22 Aug 2016, written by Knolyx

Benefits of Gamification in eLearning

According to Wikipedia, "gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts”.
The approach is already applied in numerous areas like learning, environment, enterprise, government, health, marketing, etc. For example, Gamification of Enterprise allows employees, partners and customers to interact with business applications, processes and systems of an organization in an more fun and engaging manner. Enterprise gamification can drive employee motivation to align their behavior with organizational strategies, tasks and disciplinary plans thereby resulting in better acceptance of management plans along with increased productivity and low attrition.

The techniques employed by gamification are striving to leverage people’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status, altruism, community collaboration and many others. In early days, one common strategy was to use rewards for players who accomplish the desired tasks or create a competition between them to improve engagement. Provide points, badges, statuses or even virtual currencies as rewards and make the rewards visible to all players. One technique applied here is creating a leader board on which players are ranked according to their rewards. This makes the people more competitive, increasing the engagement level into the tasks performed.

In learning, these techniques help on creating an effective learning system that enables learners to rehearse real-life scenarios and challenges in a safe environment. Gamification is not dependent on IT platforms; it can be applied outside a software system. However, including gamification inside a Learning Management System has had incredible positive results, for one simple reason: the inclination of people to PC gaming in general.  According to Jane McGonigal, in her book Reality is Broken, “By 21 years of age, many males will have spent over 10000 immersed in online gaming”. That is an incredible number, which cannot be ignored. People are attracted to games.

Usually people are inclined to remember more of the things they actually did than the things they read about, hear or see. So, by allowing people to practice inside safe environments (simulations, games), you allow them to better assimilate the information. This has far better impact than interactive courses or seminars, not to mentioned presentations, self-study guides or any other electronic means of transferring information.

The following concrete benefits of using gamification can be identified:

    better learning experience - the learner experience “fun” during the game but still learn if the level of engagement if high. So is important to increase the engagement by using techniques like rewards, create learder boards, etc.

     better learning environment - by using gamification in LMS you create real-life scenarios which can be executed by the learners but in a controller environment, which also allows them to experience failure but it gives them the opportunity to learn from it without supporting the real-life consequences. This benefit is itself a techniques to increase the level of engagement;

     instant feedback - the feedback provided by LMS is instant (you pass or fail a task, you won or lost a reward, you advanced to a new level of the game, etc.).

    can be applied to most learning needs - you can use it many areas from induction and onboarding, product sales, customer support, soft skills.

     impact on bottom-line - it is a consequence of the fact that gamification impacts learners on so many aspects (better learning experience, engagement, and so on).

It is very important not only to increase the quantity of the information assimilated by a learner during the learning process but also the quality of it. And during learning sessions is very difficult to keep the learners focused all the time so you need ways to make them enjoy more the learning process and also to learn more.

Through gamification a lot of information otherwise transferred by means of presentations, tutorials, live demonstrations - which have their added value, is assimilated by the learner through a more active involvement, basically by doing things, experiencing real-life situations and understand them from inside and not just looking at them from outside in a more detached manner.