Gamification in eLearning involves using game mechanics in eLearning and digital training. Not to be confused with learning games which involves creating a game that is aimed towards teaching the learner about a specific subject. The difference between learning games and gamification is that gamification involves using elements such as levels, badges and awards to enhance eLearning and digital training whereas a learning game is a game with a learning focus.
1. Gives employees milestones
One of the benefits of gamification is that it gives employees the ability to measure how they have progressed over time. For example if you create a series of eLearning courses that a learner has to take it will be difficult for the learner to judge how much they have learnt and what they have achieved. However, if you take that same series of eLearning courses and apply a badge system it can let the learner see how far they have come and how much they have achieved. Instead of the learner just completing a course a badge can be given to them which demonstrates they have reached a certain milestone, the benefit of this is that learners can track their progress and have a sense of achievement.
2. Friendly competition
Another game mechanic that can increase learner interaction is leaderboards. In video games a leaderboard displays who the top players are based on a score. Similarly to a leaderboard in a video game the same could also be applied to eLearning and digital training. Creating friendly rivalry between individuals or departments can be a way to increase the interest a learner has in the subject. If the learner is invested in achieving a higher score they are more likely to want to learn more about that subject in order to achieve a higher score. For example you might include leaderboards as part of your knowledge checks or quizzes, the learners or groups that score higher will be higher on the leaderboard. One caveat to leaderboards is to make sure that learners aren’t feeling pressured into achieving a certain score, this can be done by limiting the amount of people shown on the board e.g only show the top 10 scores.
3. Motivates employees
When using gaming mechanics such as avatars, narratives and badges it gives the employee additional motivation and increases engagement in the course. If a learner just takes a series of eLearning courses without any investment its harder to be engaged. However, if the content is part of a story or if the learner takes control of a character it increases the investment the learner has in that eLearning course. When playing games one of the reasons why gamers can play for long periods of time is due to the investment they have in a character or story, applying some of these principles to your eLearning can help you increase the amount of engagement a learner has in your content.
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