Gamification in online learning - benefits and examples of use
Story by Mila Klimkowicz
5 min read
When creating an online course, it is essential to consider the student's perspective. How can you disguise learning materials in the form of entertainment? What can you do to foster higher levels of interest and engagement among your students? The way you present your content can be a deal-breaker when it comes to its success. This is why “gamification” is a concept worthy of exploring when it comes to preparing online courses.
In this blog post, we will briefly explain what gamification is, outline its benefits, and share some examples of elements you can incorporate to enhance the learning experience. But before we go any further if you’re interested in the topic of e-learning, we have a recent blog post discussing Learning Management Systems that might pique your interest - feel free to check it out!
What is gamification?
So what is Gamification? It is simply bringing the elements of a game like badges, rewards, points, and levels into your educational content. The goal of integrating these elements is of course to make learning more enjoyable. In fact, you might already be using applications on a daily basis that employ these very strategies. Naturally, the suitability of including such elements can vary depending on the subject matter at hand, it might not always be appropriate to include them (so as not to distract from the key message), but in most cases, it proves to be an excellent approach. Some of the benefits of gamification include:
- Boosts motivation for learning and makes learning less intimidating
- Encourages knowledge sharing and healthy competition among students
- Pushes learners beyond their comfort zones
- Provides valuable performance data for organizations
- Promotes continuous learning
- Enhances information retention (compared to traditional methods)
Examples of how to use gamification in online learning
Badges and rewards
Everyone appreciates recognition for their effort. Even the inclusion of seemingly minor elements, such as badges displayed on the user profile to represent their latest accomplishments, can add a thoughtful touch. Additionally, users should have the opportunity to gain a certificate upon successfully completing a course or module, serving as evidence of their newly acquired knowledge.
Progress tracking and streaks
Enabling users to track their progress (for example through a progress bar) is a beneficial feature to include. It can help them stay motivated and committed to completing the course. Another effective method for indicating progress and maintaining consistency is through streaks. Streaks show the number of consecutive tasks a user has accomplished over a consistent period. Offering a reward for maintaining a streak can further incentivize users to maintain their momentum. A well-known example of this approach can be seen on the Duolingo app.
Including leaderboards can be another element that adds a bit of fun to the learning process and allows users to check how they performed in comparison to their peers. This can create a sense of healthy competition. Another way to approach this is to establish Team Leaderboards, where a group of students collaborates to achieve a shared goal and competes with another team, further enhancing the interactive and competitive aspect of the learning experience.
Quizzes and interactive elements
Integrating quizzes at the conclusion of an assignment is a pretty common practice. However, you can take this a step further by incorporating a whole bunch of other unique interactive elements to diversify the conventional content. For example, you can replace written parts with videos or, better yet, interactive videos where users must respond to questions while watching. Additionally, you can introduce a variety of challenges and mini-games that allow users to reinforce what they have learned. These could include memory games, crosswords, or puzzles.
The purpose of acquiring new knowledge is its practical application in real-life situations. Adding elements like simulations or branching scenarios provides students with opportunities to apply their skills to potential real-world scenarios. This allows them to evaluate whether they make the right decisions based on the given rules and guidelines.
In summary, incorporating gamification into your learning system can significantly enhance student engagement and improve information retention, thereby elevating the overall quality of your courses. If you're interested in creating a unique learning experience for your students, we can help you deliver online training courses. Our choice for crafting the ideal learning environment is Drupal, complemented by the Opigno LMS module. This combination offers exceptional flexibility, enabling you to tailor your learning system to your requirements and incorporate the gamification features mentioned earlier.
To explore a real-life example, you can delve into our case study about building a Learning Management System for The Polish Development Fund (PFR) and if you have any questions or need further information, please don't hesitate to contact us.