If you design or develop e-learning, chances are you’ve heard the term “gamification.” Simply put, gamification is the application of gaming elements and techniques to e-learning content in an effort to make it more engaging and fun. Gamification involves using game mechanics like rules, narratives, levels, scores, and time constraints in your e-learning.
There are a few advantages to “gamifying” your courses. Let’s take a look at how gamification relates to e-learning.
Capture Learners' Interest
Most people love games! They’re fun—which is exactly why you should consider adding gaming elements to your courses.
For instance, you can capture your learners’ interest by writing a narrative, adding interactivity, and giving players control over their experience. Using a story with characters and a plot hooks your learners and makes them want to find out what happens. Allowing for discovery can also pique their curiosity and encourage them to click around and discover your course content. Using these types of gaming elements pulls learners into the course content, rather than having them just passively click the “next” button for more bullet points.
Increase Engagement & Retention
Once you’ve captured your learners’ interest, you want to keep them engaged by prompting them to think and make decisions. Gaming elements can help you achieve these goals too. For instance, offering rewards and an opportunity to gain bonus points for questions answered correctly can keep people on the edges of their seats. Using these types of techniques is a clever way to encourage engagement, as they require learners to interact with the course content. And it goes without saying that the more interested and engaged your learners are, the more content they’ll absorb and retain!
Promote Healthy Competition
The desire to win is a natural human instinct. And gamification can be a great way to spur some healthy competition, either across teams or even just against themselves. The gaming technique of continuous play—in other words, allowing learners to keep trying over and over—can encourage learners to compete against themselves to improve their own score. Some companies use leaderboards, rankings, or badging systems to show how well employees are doing in their online training. Of course, you always want to approach these types of ideas carefully and be wary of showing personal scores or calling out the lowest scorers.
The Bottom Line
There are so many ways to gamify your e-learning. Using the ideas here or coming up with your own gaming elements for your projects can transform content into something relatable and engaging. Plus, it can really make the learner feel like they’re having fun while learning.
Need more inspiration on gamifying your content? These resources will help you get started.
- 5 Visual Design Tips for Gamified E-Learning
- Gamification Techniques: How to Apply Them to E-Learning
- A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How I Designed This Gamified Quiz
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