InteractivityThe issue with reading text, listening to audio or watching videos is that it doesn’t usually require the user to do anything. Not that these elements can’t be effective standalone pieces of content in your courses. But when you think of games, there isn’t a single one that doesn’t necessitate the user to press buttons, hit keys, click with their mouse, or otherwise. Implementing interactivity should not be complicated. You can quiz learners at frequent intervals, using dropdown menus or even diagrams that ask the participant to click on objects. Interactivity is not hard to do, but it is the cornerstone of gaming, so it can’t be overlooked.
Achievements & RewardsAchievements and rewards are becoming a very common component to gaming. In essence, when the player reaches a certain target, they “unlock” an achievement that gives them points. These points can sometimes be spent on player customisation extras, or even additional games. In your Learning Management System (LMS system), you could have achievements set up for course completion, or finishing a set of courses in a certain category. You could also have exclusive achievements for first-comers and early adopters. Bonus points could be dolled out to learners who complete the most course work, answer particularly difficult questions correctly, and so on. This is also where a leaderboard could come into play, showing the “players” with the most points. As for what to do with those points and how to incentivise users, there are many different things you could do, such as giveaways or early access to new content. Get creative!
Continuous PlayOlder games were built strictly for entertainment and for killing time. This meant that they didn’t necessarily have epic storylines or a specific objective beyond the collection of points. But today’s games often utilise continuous play. This means the ability for users to pick up where they left off. Even if they lose and don’t meet an objective, they can usually start over and try again. On a practical level, you could set up your Learning Management System so that if learners are in the middle of a course when they log off, it starts them exactly where they left off when they log in again. Or, you could also allow them to re-try quizzes that they failed without giving away all of the answers early on. Another idea might be to allow and even encourage your participants to re-take older courses. Since the goal is to drive up engagement and competition, this can be a very effective way of stimulating more interest in your content.
Final ThoughtsOver 60% of learners say they would be more motivated by leaderboards and increased competition between students. 89% say that a point system would increase their engagement with an eLearning application (DigitalChalk Blog). The implications are far-reaching. Gamification isn’t just a passing trend – it is shaping up to be the future of eLearning. If you aren’t looking into how you can make gamification a part of your e-learning development yet, it’s definitely time to start. Contact us today for help in infusing some gamification into your LMS development!