Why gamification in elearning is important (4 reasons)

Are you struggling to engage and motivate your learners? Gamification in elearning has been a hot topic in recent years. In this article, Steve Penfold shares four reasons why gamification in elearning is so powerful.

why gamification elearning important

We all love games. The feeling of accomplishment, of improving, of beating an opponent, and the feedback and rewards that you get are the sorts of things that keep you coming back for more.

Gamification is the application of these same gaming-mechanics to non-game activities, with the aim of getting you to participate and engage in a desired way. For example, think about how frequent flyer programs work. There’s something deep within us that likes to make the progress from silver status to gold status.

L & D teams are hooking into this psychology in order to make their initiatives more engaging and effective.

Here are five reasons why you should consider using gamification in your elearning.

1. Gamification can motivate learners


Sixty two percent of learners indicated that they would be more motivated to learn if leaderboards and colleague competition were elements in their learning. Many elearning tools have now built gamified elements into their platforms. For example, Elucidat let’s build achievements and badges into your elearning to incentivise and motivate learners.

Learners are also motivated by competing against themselves. You can motivate learners by asking them to improve on past scores in order to earn a “badge” that indicates progression.

2. Gamification can be used to personalize learning experiences


The best games let participants make choices that influence outcomes.

In elearning, this can be achieved by giving the learners choices to investigate parts of a course that are most meaningful to them. For example, you can use a branching scenario that enables learners to invoke different outcomes based on the choices they make. These mechanisms make the experience more personal to the learner.

This simple Fraud Prevention branching scenario demonstrates what I means. It gives learners the power to control their destiny.

3. Gamification makes it easy to give learners feedback


The most engaging games quickly show the consequences of your actions: make a move and you soon know if it was a good one or if you need to take a different approach next time.

The ways that a feedback cycle can be implemented are limited only by your imagination (and what your audience needs to learn!), but the engagement principle is the same.

Don’t be afraid to stretch learners in the choices they have to make! It’s not bad for learners to make mistakes, as long as your feedback guides them to make better decisions next time.

4. Learners love game-like activities


People love to engage with games. In one poll, over 75% of people played online games moderately to fairly often. In fact, 80% of respondents said that they felt they’d be more productive if their university or work environment were more game-like.

What is that telling you?

Gamification isn’t just about making something fun. Instead, it’s about incentivizing people to engage and actively participate in your learning.

In conclusion

Games are everywhere. You have likely been motivated by points, badges, leaderboards, and other game mechanics in the past. So why not try using the same powerful levers to motivate your learners towards better learning outcomes?

Steve Penfold

Steve Penfold is the Chief Executive of Elucidat. He helps large companies and training providers speed up and simplify their elearning authoring.
Steve Penfold

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