The introduction of learning management systems (LMS) and the advent of online learning have changed the education and development landscape completely. Training and learning have not just become more accessible, but also more convenient and engaging. The benefits of personalization in LMS provide even greater advantages. And, when you introduce gamification to the process, it takes the training and learning industry to the next level.
Gamification in learning is an effective way to keep students engaged and motivated by using video game and other game elements in learning environments.
What is gamification in eLearning?
Gamification in learning (which includes online training and learning management systems) is the use of gaming technology to deliver the course or learning content in a gamified form to students – which makes the process of learning more interesting, engaging and impactful. It is the use of game-based mechanics and aesthetics to engage learners and promote learning. There is more to gamification than just adding rewards, points and gamification badges to lessons. It is the instructional method – not only the delivery system – that makes learning in a game situation more interesting.
Since eLearning gamification offers several benefits, it has increasingly become popular with companies all over the world. It not only makes the overall eLearning experience more enjoyable and engaging, but also more effective. Gamification in eLearning allows you to create educational courses that are exciting and entertaining, regardless of your audience or vertical.
The science of gamification
“When we participate in activities that stimulate our bodies or minds, such as exercising, our body releases a hormone known as endorphins. The same effect can be achieved by playing eLearning games that challenge learners or give them the chance to achieve a particular reward, even if that reward is something as simple as moving onto the next level. When these endorphins are released, the learners not only have more fun during the eLearning process, but they actually retain more information. Endorphins also bring on feelings of calm and well-being.
“It’s also important to note that endorphins are neurotransmitters, which means that they have the ability to send signals between neurons. And this is why gamification in eLearning is so beneficial for learners. It creates a sense of excitement within the learners because they feel that they are accomplishing something, thanks to the endorphins that are being released. This excitement leads to a boost in motivation and makes the experience more powerful and memorable.”
The benefits of gamification in eLearning
As mentioned above, gamification in eLearning not only makes learning interesting, but it also makes it more effective. Here are the top benefits of gamification in eLearning:
Gamification makes eLearning fun – The best way to teach students of all ages is through play. Game-based learning combines education with entertainment, making it an interactive, creative and engaging way to assimilate new information and boost problem-solving skills.
Gamification enhances the learning experience – Gamification in eLearning allows the learners to engage with the content in an informal yet effective learning environment. It makes the learners excited about learning, which improves their ability to retain the information.
Renowned educator Malcolm Knowles identified four principles of andragogy – the study of methods and principles of adult education.
Three of his principles are central to the idea of game-based learning:
1- Experience provides the basis for learning activities – Game-based learning is mostly based on scenario games in which learners move ahead through a challenging situation by making decisions and taking actions. The learners can only move ahead by demonstrating the behaviors or skills desired by the designer of the game. It, therefore, gives employees the opportunity to learn through their experience as they progress with the game.
2- Most adults are interested in learning things that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life – Game-based learning puts employees in realistic work situations, which helps them to visualize and experience the connection between their job and learning. It gives learners the opportunity to practice real-life situations and challenges in a safe (free of negative consequences) environment.
3- Adult learning revolves around problem-solving; it is not content-centric – Problem-solving is the mainstay of scenario games – as opposed to content-based lessons that reward “right answers.” Employees encounter a problem that needs to be solved – which further enhances the learning experience.
Gamification increases learner motivation – eLearning gamification creates a competitive environment where learners can compete with others for high scores, leaderboard rankings and rewards. Game-based learning also promotes cooperation, as learners can work together and discuss strategies to move ahead.
It provides a framework for microlearning – Microlearning, as the name suggests, is eLearning delivered in small pieces. It only requires three to five minutes to complete the program, which makes it appealing to modern learners (read millennials) and businesses. As gamification primarily focuses on micro-goals, content delivered and consumed in this way increases the learners’ productivity and motivation.
Gamification provides instant feedback, which facilitates learning – When it comes to learning, feedback is a vital component. Game-based learning offers instant feedback to learners on what they have understood about the course content. Participants can instantaneously see how they are faring, and what needs to be done to improve performance. Learners can see their ranking in comparison to others in the organization by using leaderboards. Game-based learning provides immediate feedback in a variety of ways, making it all the more effective.
Gamification effects behavioral change – It is a challenge to ensure that the eLearning program results in changing the behavior of the learners. It is easy to ensure that all your employees know about the regulatory requirements that affect them, but it is a different ball game altogether to ensure that everyone meets those requirements all the time. As employees work their way through the lesson’s scenario, they have to practice the behaviors you want them to demonstrate. Not only will they receive the same training, employees will be more likely to be consistently compliant.
Gamification improves ROI – Gamification increases the engagement, awareness and productivity of your employees – which in turn has a positive impact on the performance of your organization. Your employees can immediately apply what they learn on the job. It therefore helps you to improve the ROI of your eLearning programs.
If you want to increase learner engagement and improve the performance of your employees, contact eServe. We provide a comprehensive cloud-based LMS education tool that helps HR professionals, managers and instructional designers create and redistribute their content through over multiple outlets and formats. Our advanced solutions allow your organization to add more flexibility and control to your learning management process.