Ever since the FIFA World Cup began, I remain glued to the TV to watch the matches. It is wonderful that games get you going; they can make you laugh and cheer and at the same time, they can make you moan and cry in despair. But, a question arises here, what has the FIFA World Cup got to do with eLearning? And, more so, how can we leverage the FIFA tournament as a gamification tool to engage learners?
What is Gamification?
Gamification can be defined as an approach to engage learners with the application of typical game elements such as rules of the game, strong opponents, and points scoring. It includes visual storytelling and cues to play a game. Thus, with gaming, learners are both rewarded and penalized for the success and failure. But, it is also important to remember that penalties should not be so harsh that they create fear among learners and subconsciously discourage them to learn.
Are games same as gamification?
There is a subtle difference between the two terms: Games and Gamification. Games are fun activities that help players enjoy.. Gamification, on the other-hand, incorporates the best elements of games and makes the optimum use of them in the context of learning and thus helps retain learners.
Why do you need gamification in eLearning?
Hope you agree, No Game, No Gain! Let’s see what statistics say:
According to a recent report by a global research company, Markets and Markets, gamification is a $421 million dollar market today… and it will grow $5.5 billion by 2018.
The current demand for gamification suggests that nearly three-quarters (70%) of large global companies will have at least one gamified application in place on its LMS, by 2014.
Learning design professionals across the globe have always been in the hunt for methods and techniques to engage learners in the learning process. Games are the best answer and they satisfy learner’s desire for competition and objectives achievement. They also promotes a clear quantifiable outcome at the end of any eLearning course. They also foster team-spirit, and the competitive nature of many gamified sessions brings out the best among learners. And, believe it or not, it is the most cost effective tool and much cheaper than traditional classroom training.
Bring gamification to life with the FIFA World Cup:
You might still wonder about the correlation between the FIFA World Cup to gamification. Let’s consider some of the elements of the tournament that assist in gamification and thus contribute to eLearning:
Competition: To promote active participation of learners in the learning process, there should be a healthy competitive environment. The world cup has the same with 32 teams competing for one coveted cup.
Team-spirit: Learners might encounter a situation, where team-work excels individual contribution. The same thing reflects in the present soccer World Cup. Even a team of stars (say for example, Spain) will not succeed, unless there is good teamwork.
Make the best use of gamification:
Always, make sure that you are pretty clear that gamification works best, when it encourages specific learner behaviors to achieve certain goals. Thus, game developers should have realistic expectations. There should be proper planning and it is important to remember that gamification should not be applied to a wrong process. A successful learning process or platform will make it easier for game mechanics to make gamification more fun and engaging.
Thus, to summarize, gamification marks immense benefits to eLearning context, with its wide variety of actionable items, healthy competition and positive behavioral traits.
So, what’s more, make your workforce happier and better trained with gamification. Please do share your thoughts on it.