Gamification is the buzz word in the eLearning community these days. It’s the application of gaming techniques and elements to non-gaming environments. Applying these to eLearning makes your learning engaging and fun. You can use game mechanics such as scores, points, rewards, levels, leaderboards, and other elements to encourage your learners to explore and learn as they progress toward the defined learning objectives.
How can you apply gamification elements to your online courses? To what extent is Articulate Storyline helpful in achieving this? Find answers to these questions as you go forward.
Importance of Gamification in Online Learning
By gamifying your online courses, you can bring the much needed life in learning. You can transform your slide-turning and quiz-taking courses into actively engaging learning activities.
Here are four benefits of gamifying online learning that you can’t ignore:
1. Motivates Learners & Increases Participation
Gamifying your online course motivates your learners and increases their participation. The challenge of earning rewards will compel them to complete the course.
2. Increases Knowledge and Retention Rates
According to a research by Professor Traci Sitzmann, at the University of Colorado Denver Business School, those who played video games had 11% higher factual knowledge level, 14% higher skill-based knowledge level and 9% higher retention rate than others. Gamifying corporate training also develops the self-efficacy of employees – the confidence to achieve their goals.
3. Allows to Fail and Learn
Gamification in online courses provides a safe space for your learners to fail and learn, in a virtual environment.
Gamified learning courses provide immediate feedback as learners go forward, unlike traditional learning, which reserves feedback till the end. Learners develop a sense of accountability at each level. In a sense, it works as a self-correcting framework.
4. Works on Learners’ Minds
Gamification works on the affective and cognitive domains of our mind. The affective domain helps apply learning and take decisions on values, emotions, and attitudes. The cognitive domain focuses on recollecting, understanding, evaluating, and analyzing information. As learning games work at the cognitive level, it’s easy to apply them in real-life situations.
How to Gamify Online Course using Articulate Storyline
You can add scores, points, rewards, incentives, levels, leaderboards and other gamification elements to your online courses, using Articulate Storyline.
You can bring in all sorts of fun with the help of triggers, variables, characters, interactions, and templates.
1. Select a Gamified Theme
When you want to create a Gamified course with Articulate Storyline, select a game theme that suits your training requirements. Align the game to your course content.
For example, turn a ‘treasure hunt’ game in to ‘hazard hunt’ theme for a gamified safety training. Show an unorganized work site and ask your employees to identify the possible hazards and threats.
Background graphics play a key role in setting up the relevant gamified themes for your online courses.
2. Set Levels and Leaderboards
Instead of dividing your online course into chapters or modules, in gamification, you can take a single idea and divide into levels.
You can incorporate ‘levels’ and ‘unlocking’ features in online courses, using Articulate Storyline. If the learner answers all questions correctly or get a certain score, another level will be unlocked.
Encourage competition with leaderboards by displaying names with the ranks and scores of your learners. You can create a leaderboard that automatically updates results using Google Docs, in Articulate Storyline.
Storyline enables you to insert badges in your online courses. They serve various purposes in learning. For example, you can use badges such as Beginner, Expert, Pro, and more.
3. Gamify Assessments
With Articulate Storyline, presenting assessments in the form of games is easier.
You can incorporate game-like elements, such as decision-making and dynamic feedback in assessments/final quiz of your online course.
You get a number of gamified sample quizzes and templates, in Articulate Quizmaker.
4. Give Timely Feedback
Incorporating feedback is a key ingredient in gamifying online courses. This lets learners know that their action is recognized and valued. Feedback also provides a cue about how they are doing.
In Articulate Storyline, you can give feedback not only as text, but by “unlocking” new features or giving access to the higher levels in the online course.
5. Give Control to Players
Learners love to be in control of their learning activity. This is the stepping stone for their success. So giving control over their journey is sensible and it helps achieve the final learning outcome.
You can incorporate this gaming element in Articulate Storyline by letting your learners to choose an avatar/character within the course. Giving open navigation is another way to include this element in your course.
Your learners can progress as they prefer. You can give them several options from the main menu, instead of pushing them to a linear path.
6. Facilitate Explore and Learn
Games in online courses have to create favorable conditions for discovery and exploration. Learners will love activities such as ‘treasure hunt’ to be included in online courses.
Include a hidden nugget of information or clue for progress in the course and link it to points. You can make this provision easily with the help of gaming templates and triggers, in Articulate Storyline.
It is recommended to keep crucial information readily accessible and hide extra add-on information, for fun. Providing clear instructions to learners on what to do at each stage will simplify the learning process.
7. Put a Time Cap to Create Urgency
Use a time constraint element to create a sense of urgency to gamify your online courses. This will build some pressure on learners to think and respond quickly.
In Articulate Storyline, you can use the countdown timer in your final quiz/assessments. You can easily create time limit scenarios with Articulate Storyline.
8. Avoid Negative Scoring
No one likes to lose. Your learners prefer avoiding losses.
You can use points, scores, and progress meters in Articulate Storyline to bring gamification alive in your online courses.
Instead of negative scores, using progress indicators will show learners their progress through the online course.
When you know these gaming concepts, you can effectively design and incorporate gamification elements in your online courses, with the help of Articulate Storyline. Partner with an eLearning vendor with expertise in using Articulate Storyline and other rapid authoring tools and give your learners the best possible gamified experience.
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