Gamification – The fun side of e-learning

Education as a model in which information is presented in a simple manner and the sole purpose of assessments is to strengthen retention, and not ensuring understanding, is losing momentum in the digital world we live in. E-learning has started taking over now, from schools to the corporate sectors. The focus now lies in teaching through electronic tools, thereby attracting the attention of students, keeping them interested in content and creating a more interactive teaching environment.

E-learning has started taking over now, from schools to the corporate sectors. The focus now lies in teaching through electronic tools, thereby attracting the attention of students, keeping them interested in content and creating a more interactive teaching environment.

One of the most effective methods for encouraging digital or online learning is the use of typical elements of a game – such as scoring or unlocking levels – to educate. This set of practices applied to the design and creation of the content of an e-learning platform is known as ‘gamification.’


So, does that mean that we can now learn from video games?

While the idea sounds tempting, video games aren’t usually involved. There is the mistaken idea that gamification is synonymous with JUST playing video games. Although it is true that it picks up some elements of their design, this strategy goes beyond that. In its true essence, this trend in e-learning can involve anything from a simple mobile application turned into a game to an online course where you unlock achievements as you go up.

The main purpose is to tackle the boring and taxing elements of learning and applying ‘gamified’ solutions. For example, Duolingo makes use of them to teach languages. During the course, you can go up in level, and in doing so, the user acquires “lingots”, a kind of virtual currency that can be spent in a virtual store. These characteristics make it similar to that of a game, but they help to motivate people in their learning.

Keep better track of your learning progress with gamification

Like any game, an online teaching platform based on gamification must meet four points:

  • Goals
  • Rules
  • Free participation
  • Feedback

Coursera, the most famous online learning platform, has all of them. It measures progress on basis of task completion and assessments, establishes a course program based on videos and supplementary readings, encourages interaction through discussion forums and allows the student to lead their own learning pace. It also gives the student constant feedback about their performance.

According to Jane McGonigal, video game designer, gamification promoter and author of the book ‘Reality if Broken’, collectively the human race spends more than 3 billion hours playing. In addition, an average person invests 13 hours a week in this recreational activity. How does this data help us? If people like these platforms so much and are so familiar with them, then it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of them.

It is a fact that transmitting knowledge, both in schools and corporations, is not easy. Many times the contents become tedious and pretend to cover a lot of information in a short time. The result: students are not motivated enough to learn. The use of a “scammed” solution could, for example, encourage employees of a company to remain in constant training. In addition, we would be promoting the use of e-learning platforms.

Is it child’s play?

The main question many people ask about the elements of gamification is whether they can be used in any type of training or learning, that is, if it goes beyond its most obvious use: in children and young people.

One of the most important uses of gamification is in the corporate sector. It can be applied in product or service training, social skills reinforcement programs or induction of welcoming of staff. In addition, an important question to consider is that the percentage of millennials that are added to the labour world is increasing. This generation, accustomed to technology, no longer learns in the same way as its predecessors. Training based on gamification will be a more attractive and immersive option for these new collaborators and will have a greater impact than if we delivered a manual with pure text.

Ending note

As the day goes by, more and more companies and institutions continue to invest in digital solutions for training and education. They have realized that these tools give them the opportunity to regain the attention and interest of their staff to learn. In the case of students, they will be more interested and motivated to finish the course. The key is to think about how academic or business content can be integrated into the design of gamified e-learning platforms.

Gamification is the perfect combination of pedagogy, technology and fun. Considering this design alternative for educational platforms can be the key to the future of e-learning and other applications for productivity, in addition to generating a competitive advantage in the market.



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