A Guide to Gamifying eLearning
eLearning is a style of distance education using gadgets connected to the internet, such as tablets, smartphones, and computers. It was developed in a bid to reach out to a broader audience of learners and partly to overcome the challenge of distance-learning, primarily aided by the influx of the internet in different parts of the world.
Since its conception, eLearning has been increasingly utilized by different stakeholders in the educational sector, who are increasingly gaining users across all sociodemographic divides. Educational institutions are also not left out as they have built and continually upgrade smart eLearning platforms for their students. It is not just useful as a tool in educational institutes; employers also use it to improve their employee’s skillsets.
The primary strength of eLearning lies in the dynamism of educators and developers’ continually improving it and making it more user friendly. The introduction of audio, video, social networking, and VR made learning more interesting for students and trainees. However, none of these have had the impact that gamification has on eLearning. In this article, we hope to provide our readers with a comprehensive guide to gamifying their eLearning classroom
How eLearning Ban be Gamified
Gamification is the act of using gaming concepts and ideas for non-gaming processes. Elearning gamification applies gaming ideology to facilitate the eLearning process. An example of an eLearning platform with a gamification concept is Duolingo – a language learning app. This innovation has made eLearning more fun and more user-friendly. Gamification can be applied to eLearning through the following means:
- Incorporating Competition- Competition (whether with self or with others) is the fuel of all human ambition and a central concept of gamification. Incorporating competition into eLearning is achieved by designing learning modules so learners can compete to complete the module. An example is rating learners by the speed at which they complete certain tasks.
- Make Academic Achievement Addictive- Gaming is addictive – one of the reasons stems from the satisfaction gamers derive from completing the assigned task for every stage and outdoing themselves by completing the next stage until the game is over.
Applying this principle is done by designing learning modules with progressively increasing difficulties (scaffolding learning technique). Learners and Instructors derive great satisfaction from completing an assigned task, which makes them yearn for more.
- Incorporate Sociological Concepts- Since humans are social beings, games that incorporate teamwork command a considerable following. Splitting learners into teams with set learning tasks to be accomplished, and with elements of the competition will make learning more fun. Projects, when carried out in groups of like-minded people, become more fun.
- Add a Reward System- Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory has proven that humans are driven by reward, just like other higher animals. Positive and negative rewards influence our decision on which tasks to complete. In eLearning, learners can be rewarded through points, medals, and certificates when they achieve a certain cut-off score or achieve a level of mastery.
Examining the Impact of Gamification on eLearning
Applying gamification concepts to eLearning benefits learners and enables them to achieve academically. Here are the ways by which gamification improves learning outcomes:
- Improved Engagement- Gamified content makes learning fun and interesting, which enables students to master essential concepts with ease.
- Improved Motivation- The incorporation of concepts of motivation into gamification makes students commit to learning new ideas and theories, creating a drive to excel.
- Improved Attention Span- For learning sessions to be effective, and learners to remain glued to the screen for hours, a mix of learning and fun is essential. Gamifying learning content makes learners pay more attention, either for the sake of knowledge or the fun of completing a challenge.
- Improved Information Retention Rate– An increased attention span helps to enhance information retention. When content is gamified, it becomes fun, and student retention improves.
- Improved Feedback and Participation- Incorporating immediate feedback into eLearning modules will give learners a sense of immediate gratification and make them long for more.
Well, that’s it for now. What else should corporate trainers know about incorporating gamification into eLearning?