Gamification of eLearning: How To Keep Your Learners Engaged
If you want to learn a new language or complete a marketing course and receive hundreds of pages to read alone, will you do it? Maybe yes, if you’re laser-focused on the study materials. However, most people would probably give up very early on.
This proves that traditional learning methods are no longer enough to keep people engaged. In fact, research shows that 49% of people confirm their attention span is shorter than it used to be.
The best way to improve the learning experience is to introduce gamification of eLearning. And no, gamification is not reserved only for video game geeks. It can be used in all fields, from corporate training gamification to universities, to make studying fun, exciting and quite rewarding!
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about implementing gamification in eLearning with many real-life examples to help you get started.
What is the gamification of eLearning?
ELearning gamification is based on adding game-based elements (points systems, badges, trivia) to a non-game environment, such as a learning platform. The goal is to turn learning into a fun and enjoyable experience.
You can use gamification to boost learners’ motivation and create a friendly competition that will challenge all learners to try harder and give their best.
You could also use it to track learning progress in a fun way, with trivia, leadership boards and rewards for the top learners.
Gamification can be used both in formal and informal settings, in schools as well as for corporate training.
It’s a stereotype that only kids like games and awards and prizes when they do something well. Adults also like recognition both in personal and professional settings, it motivates them to keep up good work.
If you’re organizing a learning event, read these articles to find more details on how to include gamification in your conference booth and how to engage attendees.
See also: Gamification in training
What are the benefits of gamification of eLearning?
Here are the five biggest benefits of gamification in eLearning:
Gamification makes the learning process more fun
Let’s face it. Many adults are intimidated when it comes to learning new skills. It requires stepping outside of your comfort zone and being willing to learn from your own mistakes.
Plus, some people associate learning with old-fashioned school programs and strict teachers that are oftentimes boring and hard to listen to.
Therefore, the main objective is to create a welcoming environment where people can relax and open their minds to new knowledge.
Gamification of eLearning can help lower anxiety and make the process pleasant and fun! How so?
Well, certain studies show that implementing gamification in learning boosts the production of serotonin and dopamine. This is not only good for overall health and well-being, but it also makes learners associate positive emotions with the learning process. As a result, you get more students who are eager to participate and engage with you.
Gamification can increase positive competitiveness
The best way to boost learner engagement is to turn the learning journey into a game where they must do certain things to unlock the next level. Just like in a video game. People love challenges, especially when they’re well-balanced and achievable.
You can transform the learning process into a friendly competition where you keep score of everyone’s performance and give prizes to those who achieve the best results.
For many people, healthy competition is the biggest motivator to step up their game. You could create weekly goals and scoreboards to track learner progress.
Many apps allow you to create achievement badges representing something meaningful to your organization.
Gamification improves user experience and retention rate
User experience is one of the main factors determining whether a learner will stick to the course or lose motivation and leave it halfway.
Most people prefer interactive online courses in comparison to passively listening and taking information.
Your online learning platform should be fun and interactive and at the same time easy to use. That’s the recipe for an exceptional user experience.
Add fun quizzes and gamified assessments and people will be much more likely to complete your online course!
Gamification accelerates interaction
According to a Carnegie Mellon University study, interactive learning boosts learners’ performance and could accelerate knowledge acquisition.
Game-based learning is much more interactive than traditional teaching methods. You can create different games and exercises where the learners can put their knowledge into practice.
The focus is on the learner and they can apply their knowledge in real-time through different activities. Instead of being a passive viewer or listener, the learner participates actively in the process.
Gamification helps learners bond with each other
Online learning can feel like a lonely experience, especially for people that are used to spending time with their peers in the classroom or at work. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Gamification can add an element of social learning and community, even to fully remote teams. You can boost teamwork by dividing e-learners into teams that compete against each other.
Modern eLearning management systems often have features that resemble social media, like chat and comments. Learners can share their insights and help each other to grow and learn together, boosting a sense of community.
That way, you’re also building a company culture that encourages improvement and social learning.
Gamification of eLearning: What elements can you gamify?
You can gamify all key elements throughout the whole learner experience, from beginning to end. Here are some gamification examples that can be applied to most eLearning programs.
If your learning programs contain a lot of material and last longer, the best thing you can do is to divide them into levels. Just like in a video game, people have to complete certain tasks before they can unlock a new level.
That way, even complex learning programs will seem less overwhelming and doable.
You can introduce badges as a reward for each level unlocked.
A great example comes from Duolingo, a language mobile app that rewards its users for their consistency. In order to get your first wildfire badge, you have to use the app three days in a row, without pause.
There are a total of 10 levels and each new level takes longer to complete. With every new level, you get a better badge and you can also compete with your family and friends.
The most exclusive badge is reserved for people who use the app for one whole year, without missing a single day.
You can create your own custom badges, related to your field. One of the courses on your eLearning platform is an SEO course. You could add a badge for each level unlocked, for example: SEO Genius, Master of SEO, and so on.
When it comes to informal education, people don’t like doing tests and assessments because it reminds them of their school days. However, you need a way to find out whether a participant has reached learning objectives.
The best way to do so is to gamify tests and assessments and turn them into a fun and competitive game.
There are multiple ways to do so with Adact:
Instead of boring Yes/No questions, why not organize a swiping contest? This is a quick yet effective way to check learners’ knowledge about a particular subject.
The interface of this game reminds people of dating apps, which makes it even more unusual and fun. They have to swipe right if the answer is correct and swipe left if it is wrong.
They get to have fun swiping while at the same time, you get to collect valuable data on their learning progress.
If you want to do a quick knowledge check where participants have to select the right answer, we’ve got you covered.
You can present your questions in the form of a battle game, where they have to select the correct option. This is ideal for quick tests because it boosts dopamine, and you can add as many slides as you wish.
If you want to add an element of competition and a sense of urgency, multiplayer trivia is a perfect solution for you.
You can add multiple-choice questions related to your eLearning course and set the timer for each question. Every player gets to create their avatar and they can compete against each other.
Healthy competition will encourage learners’ engagement and make them give their maximum.
Depending on your field, sometimes video can be a much better format, especially if participants have to do skill assessments.
You may ask the participants to watch a short training video and then they get to answer multiple-choice questions based on the video they watched.
Simply add your video and the questions to our game template and you’re ready to start!
If you want to do a quick assessment after every lesson, you can create a custom Wordle game where learners have to guess the word that represents the answer to your question.
This game is suitable for language learning or eLearning courses when you have to memorize a lot of information.
The rules are simple. If a learner puts the correct letter in the correct box, the box turns green. If they put the correct letter in the wrong box, it turns yellow. Finally, if they pick a letter that isn’t in the word, the box turns gray.
As we already mentioned, leaderboards are a great way to motivate your participants and keep them engaged. On Adact every game comes with a built-in leaderboard that is automatically updating and tracking scores.
That way, the competition is fully transparent and everyone can check their ranking at any given moment.
After a successfully completed assessment, it’s time to talk about rewards and recognition. 88% of employees said they find rewards for good work important and motivating.
Other studies prove that many employees value non-money recognition equally or even more than performance bonuses.
It’s more about a gesture and recognition than about an actual reward they get.
Here are a few fun ways you can reward your participants with Adact.
Open the box
If you’ve prepared a couple of different rewards, you can add an element of excitement where people get to open the box and find out which reward they’ve gotten.
This game reminds us of pulling slips of paper randomly out of a hat. When it comes to online teams and eLearning, it may be difficult to organize the hat game, so we’ve made an online version of this game for you.
Wheel of fortune
Another option is to create a wheel of fortune with multiple rewards. Some of the rewards you could include are gift cards, discount coupons, and even a day off if you’re organizing this game in a corporate setting.
This is especially fun if the whole team is playing the game together and they get to guess what the reward will be.
If you want to add the element of mystery, instead of sending your participants a reward, send them an online scratchcard via email. It’s guaranteed that it will put a smile on their face and that the effect will be 10x better!
Finally, gamification can boost the response rate and collect feedback from learners in a fun and quick way.
Many trainers need help to collect feedback from participants because they tend to procrastinate with completing a survey after the course. That’s why your goal should be to make it as easy as possible to provide instant feedback.
Instead of asking people to complete a survey in written form, why not take the questions and make a game out of them?
All you have to do is fill out our survey template with your questions. You can add multiple slides with custom backgrounds where people have to rate course elements from 1 to 10.
How does gamification help you engage your learners?
The biggest mistake when creating an eLearning course is to take the materials you’d use for an offline course and publish them online. That’s no longer enough.
Most people are tired of the traditional learning method, where they have to read or listen to the materials passively. They want to be active participants!
Online platforms allow you to experiment with different formats and create interactive activities that engage users. It’d be a pity not to use them.
The best way to engage your learners is to add a lot of entertaining tasks they have to complete as they learn. It could be quizzes, trivia and various challenges.
That way, you’re breaking your online course into bite-sized chunks they can complete on their own timeline. This will motivate them to start and keep going because they get to concentrate on one thing at a time, which is less overwhelming than focusing on the whole course.
You can even add quick games that are not directly related to the learning objectives but that serve as a break between two learning sessions. That way, the learners cultivate positive emotions toward learning, which boosts their future engagement as a result.
Finally, healthy competition is one of the best motivators for most people! If you want to engage your team in eLearning, simply create a leader board where you’ll keep track of everyone’s score and see how they step up their game. Do this and see how quickly learner engagement grows!
By now, you should have a clearer picture of gamification in eLearning and ways to implement it in your field. Why wait any longer when you can reap the benefits of gamification today?
Adact allows you to choose from more than 30 games that you can customize according to your learning objectives.
The best part is that everyone can create a game on our website, as no coding skills are required. Most games are based on the simple drag-and-drop principle, with a lot of room for customization, i.e. creating a branded game by adding your logo or brand colors.
Sign up today and create your first game!
Gamification of eLearning: FAQs
You can add gamification elements such as interactive quizzes, trivia, badges and rewards. You could also make a challenge out of your eLearning course where learners get to collect points to unlock new levels or compete against each other.
Gamified learning has many benefits. Gamification boosts motivation and user engagement. As a result, people learn faster and enjoy the whole process much more. Also, the retention rate is higher because people are more motivated to finish the course when they see it as a challenge.
Creating a competition out of the eLearning process, using leaderboards to keep score of everyone’s performance, transforming tests into multi-player trivia, giving achievement badges and rewards to incentivize learners, and many more things.
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