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Game-based Learning vs. E-learning: A Comparison

Are you already into e-learning? Is it bringing you the desired results? Are you thinking of better ways to engage your learners? Have you thought about using game-based learning in your training? Are you aware how it compares with regular e-learning? This blog will compare e-learning and game-based learning to help you take an informed decision on using game-based learning in your organization.

Let’s compare e-learning and game-based learning on three parameters for better clarity.


There is no doubt that e-learning or online learning brings many benefits to both organizations and employees, but traditional e-learning comes with its own issues. Learners complain of boredom and weariness, and may get tired of classical e-learning modules. The reasons may range from information overload to lack of opportunities to practice.

This is where game-based learning can help – it makes them apply the skills in a mock environment that results in better retention of knowledge. It can go further to provide learners with an immersive experience where they can deal with the issues they may face at work. Moreover, games are addictive and the more learners practice their skills, the better they become.

Online learning courses, no doubt are better than classroom training, but one major drawback is there is little scope for personalization to meet the needs of diverse learners. However, this is possible with game-based learning. Your learners can choose from a wide variety of characters in your game-based learning platform. They can select a character they appreciate and identify with.

While online learning provides some level of interactivity, the amount of interactivity in game-based learning courses is certainly more. The graphical elements in these courses force the learners to apply what they have learned to solve puzzles.

Online learning courses restrict learners in attempts to reach levels and objectives. In the case of game-based learning learners can keep trying repeatedly till they master the task. This helps to develop perseverance levels; they keep trying till they succeed. This will help them master these skills so that they can perform more accurately in their jobs.

Game-based learning can improve the self-drive in employees. Games offer incentives based on achievements. The more they succeed, the more points they are likely to get.

The scenarios in games can depict adverse situations for the learners. This forces learners to think out of the box and come up with innovative solutions to problems. Learning to solve problems in a gaming environment equips them to perform in a similar situation at work.

Impact on learner engagement

At times, an online course may not be compelling enough to engage the learner. The courses may fail to engage the learner and may not give him the experience he was hoping for. Game-based learning allows you to take the engagement factor a few notches higher. You will be able to add more interactions to your e-learning simulations while designing games with interesting characters, real life scenarios and immersive environments.

Learning occurs when your learners are conquering something or engaged in finding something which are a part of the immersive experience. Games with a storytelling element will allow learners to make their own choices that impact their environment, which will result in a surge in engagement levels. 


The general view is that developing game-based learning can be expensive compared to regular e-learning, but it is not. As mentioned earlier, the tools and software required to develop these games are easily available and are not very expensive. Organizations can buy gaming templates and customize them. The cost depends on the complexity level you want in your game. Getting a highly-interactive and engaging training solution is worth the investment.

Game-based learning brings the desired results in your training efforts because of the high levels of engagement it creates in learners. It enhances their problem-solving abilities, allows them to practice their skills and helps them learn while having fun. Tools are available to create these games in a rapid and cost-effective way.

With organizations and employees reaping the benefits, isn’t it time you jumped on the game-based learning bandwagon?

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