Gamified learning is already a common thing in education and training. And it’s only expanding more and more. Gamification is expected to grow a lot in the near future. This means we will get additional functionality and combinations of gamification and other technologies.
I’m such a fan of gamification that I applied this strategy to each of my life improving video courses – which you can explore here. I even gave a TedX Talk about “fun is a high performance fuel” – which further inspired me to gamify my video courses! As a result, each course delivers its material in short, fun bursts of 2 to 10 minute video training.
Gamification evokes learners’ emotions and fosters the spirit of competition. Students become more willing to participate and make learning sessions more frequent. It is achieved through the system of levels, rewards, points, badges, gifts, progress bars, and leaderboards. Interactive activities and gaming elements make learning more engaging and motivate action. They are widely used in educational mobile apps and eLearning courses.
Gamification is not a passing trend in education. In contrast, people find its new and new applications that help to make learning more interactive and thus efficient. These conclusions are supported by neurological research. Gaming elements in learning boost the natural “feel good” chemicals in our brains, improve reaction time, and increase motivation.
Not only schools are interested in gamification, but numerous industries adopt it to use in training and onboarding. The gamification market is anticipated to experience a 30 percent growth by 2024. Aside from the education sector, gamification becomes popular in the healthcare, retail, telecommunication, and automotive industries. Although the content of learning differs, gamification principles remain the same across different industries.
At this stage, gamified learning sometimes fails to adapt to learners’ needs. Instructors and developers work together to prepare better content and designs that will serve users with different interests and goals. Naturally, it requires the participation of users too. Their thoughts, suggestions, and opinion on the overall experience help to create more student-centered software for gamified learning.
Personalized solutions provide more detailed progress tracking and combine this information with data on users’ interests and abilities. Learners will get customized programs, assignments that match their needs, and immediate personalized feedback. These benefits of gamified learning will make it easier for students to focus and follow their own objectives. A personalized gaming experience will become more meaningful for students as it is specifically tailored and contextualized.
eLearning is an area that will benefit from gamification most. It lacks interactive activities and fails to keep students engaged. Sometimes eLearning becomes limited only to written assignments. This is the reason why students feel overwhelmed. It is almost impossible to submit all assignments before the deadline unless you refer to an order an essay service. Therefore, we need to concentrate our attention on making eLearning more gamified.
What benefits will we get? eLearning gamification will boost student motivation and prevent them from dropping classes. They will get more user-oriented learning and instant feedback. In general, gamified learning provides a better learning experience with fun and excitement, which leads to academic success and higher retention rates.
Gamification works well in combination with immersive technologies like augmented (AR), virtual (VR), and mixed reality (MR). Although their mix is a common thing in gaming, it only makes its first steps in learning. Yet, the projections are already promising.
Immersive and gamified learning can create entire virtual worlds that will be available for exploration and experiments. As immersive learning gets significant investment from the education sector, it might soon become a new normal learning environment. Aside from being engaging, virtual simulations provide an intense sensory experience and interactive training. Besides, they can help to cover the gap in soft skill training, which is difficult to hold in a traditional classroom environment.
We know that gamified learning motivates people with a system of rewards. They may vary depending on the methods used, but most of them are directed at generating external motivation in students. It is known to be effective but not lasting. Therefore, gamification needs a shift to inner motivation. It will ensure learner success in the long term and bring in more sustainable results.
There is also a possibility to combine internal and external motivation factors and make them more personalized to the needs of the users. Ideally, people will initially come back because they want to get rewards. Later, they will return just for the sake of learning more.
Existing learning management systems (LMS) have at least some gaming elements, points and leaderboards being the most common ones. They have been used to maintain learner engagement for a long time.
According to projections, gamified learning as a part of LMS will experience significant updates in the nearest future. It involves adding even more gaming elements and improving the existing ones. LMS will also benefit if gamification is empowered by detailed learning analytics. It allows better progress tracking and a customized learning process.
It seems like it is only the initial stage in the history of gamification. We will get a lot of new features that will enhance learning and instruction in education and numerous other sectors. The next aim for gamification is to be used for advanced courses and abstract concepts. This will widen the area of its application and attract more supporters globally.