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Why is Gamification a Boon to Elearning?

We would all agree that learning is pivotal to achieving any goal in the world. However, the set goal could only be achieved fully if the learning is interesting, engaging and motivating. Textbook learning is gradually losing its ground as learners find it boring, offering them no to little visual element to be able to actually see what they are learning. Many studies have also proved that we remember less of what we read and more of what we see.

Now, think of how quickly and effectively we all had started learning playing games, like Hopscotch, Four Square, Jump Rope, Badminton, and many more. Not did only we learn those games well, but enjoyed and had loads of fun too. Having agreed upon this, we could say that gaming is one of the best ways not just to learn something, but improve concentration, cognition and participation rather than merely reading out a book.

This is one of the top reasons why Gamification is quickly turning out to be a paradigm shift in learning space now. Gamification is a technique that uses game mechanics for even non-gaming activities, like elearning. Game-based learning products are becoming more and more popular everyday among e-learners because they are interactive, engaging, motivating, and have the fun element involved, which learners widely miss in traditional page-turner courses.

Let’s gain insight into crucial factors that make gamification a boon to elearning.

How Gamification Aids e-learning

#1 Makes e-learning Interactive and Entertaining

Image source: eLearning Industry

For a learner, it’s very important to feel excited about what they are learning, which is often not the case with traditional e-learning methods. Gamified e-learning scores big here by bringing in fun and interactive elements.

Learners feel excited to take up new tasks and perform them successfully without getting bored or feeling demotivated. When learning becomes fun and exciting, learners get the feeling of immersion, which also gives them the ownership of their learning.

KnowRe is one such gamification tool that lets middle and high school students learn mathematics in a fun-filled environment. The math program also has interactive learning map to show the students’ performance and motivate them to reach their full potential.

#2 Gives a Sense of Achievement

Image Source: Christening - WordPress.com

Having successfully passed a level in a game fills players with a feel-good-factor, which further motivates them to keep playing and making new achievements. Likewise, gamification in e-learning also helps learners get a sense of achievement after passing a level, which impels them to score more points and move to a higher level, thereby making gamified learning engaging and captivating.

Ribbon Hero, a game developed by Microsoft, lets people to learn MS Office by completing short and relevant tasks, like formatting or inserting graphs. Since tasks are short, it doesn’t take learners too long to complete them, which gives them a sense of achievement related to their learning progress and fuels their motivation to reach and pass higher levels.

#3 Better Learning Experience

Gamification gives learners the freedom to learn without having to worry about failure. If they fail to pass a level, they have the option to try again without any negative aura of having previously failed surrounding them. Therefore, game-based e-learning provides a positive learning environment where learners feel enthusiastic and interested.

Image Source:Opiskelijankaupunki

To cite an example, Duolingo lets people to learn a language by taking challenges related to speaking, listening and translation. Since learners are not experts, they are highly likely to fail at some level. However, the interesting point is that they can always start over and try again without having the feeling of being a failure or looser. Such a learning environment keeps the learners positive and motivated to keep trying and succeed in their bid to learn a language.

#4 Gives Rise to Microlearning

Learners find it difficult to grasp complex concepts through one entire course. Gamification comes handy here as it divides e-learning courses in small segments that usually take learners about 3-5 min to complete. So, learning becomes a step-by-step process wherein learners feel motivated to fulfill prerequisites that are required to unlock new learning segment. Gamified rewards, like badges, points, etc, nicely connect learning paths to help complete the learning process in a much easier and effective way.

Image Source: GSV Capital

For example, curious.com has nearly 25,000 lessons on virtually any topic. Based on your area of interest, it sends you mini lessons on daily basis to help you achieve your monthly learning goals. Learners get to build their Curiosity Quotient (CQ) by taking up micro lessons everyday for 30 minutes or 15 minutes or even five minutes.

#5 Provides Feedback to Keep Track of Learning Progress

Gamified learning helps learners keep the track of their learning progress by providing them feedback. As a result, learners quickly learn from their mistakes and complete their learning journey much earlier than traditional elearning. Feedback is a very important factor in any field to let learners figure out what’s going wrong with their efforts, and quickly find a fix to improve and perform better.

Image Source: SlideShare

Salesforce with Nitro/Bunchball is a tool that provides real-time feedback to employees to have better product knowledge and deliver strong performance. Immediate feedback on employee behavior also helps employees make the best of their targeted campaigns.

#6 Long-term Knowledge Retention

Image Source: Capytech

Use of work role simulation or life-like situations in gamified e-learning allows learners not just to effectively acquire new knowledge, but fit it in the long-term memory as well. Findings of a research conducted by Professor Traci Sitzmann, at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, have also showed that playing video games helped players acquire 11% higher factual knowledge level, 9% higher retention rate and 14% higher skill-based knowledge level.

Having gained knowledge imprinted in long-term memory makes gamified e-learning way better and effective than traditional page-turner courses.

Image Source: Pinterest

MCDONALDS: TILL TRAINING GAME is designed to use a simulation of the new till system. The game features a realistic setup which contains restaurants, characters resembling customers and a narrative to take orders and deal with different customers. The game has proved to significantly improve the long-term knowledge retention rate of employees by allowing them to deliver customer experience in an environment that seems real.

#7 Causes Positive Behavioral Changes

Gamification can also be used to encourage behavioral change and instil the desired attitude in learners. Gamified e-learning appreciates and rewards learners for their good behavior via reward points, certification badges, etc. Behavior is one of the major factors for any person to grow and become successful in their respective fields, which could be effectively attained through gamified learning.

Image Source: EnGaming - WordPress.com

ClassRealm is a gamification tool that allows teachers to encourage better behavior patterns and creativity. Students get to learn positive behavior by helping out their classmates, and get rewarded for exhibiting the desired behavior.

Major Factors Driving Growth in Game-Based Learning Market

  • More positivity in corporate sector towards gamified learning has been driving the adoption rate up for sometime now.

  • University and college students are finding edugames as an excellent platform to learn complex things effectively in a fun-filled and motivational environment.

  • Increasing popularity of language learning apps, predominantly English and Chinese.

  • High demand for early childhood game-based learning.

  • Widespread popularity of brain trainer games.

  • Decline in legacy learning technology and upsurge in modern learning technologies like gamified learning.

Different Types of Game-Based Learning Products

  • Social games

  • E-learning courseware

  • Online audio and video content

  • Mobile games

  • Wearables for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality-based e-learning

A new report by Metaari, a commercial analysis firm that tracks advanced learning technology, gives figures to understand how the game-based learning market is faring worldwide and how much it is expected to grow in coming years. Check below.

Game-Based Learning Products Market and Forecast

  • The current global growth rate of game-based learning products is 20.2%.

  • Revenue generated from the sales of game-based learning products touched the $3 billion mark in 2017.

  • Global revenue to be generated through the sales of game-based digital learning products will surge to $8.1 billion by 2022.

Gamified e-learning is radically transforming the learning landscape and firmly setting to become the learning technology of the future. Furthermore, the emergence of new technologies, like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing, looks promising to rapidly lift up the adoption rate of game-based learning products in near future. At this juncture, it won’t be a hyperbole to say that integration of game mechanics and new technologies could bring gamified elearning to the mainstream in the next 10 years.

Would you like to gamify your e-learning course to bring out the best in your employees? What according to you is the most fascinating benefit of gamified e-learning? Your views are vital for all our readers, please share them in the comment box below.

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