3 Effective Examples of Gamification in eLearning
How can we make eLearning fun and engaging? Gamification in eLearning is the newest tool in our arsenal to help learners achieve lasting behavioral changes in their day-to-day work and keep up engagement and motivation while learning. The biggest factors that gamification bring to online courses is confidence and motivation. Confidence helps learners feel prepared to take on their next big challenge with their newfound knowledge. Motivation leads to better knowledge retention and an increased willingness to learn. We already know that gamification enhances the eLearning experience, so let’s take a look at some real-world examples of gamification in action.
1. The power of choice in a western whodunnit
We Know Training’s western murder mystery story showcases some important game elements that are not typically seen in eLearning, but are meant to capture the user’s interest and attention. The main game elements that are featured in this demo are story and freedom of choice.
You’ve probably seen other eLearning scenarios where you have to read a short paragraph or watch a video and then answer a multiple-choice question about it. While measuring the user’s comprehension of written or video content can effective in some ways, it tends to make the learner feel that they are just an observer passing judgment on a scenario rather than feeling like they are a part of it.
The information needed to solve the murder mystery case isn’t presented to the user all at once; instead, the user is encouraged to seek out all the information available to them by talking to all the characters and getting everyone’s side of the story. The fact that the user needs to seek out the information themselves sparks a discovery component in the content, and makes the user feel like a more active participant in the story. This technique parallels what we see in video games; the player being encouraged to take specific actions based on what the developers anticipate the player would be likely to do next and encourage that action.
When the user thinks they’ve gathered everything they need to solve the mystery, they can speak to the sheriff’s deputy, which will give them a summary of the information they have and show placeholders (???) for information they haven’t gotten yet. The placeholders indicate to the user that they may need to get more information before making a final decision and motivates them to keep going until they find everything. Once the user considers all the information available to them, they make a choice. Whether their final choice is right or wrong isn’t the focus here; it’s more that the user is able to learn from their own experience. Once they find the answer, they can reflect on their choices or explore other ones to see how the outcome could be changed.
2. De-escalate a situation by viewing it from all perspectives
Have you ever wished that you could be a fly on the wall and watch an entire situation from all angles? The Mental Health De-escalation course on Protraining.com features scenarios that measure interactional outcomes based on the decisions the user makes. The goal with each scenario is to choose the course of action that leads to the most positive outcome possible based on the decisions that the user makes.
The course begins by showing you a video of a police officer aggressively approaching a subject. The video is filmed from the point of view of the subject, making it seem like the officer’s actions are directly affecting the user. After showing the user a series of de-escalation techniques and examples, the original video is shown alongside a new video from the same perspective that shows the officer walking calmly towards the subject. Which officer would you rather be approached by?
The module then gives the user the opportunity to make their own decisions and control whether a situation ends on a positive or negative note by showing a meter that measures the subject’s anger or frustration level. The meter allows the user to view the situation from both the officer and the subject’s point of view, giving the user direct control over how their decisions affect the outcome of the situation. The user can then see the result of their actions, regardless of whether they were positive or negative, which encourages self-introspection. In other words, based on the actions the user chooses in the video, they think to themselves, “how could I have handled that differently?” or “great, that worked, I can use this technique out in the field.”
3. Healthy competition in a prep class
We’re not here to lie; the content in a life insurance prep course can be pretty dry and it can be hard to keep students engaged, even if they chose to take the class and they want to make a career out of selling life insurance. Then there’s the added challenge of keeping everyone engaged during a live, online class.
Tyler Sauve, an instructor at Business Career College, realized the issue with engagement among students taking the Life Insurance Qualification Program (LLQP) and aimed to fix it with a little gamification. Here’s how Mr. Sauve teaches his course:
- When people log into the course, the instructor assigns each person to one of two different teams.
- The instructor then asks someone from each team to volunteer to be the team captain. The team captain’s role isn’t a huge commitment, so it’s typically easy to get someone to participate.
- The instructor then begins their lecture. Once they’ve covered enough information on a topic, the instructor brings up a poll that students need to answer. The way it works is that the students on each team DM (direct message) their team captain their answer, and the team captain gives that answer a 1 if the answer was correct, or a 0 if the answer was wrong or if it wasn’t answered at all. The team captain them tallies the answers and gives a final score to their team.
Even though there isn’t a physical prize for the winning team (besides bragging rights), Mr. Sauve has found the technique to be successful in increasing engagement for his students by giving them the satisfaction of instant gratification.
Increase Engagement in eLearning
There are so many ways that gamification can be used in eLearning courses to make them fun, engaging, and give the user that increased feeling of engagement. The goal of gamification in eLearning can be similar to a video game in that it is gradually guiding the player to understand what they are doing and what the outcome is expected to be, but still having the freedom of choice. Keeping this in mind and injecting other techniques like a little healthy competition or showing a situation from multiple angles is sure to enhance your eLearning course.