Gamification in eLearning?


Membership of eLN (eLearning Network) gives us some great up-to-date material on the current trends as well as the methodologies of eLearning … and as we’re producing a fair amount of video material for corporates in education as well as training programmes, it’s always valid.

So, why our interest in gamification you ask?

Well, first of all – what is gamification?

Gamification involves the use of game design elements and mechanics in activities that are not inherently game-based. This is done to motivate and engage the learners, so that they can become active participants in their own learning process.  In essence, the eLearning experience itself is transformed into an educational game by using achievement badges, leaderboards, point systems, level progressions, and quests. These game elements are all integrated to help the learner achieve their learning goals and objectives.

Coming back to the question, ‘why our interest’?

In all our productions we are looking how we can better engage the viewer, or the learner, and motivate them to start watching the material and complete it, in its entirety.

So taking concepts from gamification, it must have a high level of ‘Epic Meaning’, content, and options (i.e. branching) all wrapped up within an aesthetic design.

Some simple but effective examples of gamification here, which are not Tomb Raider or Call or Duty, but they are fit for purpose:

Google Feud – the free game where you try to guess how Google autocompletes popular searches.

Chore Wars – lets you claim experience points for household chores, by getting other people in your house or workplace to sign up to the site.

How to Survive a Nuclear Bomb – a test project by the BBC.

These are fairly basic games, but all have a point … and are easily playable by all ages and types.

Ah, so what are the different people types that we are wanting to engage with? Bartle has an approach to Target Groups and User Types:

•  player (motivated by extrinsic rewards)
•  socialiser (motivated by relatedness)
•  free spirit (motivated by autonomy)
•  achiever (motivated by mastery)
•  philanthropist (motivated by purpose)

And the other main element we come away from gamification with is ‘Progression’ … whether it be tracking, scores/rewards/badges/, unlocking levels and unlocking skills/abilities. It is often possible to incorporate this within or at the conclusion of our programmes, either with quizzes or surveys. With rewards and/or prizes? And how do you measure ROI?

After all, the classic AIDA model (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action) as used in advertising has to be the final objective.