increasing rank and rewards based on performance are used to provide an effective learning approach in a non-game context.
The main elements of gamification in eLearning include:
- Adding game dynamics to different courses
- Including rewards like badges, awards and different achievements
- Substituting traditional grades with other assessment methods like experience points or XP.
- Providing a creative and enjoyable approach to learning
While different gamification applications have their own sets of features and methods of rewarding their users, the main idea of providing a fun approach to learning remains the same.
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The Driving Forces
Research has shown that individuals who enjoy learning through gamification techniques are keen to continue with their course. The learner’s brain is known to be 68% more active and alert when doing something that the learner is enjoying. If that wasn’t enough for us to love gamification, a learner is also able to take in 84% more information and the information retention ability of the mind is also increased.
When learners are able to enjoy their learning, they can effectively motivate others too. For employers, eLearning provides up to a 70% cut down of costs associated with training. ELearning with gamification offers increased productivity and reduced training times, giving business organizations around the world a competitive advantage.
The Factors That Influence Learning
For gamification to serve as a successful learning strategy, there are a few important aspects that matter:
- Learning activities need to be developed in a way that they are meaningful and convey sufficient knowledge. Organizations and tutors can create custom-based learning packages that offer different courses and training activities based on gamification techniques. There are many open source gamification software that can provide a game-based learning approach to training courses. You don’t have to be tech-savvy in order to use them. Intuitive platforms make it simple to incorporate gamification features with little effort. Some popular gamification open source platforms include User infuser and Zurmo.
- Gamification should provide motivation by offering various rewards at different stages of the learning process. Rewards can be anything known to encourage the learners. Rewarding the learner is effective because working towards a goal is motivating and provides a sense of achievement when completed. Therefore, learners remain focused on completing goals so they can gain rewards and unlock new levels and features.
- Gamification must be based on real-life scenarios allowing the user to have an insight on how to deal with different tasks. For instance, a fast food restaurant can offer gamification based learning where the user is trained on how to deal with orders quickly and effectively. During the game, the learner will be listening to orders and quickly processing them, just as they would be expected to do once they start working. Famous fast-food chains like Mc Donald’s have effectively incorporated gamification into their training sessions.
- Provided the gamification process is incorporated effectively, it will have a positive effect on the learner’s:
- Passion to learn
- Progress and
3 Popular Gamification Examples in eLearning
Gamification is helping countless organizations worldwide by providing an effective and enjoyable approach to training employees. Let’s take a look at some famous examples:
Walmart used Axonify’s eLearning platform to cut down the number of safety incidents in the workplace. It also used a gamification approach to boost the effectiveness of different procedures and performance factors. It offered an enjoyable approach to training that was customized according to the user. The use of points, team-based competition and other gaming mechanics helped with information retention and progression in learning. Walmart employees still use gamification as part of their work, enabling them to have access to content that helps promote a safe and efficient workplace.
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A gamification based eLearning platform was used to train employees of 1,300 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide! The use of a City and Guilds Kineo till-training game provided the employees with a realistic experience of working. The game offered training in a safe environment, allowing customers to deal with real-life situations and monitored the user’s progress. It was effective in its working due to its nature being fun, exciting and addictive. Simulating the till-system proved to be a huge success and it is still in use, effectively training employees through a robust eLearning package.
Sony Europe used gamification to create a top notch learning platform that provided detailed product knowledge to its users. Through a fun and enticing learning experience, Sony smartly provided its users with invaluable information on how to install different products. A feature-rich experience that included reporting and automatic-tracking, allowed the company to be successful in boosting productivity by providing efficient training sessions.
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Gamification is ever-evolving as new trends and practices enter the market. Choosing the gamification strategy should always be based on the learner’s expertise level along with the learning objectives. Being aware of the basic knowledge-level of your target audience is very important since it will give you an idea of how you are to go about incorporating various features in to your training program. Remember, you should always try the game out first, testing it from a fresh perspective. It won’t be long before you’ll have your users hooked!