Gamification of E-learning - The Way Ahead
How can you impart highly effective training without causing stress? What does it take to equip your people with the needed knowledge and skills in a fun-filled manner? How can you make your online training a pleasure? Well, you can make digital courses highly effective and enjoyable through gamification.
An increasing number of organizations are using game-based learning to meet their training needs. According to Ambient Insight, the spending on game-based learning is set to reach USD 2,404.12 million by 2018, up from USD 1,739.55 million in 2013. Why is the demand for game-based learning on the rise? How can games help impart training better? Let us see.
Effective online training through game-based courses
Game-based digital courses are very effective because of the reasons mentioned below.
Motivate the learners to take the course
Learner motivation is a very important factor that makes or mars a training program. Learners can be motivated in a big way using games. For instance, a drug-manufacturing giant uses game-based online courses to train the personnel of its legal department. The staff members are intimated that the learner who wins the highest number of points in the game on patent laws will be rewarded with a badge and USD 1400. This motivates the employees to do well in the training and win the badge and the financial reward.
Grab the learners’ attention
It is very important to prevent learner monotony and ensure that the learners remain focused throughout the course. Learning games help your people stay focused and concentrate effectively. In the example mentioned above, the personnel of the legal department are actively engaged in the course. This results in highly effective training and enables the learners to acquire the requisite knowledge.
Facilitate effective recall of information
Efficient recall of information goes a long way in making learning effective. Games facilitate effective recapitulation of information learnt in a joyous environment. Staying with the above example, game-based courses can be used to help the staff members recall various sections of the laws pertaining to clinical trials.
Reinforce knowledge efficiently
It is very necessary to reinforce knowledge to ensure that it stays for a long period of time. Learning can be reinforced very effectively using games. In the example cited above, games can be used to reinforce the knowledge of different provisions of relevant laws.
Training can be imparted in a stress-free manner
It is well-known that people cannot learn efficiently if they are stressed. Using game-based digital courses, you can help your learners overcome the stress caused by the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Games make learning a pleasure, and this increases the effectiveness of eLearning courses and helps you impart training very effectively.
Now let us see the aspects you need to consider to develop a learning game of high efficacy.
Things you need to consider when you develop a game-based online course
The developers of online courses could create highly effective eLearning programs by focusing on the following important points.
This is the fundamental aspect that you need to keep in mind when you develop game-based digital courses. You need to remember that games which do not help realize the learning objectives serve no purpose.
The efficacy of online courses is reduced considerably by the incorporation of games which do not help achieve the learning objectives. They distract your people, thereby affecting their performance.
Instruction and entertainment need to be balanced
You need to make sure that your eLearning course provides good instruction to your people and entertains them at the same time. It is very essential that the game has all elements that help your learners “stay on track” and facilitate acquisition of the required skills.
For instance, if you create a game-based digital course on information security, then allow your staff members to experience the possible obstacles in preventing the loss of sensitive data. By providing clues and hints, you can educate them on specific contexts and facilitate better learning.
Presentation of a challenge
You can develop a game-based course of high efficacy by presenting an appropriate challenge to your people. If the learning game is too simple for the experts or too complex for novice learners, the objective of the course cannot be achieved. Learners may lose interest in the game and opt to quit. Therefore, it is very important to consider the abilities of your personnel when you design a learning game.
Ease of playing the game
You need to see that the games you use in your eLearning course help your employees remain focused and enable them to learn effectively. A good learning game is easy to play and helps the learner to acquire knowledge and skills in an efficient manner.
Difficult games often result in poor learning experiences and cause learner frustration, and it is common knowledge that frustrated learners seldom concentrate well.
Level of interaction
Proper learner interaction is vital to the success of a digital course. You need to make sure that the games you use in your online course facilitate the desired level of interactivity.
A well-designed, interactive learning game improves the learner’s ability to think and helps make the course engaging. It creates interest in the learner and goes a long way in enhancing the efficacy of the course.
Effectiveness of feedback
Feedback is provided in classroom training as well as in an eLearning course. For games, it can be in the form of scores, points obtained in rounds of plays or levels achieved, etc. Feedback should be provided at right time, thus informing the learners what’s right and why it is so. Thus, feedback should help the learner reinforce his learning.
It is possible to design highly interactive online courses using tools such as Lectora Inspire and Articulate Storyline quickly at reduced costs thanks to developments in technology.
Open-source LMSs such as Moodle that are compatible with Tin Can API provide cost-effective solutions that help efficiently track the progress made in a gamified learning environment. For more on the use of LMS, please refer to Gamification of LMS – Part 1 and Gamification of - LMS Part 2.
Effective use of game-based online courses helps motivate learners and leads to engage learners effectively. It helps provide stress-free training and aids in efficient reinforcement and recall of knowledge. When you design a game-based eLearning course, you need to make sure that the learning game helps achieve the objectives of the course. The game needs to present a challenge and must be easy to play. It should facilitate effective interaction with the learner and provide proper feedback. Hope you find this article useful. How do you use game-based learning? We’d love to hear your experiences.