Gamification is increasingly becoming an essential tool in improving the learning experience. For example, completing a scenario-based game is undoubtedly more enjoyable than a simple multiple-choice quiz as part of an onboarding process.
A recent study by MarketsandMarkets indicates that the global gamification market size was worth $9.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at an impressive rate of 27.4%, reaching $30.7 billion by 2025. It's no surprise that gamification is considered one of the top 10 must-have features of a learning management system.
In this article you’ll find out what are the benefits of gamification in education and the challenges you might encounter when implementing gamification in eLearning.
What is Gamification in eLearning?
Gamification involves the use of game mechanics in non-gaming activities to engage and capture your audience. It offers the freedom to transform a task into a more interactive and playful experience for your learners.
Adding excitement to our regular activities can make them more enjoyable. One such example is the Pokemon Go craze where people used an app to catch virtual Pokemon during their walks. Such ideas demonstrate how a little bit of excitement can revamp the way we experience things.
Gamification includes components like badges, certifications, fun competitions, and gifts that give an extra boost to your courses. These features successfully incorporate the gamification elements of getting points, completing levels, and facing challenges that we are used to seeing in video games.
According to Brandon Hall Group, gamification is a positive disruption and a game changer that can elevate the digital learning process.
Does Gamification in eLearning Truly Help Learners study?
Some organizations are hesitant to adopt gamification in eLearning due to perceived drawbacks, such as higher costs and longer development time, and doubt that it results in learning outcomes despite being fun for learners. However, the following statistics demonstrate the importance of considering gamification:
According to McGonigal, Reality is Broken, by the age of 21, many males will have spent more than 10,000 hours engaged in online gaming.
According to Gartner's research, by the end of 2014, over 70% of Global 2000 companies were predicted to provide at least one gamified application, although not all would be effective.
How does Gamification Enhance Learning?
Gamification in LMS is an effective way to engage learners and create an interactive learning experience. Here are some ways how does gamification enhance learning:
1. Increases Learner Engagement
Gamification makes learning more engaging by adding an element of fun and excitement to the process. By incorporating game mechanics, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, learners are incentivized to participate in the learning process and take ownership of their progress.
2. Makes learning fun and interactive
LMS gamification transforms learning from a mundane task to an enjoyable experience. Through interactive activities and challenges, learners are motivated to engage with the material and participate in the learning process.
3. Gamified learning increases motivation to learn
By providing learners with a sense of achievement and progress through the use of virtual rewards and recognition, gamification increases motivation to learn. It also helps learners to stay focused on their goals and track their progress along the way.
4. Improves Knowledge Absorption And Retention
Gamification helps learners to absorb and retain knowledge more effectively. By breaking down complex topics into bite-sized, interactive modules, learners can better understand and retain the information.
5. Sparks Friendly Competition
LMS with gamification sparks friendly competition among learners, motivating them to work harder and achieve better game results. This creates a sense of community and collaboration among learners, fostering a positive and supportive informal learning environment.
6. Gives learners the opportunity to see real-world applications
One of the major benefits of gamification in eLearning is that it allows learners to see real-world applications of what they are learning. Through simulation games, learners can practice real-world scenarios and gain hands-on experience in a safe and controlled environment. This not only enhances their learning experience but also boosts their confidence in applying their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the real world.
7. Sparks Friendly Competition
Gamification in eLearning also fosters a healthy sense of competition among learners. By adding game elements such as leaderboards, badges, and rewards, learners are motivated to perform better and strive to achieve the top spot. This friendly competition not only adds an element of fun but also improves learner engagement and retention.
8. Offers real-time feedback
Gamification in eLearning provides learners with instant feedback on their performance. Learners can track their progress, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and receive real-time feedback on their performance. This allows them to quickly adjust their learning strategies and focus on areas that need improvement.
9. Facilitates Mistake-Driven Learning
In traditional learning environments, mistakes are often viewed as failures. However, in gamified learning programs, mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn and improve. By providing learners with immediate feedback on their mistakes and allowing them to retry until they get it right, gamification promotes a mistake-driven learning approach. This not only helps learners to learn from their mistakes but also increases their confidence in applying their learning.
10. Gamification enhances the learning experience
Overall, gamification enhances the learning experience by making it more interactive, engaging, and fun. By using game mechanics such as points, badges, and rewards, learners are motivated to perform better, retain more information, and apply their learning in real-world scenarios. Gamification in eLearning not only benefits the learners but also the organizations by improving their learning outcomes and achieving their training objectives.
Challenges of Gamification
Gamification in eLearning is not without its challenges. Here are some common challenges that organizations may face when introducing gamification into their eLearning programs:
1. Development Time and Cost
Designing and developing gamified content is time-consuming and can be costly, especially if it involves customizing and building a game from scratch. Organizations may need to allocate more resources for creating gamified content than traditional eLearning content.
2. Balancing Fun and Learning
The challenge with gamification is to ensure that the focus remains on the learning outcomes and that the game mechanics do not distract learners from the learning objectives. The game mechanics and rewards should be designed in such a way that they encourage learners to engage with the content and improve their knowledge and skills.
3. Motivating All Learners
While gamification can be highly effective in engaging and motivating some learners, it may not appeal to all learners. Some learners may find it too simplistic, while others may find it too complex or frustrating. Organizations need to consider different learning styles and preferences when developing gamified content.
4. Measuring ROI
Organizations need to ensure that the investment in gamification is worthwhile and that the learning outcomes justify the investment. Measuring the ROI of gamification can be challenging, as it may be difficult to isolate the effects of gamification from other factors that influence learning outcomes.
5. Keeping Up with Technology
As technology evolves, so do gamification trends and techniques. Organizations need to stay up-to-date with the latest gamification practices and tools to ensure that their gamified content remains relevant and effective.
E-Learning Gamification Examples
Gamification has become a popular technique to engage learners in the e-learning process. Here are some examples of gamification in e-learning:
DrivEd LMS: DrivEd is a Learning Management System (LMS) that incorporates gamification features to motivate students. With challenges, badges, progress tracking, and leaderboards, students can compete with each other while learning. This gamification approach aims to increase engagement and boost motivation levels among learners. Overall, DrivEd provides a fun and interactive learning experience that encourages students to push themselves to achieve their goals.
Duolingo: Duolingo is a popular language-learning platform that uses gamification to make learning fun and interactive. The platform offers a variety of game-like activities such as multiple-choice questions, fill in the blanks, and translations. Duolingo incorporates progress tracking, badges, and leaderboards to enhance motivation.
Codecademy: Codecademy is an online coding platform that uses gamification to make learning to code more engaging. The platform offers a variety of coding challenges, quizzes, and projects. Codecademy incorporates badges, points, and progress tracking to encourage learners to complete coding tasks.
Kahoot!: Kahoot! is an interactive game-based learning platform that uses gamification to engage learners in quizzes, surveys, and discussions. The platform offers a variety of games, including trivia games, survey games, and discussion games. Kahoot! incorporates leaderboards, points, and timed games to enhance engagement.
LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning is an e-learning platform that uses gamification to engage learners in professional development eLearning courses. The platform offers a variety of courses, including leadership, technology, and creative skills. LinkedIn Learning incorporates badges, certificates, and progress tracking to motivate learners to complete courses.
Classcraft: Classcraft is an online educational role-playing game that uses gamification to engage learners in the classroom. The platform offers a variety of game-like activities, including quests, battles, and challenges. Classcraft incorporates leaderboards, points, and progress tracking to encourage learners to complete quests and challenges.
Why Use Gamification in E-Learning?
Gamification has become an increasingly popular technique to enhance the learning experience in e-learning. There are many reasons why you should consider incorporating gamification in your e-learning program:
- Increased Engagement: Gamification helps to create a more engaging learning experience, which can be especially important for learners who may find traditional e-learning methods unengaging or tedious.
- Improved Retention: Gamification can increase learner knowledge retention by making the learning experience more memorable and interactive. When learners are more engaged and invested in the learning process, they are more likely to retain what they learn.
- Positive Reinforcement: Gamification can provide positive reinforcement for learners by offering rewards and recognition for their achievements. This can help to motivate learners and encourage them to continue learning and improving.
- Personalization: Gamification can allow for personalized learning experiences by providing learners with choices and options for how they learn and engage with the material.
- Real-world Applications: Gamification can provide learners with real-world scenarios to apply what they've learned. This can help to bridge the gap between theory and practice and make learning more relevant and applicable.
How to Implement Gamification in Employee Training
Set clear learning objectives: Identify the learning outcomes you want to achieve through gamification. This will help you design relevant game mechanics that support those outcomes
- Choose the right game mechanics: Select game mechanics that support the learning objectives and engage the learners. For instance, points, badges, and leaderboards can create friendly competition, while story-based scenarios can increase learner engagement.
- Create a narrative: Develop a story that will keep your learners engaged throughout the gamification experience. This can help them understand the context of the training and apply the learning in their jobs.
- Provide immediate feedback: Immediate feedback is crucial for gamification to be effective. It helps learners understand their progress and motivates them to achieve better results.
- Integrate gamification into your LMS: Use learning management systems (LMS) that supports gamification features. This will make it easier to track learner progress, monitor the effectiveness of the training, and provide feedback to learners.
- Keep it simple: Don't overcomplicate the gamification experience. Keep the game mechanics simple and easy to understand, and avoid creating distractions that take away from the learning objectives.
- Continuously evaluate and improve: Monitor the effectiveness of the gamification experience and continuously improve learning based on learner feedback and performance data. This will help ensure that the gamification experience remains relevant and effective in achieving the learning objectives.
In conclusion, gamification is an effective learning strategy for enhancing the learning experience in eLearning. It increases learner engagement, makes learning fun and interactive, motivates learners, improves knowledge absorption and retention, sparks friendly competition, offers real-world applications, provides real-time feedback, facilitates mistake-driven learning, and ultimately enhances the learning experience.
If you're looking for an LMS with gamification features that can be customized to meet your business needs, consider DrivEd LMS. Its gamification features can help to make your employee training program more effective and engaging. With the right approach and strategy, gamification can take your eLearning program to the next level.