With the changing trends in the domain of education, gamification in e-learning is emerging as an extremely effective training tool for learning. Gamification is an engaging medium that enhances the learning experience.
In our previous blog on gamification, we wrote that gamification is the utilization of game mechanics in non-gaming milieu such as learning to enhance the experience of learners. But the question that arises here is, “Where did gamification originate?”.
Through this article, we provide a deeper look into gamification, and its applications in the field of e-learning.
What is Gamification?
The term ‘gamification’ was advanced by Nick Pelling in 2002. Though gamification can be employed in traditional classroom teaching through various activities, it has a wider application in e-learning as well.
Learners engage in competitions where the rewards can be points, levels, batches, gift cards, vouchers, and so on. Some of these are a part of typical video game mechanics. The learners engage in learning activities, and they become a part of the game dynamics where every participant is connected.
Moreover, this connection fosters positive motivation and the participants advance by collaborating. Gamification stokes the innate interest and curiosity of learners as they participate in learning activities, and it encourages them to be consistent in their learning and knowledge application.
Gamification & E-Learning
Education has come a long way from traditional classrooms. Online learning platforms are becoming increasingly popular with the ubiquity and evolution of technology.
The e-learning industry particularly engrosses adult learners, as it provides an option to learn without the constraints of distance, time, and other limiting resources.
A major deterrent to e-learning is that it does not allow learners to directly interact with the trainer/teacher during lesson delivery.
Typically, a teacher aims to inculcate knowledge, motivates learners, and tries to ensure that the gained knowledge is retained. This may prove to be particularly difficult when lessons are provided over the internet. As a result, the very fundamental requirement of learner participation in the teaching-learning process may go unfulfilled.
This is where gamification steps in.
Gamification in e-learning fills this gap by creating a competitive environment promoted by incentives that motivate the learners to succeed. But then how is a game different from gamified learning?
The answer lies in the fact that gamified lessons employ game mechanics that induce game-like reactions towards learning. Similar to a video game, factors such as time constrains/countdowns and/or rewards are added to learning. These features provide learners a game-like experience, which employs game mechanics for engaging knowledge delivery.
The gamification of a lesson accounts for a better understanding and retention of knowledge. It is a learner-centered outlook and an emerging new aspect of teaching and learning.
Demand for Gamified E-Learning
Teaching in a virtual classroom is markedly more demanding than teaching in a traditional classroom. It requires comparatively more effort and preparation from teachers to deliver a credible lesson in a virtual classroom.
Gamification in e-learning eases this additional pressure on teachers.
Gamification allows and serves to fulfill the fundamental requirements of classroom learning. The pointers that lead to a demand for gamification in e-learning are:
1. Foster Interest
A gamified lesson develops the interest of learners, thus ensuring effective lesson delivery in a virtual classroom.
2. Hook the Learners
A lesson designed through gamification techniques grabs the attention of learners faster than traditional lessons. This ensures that learners are hooked to what is being taught in the class and participate actively.
3. Stimulate Better Retention
An interesting lesson induces certain emotions in the learners that stimulate reactions. These reactions lead to a better retention of concepts.
4. Practical Application
In the gamified virtual learning approach, students learn through experience. This creates a stimulus for an effective practical application of the knowledge gained.
5. Assurance of Progress
Gamification keeps a track of a learners’ progress. This motivates students to work harder and to discover and apply new knowledge.
Gamification in e-learning has become a major avenue for learning in the current world. It has opened doors for the development of highly effective teaching-learning processes, where learners gain knowledge through experiential learning. Gamification can thus be considered a futuristic approach to learning.