Gamification in eLearning: How Does it Work?

Gamification in eLearning: How Does it Work?
Author

Akshatha Kamath

Last updated October 20, 2017


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Enterprises that are looking to impart effective team training without causing stress or disinterest are beginning to look to training providers that offer gamification in their digital learning models. According to a research by Ambient Insight, the spends on gamified learning will reach $2.4 billion by 2018, up from $1.7 billion in 2013, which suggests that an increasing number of organizations today are using gamified learning tools to meet their training needs. 

In recent years, eLearning has also seen immense growth. The  Massive Online Open Learning (MOOC) movement is now more than six years old and has over 58 million students, 700+ universities, and 6,850 courses, according to MOOCs in 2016 analysis by Class Central. MOOC has provided learners with the flexibility to learn what they want whenever is most convenient. This, in turn, has compounded the biggest challenge of self-learning courses: motivating people to learn. One study claims that MOOCs have a 90 percent dropout rate. Therefore, it is important to implement the right measures to motivate learners to complete training.  

That’s where gamification comes in.

In a traditional classroom setting, the enthusiasm and experience of a trainer give students additional stimulus to master the subject at hand. Often times, eLearning courses include online learning videos that lack live interaction with a trainer. Gamification is reviving that feeling of interaction by providing incentivized competition. 

Gamification in eLearning

Gamification is possibly the next disruptive technology in eLearning. It involves a combination of mechanics and theory used in video game production and design implemented for non-playable content. Video games make use of the concept of goals/levels where “gamers” are rewarded for completing specific challenges. Gamification in eLearning is intended to inspire a game-like reaction and engagement among learners. This results in improved information retention, motivation and increased productivity. In addition, learners are rewarded for achievements, and are persuaded to complete the courses.

Implementing gamification is a complicated task and is a combination of the right mechanics and narrative. Learners need to be considered as gamers and provided with content which is engaging with specific time constraints. Content can be provided using a combination of visually rich presentation and videos that prompt learner interaction. Interactions can include quizzes, problem-solving exercises, and so on. Some eLearning portals also provide a collaborative environment with other learners similar to a multi-player gaming environment.

Completion or achievement of challenges/goals are rewarded in the form of badges, leaderboards or vouchers. The competition and communication evoked by gamification provide learners with a sense of community that they often miss when taking online classes. The combination of engaging content and competitive challenges increases a learner’s motivation to complete the course and retain the material.  

Future of Gamification

There has been a significant development in the adoption of gamification across leading self-service and MOOC platforms. The focus is to induce a sense of collaboration and achievement that provides learners with an entertaining yet educational experience. As data continues to prove that this strategy leads to higher completion and retention rates, gamification will earn itself a spot among the must-have features of any online learning provider.  

Conclusion

Today technology is the motivating force that drives training. Corporate-mandated training brings about a significant improvement in an individual’s performance, which directly impacts the productivity and profitability of an organization. The purpose of any training program is to help learners achieve the competency and skill-set required for the job at hand or for a job they wish to land. Gamification offers an enjoyable learning experience while motivating learners to make progress and drive higher course completion rates.

About the Author

Writer, Marketer, Traveler, Experimenter and a huge Book(read Kindle)-addict. Akshatha heads content at Simplilearn and when not at work, she's all of the above.


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