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Interactive eLearning: effective gamification (4 new ideas)

Gamification: the approach to interactive eLearning

You probably hear the word gamification in a series of contexts, but have you ever wondered what gamification actually is? Well, it is defined as the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. In case you do not know exactly where you could integrate it in your day-to-day activities, you should know that 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 organisation in a more engaging manner. Thus, the desired interactive eLearning.

Basically, you can employ gamification in your business activities to raise the level of engagement, by motivating the employees to align their behaviour with organisational strategies, tasks and disciplinary plans, thereby resulting in a better acceptance of management plans along with increased productivity and low attrition.

Interactive eLearning

Now, let’s see how gamification could actually improve your activity, starting from an increase in the level of interaction. The techniques employed by gamification are striving to leverage your team’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status, altruism and community collaboration, all of these leading to an interactive learning.

In early days, one common strategy was using rewards for players who succeeded in accomplishing the desired tasks or create a competition between them to improve engagement and, further, to lead to interactive eLearning.

Now you can provide points, badges, statuses or even virtual currencies as rewards and make the rewards visible to all players, to keep them motivated. Another technique you can apply is creating a leader board on which players are ranked according to their rewards.

How would this help you? Well, people are usually driven by competition and this would make them more competitive, increasing the engagement level into the tasks performed, so that the learning process is not static, but rather dynamic.

In interactive eLearning, these techniques could help you to create an effective learning system for your employees, which enables them 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 and you can benefit from this tendency by employing it in the activities that interest you.

Benefits of gamification for interactive eLearning

Do you feel inclined to remember more of the things that you actually did than the things you read about, hear or see? This is common to the majority of people. And it's for interactive eLearning aims at. So, by allowing people to practice inside safe environments (simulations, games) you allow them to better assimilate the information.

This has a better impact than interactive eLearning courses, not to mention presentations, self-study guides or any other electronic means of transferring information. In case you are not convinced yet, here is a list of the benefits of gamification which can improve your professional activity:

  • better learning experience–your employees can now combine the mandatory tasks with the fun part, so that the learning process will not be boring, but rather engaging by the use of techniques like rewards, real life scenarios, create leader boards, etc;
  • better learning environment – by using gamification in LMS you create real-life scenarios which can be executed by learners in a controlled environment, which also allows them to experience failure, but it also gives them the opportunity to learn from it without supporting the real-life consequences; moreover, you can pass on knowledge through interactive videos;
  • instant feedback– the feedback provided by LMS is instant (you pass or fail a task, you win or lose a reward, you advance to a new level of the game, etc;
  • can be applied to most learning needs– you can use it it many areas from induction and on-boarding, product sales, customer support, soft skills.

During interactive eLearning sessions, it 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.

Some (final) thoughts

Now, you do not have to constantly search for methods to engage them, you can rely on the variety of benefits offered by a gamified learning process which lead to an interactive elearning approach. Why? Because the information 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.

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