The rise and rise of gamification in e‑learning

iPad being used for game play

The term gamification was coined in the early 2000s but only became widely used as recently as 2010. This teaching method has revolutionised the way people learn and is growing in popularity, especially in e-learning programmes, with universities and businesses using it to pass on valuable information in a fun and effective way. Yet many people are still unsure what gamification actually means. We set out to demystify the term.

What is gamification?

Gamification refers to the method of using games to encourage people to engage with the learning process. It develops an employee’s thinking process in game situations and links it to the work environment to aid their training. This way it can turn information into something more meaningful which employees will remember and use long after the training has finished.

How does gamification work?

Instead of regurgitating the same old material, gamification transforms the learning process into something more compelling. Narratives, challenges, targets and achievements are all used to make the material more interactive and relevant to an employee’s daily life. By playing out realistic scenarios in a virtual context an employee can see the consequences of their actions, helping them retain the material.

Advantages of gamification for businesses

Gamification is not simply about making learning fun. It can completely alter the way an employee is trained and have a great impact on their real life work performance.

Instead of trying to memorise a list of procedures, an employee can face challenges and explore concepts without fear. They are allowed to make mistakes in a realistic yet safe environment so they won’t repeat the same mistakes at work.

For instance when faced with a challenge during a gamification programme, the right answer could help them towards a virtual promotion while a wrong one could result in a demotion, fine or even being fired. This will then help them remember how to act if the situation occurs again once their training is over.

The ability to set goals and unlock achievements is another great feature of gamification programmes as it encourages employees to get involved and appeals to their competitive nature.

Employee scores are also recorded so they can compete against themselves or play against colleagues and managers. Achieving awards and seeing their name rise on the leader board is a very effective way of gaining feedback and boosting an employee’s confidence in a specific field.

A central learning environment

Gamification doesn’t always need to be linked intrinsically to content, nor does it have to incorporate teaching material. By creating games which simply give employees something fun to do and enjoy, participants will be directed to a central learning environment or management system where they can see all the other learning tools and material available to them, thus encouraging repeat visits and a greater use of the tool.

For more information on gamification and how it could benefit your organisation, contact the dreamm team today.

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