People go crazy over video games as they are motivating, engaging, and rewarding. This is the reason why gamification has emerged as a substantial trend in the past few years. Gamification involves the use of game theory and mechanics in non-gaming contexts such as training at work to facilitate better engagement.
Games offer a sense of challenge to the learners, allowing them to leverage on their prior knowledge, compete, and learn new things in the process. Sounds interesting right?
However, if you wish to get the maximum out of this gamified learning courses, they must be carefully designed to address the human and functional needs. Here are a few tips that can help you.
1. Create a convincing story
A powerful story is the key element for creating successful gamification. The story should involve characters and challenges that are almost similar toreal-life scenarios. Stories make it easier for learners to relate to the content being taught, making learning more engaging. So how quickly learners get connected and get ready to complete the task all depends on the story that you weave.
2. Offer learning paths
One course cannot be offered to learners with varying knowledge levels–novice to expert levels. Experts may lose interest if they are asked to answer easy questions and the novice may find it difficult to pass the level, which ultimately leads to frustration. So think of designing personalized learning paths based on their knowledge to progress to the end goal. This will add to the feeling that they have complete control on the e-learning experience.
3. Focus on imparting knowledge
Gamification in e-learning is to accelerate learning and not just for ensuring learner’s engagement with the course. However, when designing the game, it’s easy to get off track. Focus and emphasis must be on communicating the point and imparting skills. Ensure that all the learning elements are addressed and in no way distract the learner from mastering the skills. A layout or road map can help you with this.
4. Align with learning objectives
The main goal of an e-learning course is to meet the training objectives. Therefore, the performance or skill development needs must be mapped and the learning objectives must be identified. Each of these objectives must be tied to each activity or the game road map. With this action, your gamified course will not offer real value to the learners.
5. Decide the layout and graphics
It may be tempting to design visually striking experiences. But remember, if you want to make it effective, consider the graphic elements that go or fit with the learning theme. Before creating the layout, know the audience, understand the subject, and then decide the theme. Don’t include irrelevant or unnecessary graphics.
6. Create series of events
The idea behind gamification is that the activities must allow the learners to gradually progress from lower to higher levels of learning. Have a break-up of the points and introduce them to a series of achievable challenges,which add up to the main goal. Ensure that each learning activity inspires them to move to the next stage. This gradual progression will keep the learners motivated.
7. Get the learners actively involved
Gamification is all about stimulation and engagement. Think of how you can make your learner interact more. Don’t just include the usual click-on interactions. Be more creative, give choices, and make learners think or encourage discovery. Puzzle game, explore and learn,treasure hunts and quests are some powerful activities that stimulate mental and physical interaction.
8. Give clear instructions
Along with designing the events, it is equally important to set the limits and boundaries for the players, for example, what to do, time limits, restrictions, no of attempts, and so on. Decide how you want your learners to interact with your game and communicate the instructions to them using clear and simple terms. Don’t make your learner search for vital information that they need to know. Clear instructions will complement your goals.
9. Recognize achievement
Games must be designed to give learners a sense of achievement. Each time the learner clears a hurdle,he must be recognized for his success. Getting to the next level, badges, scores, bonuses, points, leader boards, and course-completion certificates are said to be effective. These can be issued when important milestones are attained. This makes them confident that they are acknowledged.
10. Provide feedback
Learning games should reinforce learning. Providing instant feedback to actions enhances learning. So for every learning point, learners must be given a comprehensive feedback as to where he has gone wrong or right. This justification of how the learner did, what he could have done better, and how this learning will equip him for the next challenge will help greatly.
11. Give chances to improve
There are chances that the learner may get disappointed if you simply say “Game over” when he fails. A good gamification must allow learners to make mistakes. So try to build scenarios thattell learners how important the topic is and give them the chance to go back, learn, and try again. This continuity in learning is the key drive for motivation and improvement.
The concept of gamification, if used rightly in e-learning, will increase learners’ engagement and create the desired impact. Was this post useful? Have you tried to implement gamification in your organization? We’d love to hear your experiences.