As technology continues to evolve, boring study sessions are becoming a thing of the past. Learning management systems, on their own or in integration with third-party Gamification solutions, allow educators to incorporate game-like elements into their online courses. As a result, e-learning today is more effective and engaging than ever before.

But, what is gamification? And, are the results worth the trouble of adding a gamification system to your e-learning site? Keep on reading to find out.

What is Gamification?

As a general concept, gamification involves using game-like elements and mechanics in a non-game environment. In simple terms, it involves making tasks that are not a game, mimic or feel like a game. When applied to e-learning, gamification integrates game-like elements to online courses to make them more fun and engaging to the student.

Some gamification elements that are frequently used in online courses include:

  • Badges – For example, a student can earn an honor badge when scoring above 90% on a quiz or test.
  • Points – For example, you can assign a point or “coin” value to each lesson, so students can earn points for each lesson they watch.
  • User Ranks or Levels – For example, students can unlock new ranks based on the number of courses they’ve completed, so users that have completed more courses have a higher rank in the hierarchy.
  • Leaderboards – You can showcase badges or points in a leaderboard to create a sense of competition among your students
  • Challenges – You can map out a set of learning activities or tasks a student must do in order to complete a challenge.

Benefits Of Online Course Gamification

Despite its appeal, some educators are still on the fence about implementing gamification systems due to the possible development efforts and costs involved. However, with many LMS offering built-in gamification features and integrations with gamification plugins (like BadgeOS) adding a gamification system to an e-learning site doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

There is also a misconception that adding fun elements to the learning experience, while enjoyable to the student, doesn’t really impact learning results. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant benefits gamification has in regards to learning!

It Increases Student Engagement

Student’s attention spans are shorter than ever. Keeping your students focused and engaged is one of the greatest challenges educators face. Gamification requires students to actively interact on the site, making the students more involved in the learning process. It also creates a positive-feedback loop by rewarding those student interactions with badges, points or some other prize.  With your students focused on earning rewards and badges or increasing their point score, learning and knowledge retention happens organically as a byproduct.

It Creates A Sense Of Achievement

In online learning, it’s harder for students to feel seen and rewarded for their progress. In online courses, a sense of achievement is often delayed until a course is completed or a certificate is earned. 

Gamification allows you to reward your students for their smaller accomplishments, increasing their sense of achievement and therefore their motivation to continue learning. This not only benefits the learner, but it also helps you increase your course completion rates.

It Reduces Learning Fatigue

Just like any other cognitive activity, learning can be tiring, boring and stressful. While students do need to feel challenged in order to feel engaged, educators must be mindful of not overcomplicating their courses. 

The more enjoyable learning is, the more likely it is for your students to avoid burn-out.  In fact, a gamification survey showed that 61% of students felt bored with non-gamified training, while 83% felt motivated by a gamified e-learning approach. By gamifying your online course, you can make your course feel more like a fun activity than like work. 

It Provides Feedback

All games have built-in feedback and the same goes for gamified online courses. When students are reaching milestones, such as passing quizzes, watching lessons and completing courses, they can receive immediate feedback in the form of a badge, point or rank reward. This feedback creates a sense of accomplishment among your students by making them notice their own progress.

It Defines Goals and Progress

On a gamified learning journey, rewards help students clearly define goals to complete throughout the course. For example, students can set the goal of earning an excellence badge for passing all course quizzes. This helps them best focus their learning efforts. 

At the same time, a reward system allows students to more accurately gauge their progress. For example, students can monitor how many badges and ranks they’ve unlocked in a progress map or compare their progress to their peers’ on a score leaderboard. 

E-learning Gamification: Bottom Line

Overall, the more invested students are in their learning, the more knowledge they will be able to retain and the more committed they’ll be to completing their coursework. Whether a student enrolls in a course to earn a certification, complete employee training or out of free will, gamification will improve learning experience and positively impact learning outcomes as a result.

If you are looking to improve your online courses using gamification, but don’t know where to get started, reach out to our gamification experts! We can help you design and implement a full-fledged reward system to captivate your students.