You might have seen the word ‘gamification’ thrown around on edtech webpages and in promotional emails galore, but do you really know how and why this instrument is implemented in eLearning courses? Gamification involves the ingenious use of gaming mechanics and design elements to entice learners, allowing them to be educated all the while enjoying the learning experience.
This modern adaptation is the result of a constantly evolving demand to ward off any distractions which may present themselves online, and these are five ways in which gamification is used in eLearning:
- Rewards and Collectables
One of the simplest ways to grab learners with gamifying a learning program is to provide strong objectives. This can be done by incorporating rewards and collectables to an online course. For example, give learners the ability to earn badges for successfully completing a module, and make these collectables visible to other participants. Speak to Pavlov and his dogs about how and why this works, but it sure does.
As mentioned above, making collectables visible to other participants can be a driving factor for further participation – the same goes for leaderboards. If Rob from the office has a high position on the leaderboard, Belinda (who doesn’t really like Rob’s sense of entitlement) will naturally strive to beat him. Leaderboards set a healthy environment for competition, and it’s one way to ensure that employees will remain active on the learning platform.
- Cracking Content
This element is an obvious derivation from the gaming world. By completing specific tasks or modules in order to crack new content, users are more inclined to meet their learning objectives. This can be done by earning keys as content progresses, a number of which can potentially be used to unlock access to hidden content, like additional training resources. Alternatively, content can be arranged in levels, whereby users can only progress once a level has been completed. If a colleague is on a higher level, users are likely to try hard to catch-up.
Similarly, to earning keys in content cracking, users are also encouraged to do better when a point system is involved. This element of gaming is utilised in eLearning by providing points to individuals who answer questions about content correctly. This way, users are more likely to be thoughtful about how they answer, because naturally they will want to earn more points by providing the correct responses. Furthermore, these points could be converted into course currency, which can be explored further in the next element.
- Course Currency
While this one is not always widely popular yet, we believe that it is a further incentive for productivity while learning. If a number of points can be converted into course currency, which can be exchanged for tangible rewards, then users are further encouraged to be productive in their learning experience. Say for example one hundred points makes ten course currencies, and ten course currencies buys you one hour off the day, or a free coffee – we have no doubt your employees will be learning up a storm in their spare time! Besides, who doesn’t love free stuff?
Gamification really is more than just a catchphrase. This trend is hugely influential how content providers, like New Leaf Technologies, are connecting with platform users and keeping learners engaged. There are a bunch of additional gaming elements which can be thrown into the platform equation, but these are just five efficient techniques which have been adopted into the eLearning experience.