While it is possible to redesign existing e-learning content to incorporate gamification and game-based learning, simply slapping a layer of gamification onto your e-learning content may not offer the benefits that you expect or require. It’s theoretically possible to do so, and may offer minor benefits in terms of increased engagement.
However, this may end up offering benefits only in terms of learners getting on to the platform. Learners are likely to take the course in order to engage with the gamification elements; not the learning material itself. This impacts learning outcomes, as learners aren’t interested in the content.
So how do you do gamification right?
Get started early
Don’t consider gamification as a separate element to your e-learning course. When you begin your instructional design, keep gamification in mind. Defining the gamification structure during the design phase can result in seamless integration and a more cohesive learning experience. It also reduces the risk of gamification being disjointed from the overall learning objectives.
Design with purpose
Ensure that each element of your gamification – this could include your game design, character design, levels, points, merits, pointboards, etc – serves a greater purpose. Since you know your learners, you know what kind of gamified learning could work for them. Engage with them before getting started on instructional design, to learn more about their learning styles, likes and dislikes. You’ll gain valuable insights into the kind of people they are, and thus the kind of e-learning you need to design.
Customize gamified elements
Define the gamified elements to suit your specific needs, learners and desired learning outcomes. It’s important to ensure that each component is customized to meet your requirements. At the same time, some elements can be customized from a generic template. The priority isn’t to design from scratch – it’s to create a gamified learning experience that is tailored to suit your learners’ needs.
Gamified learning and game-based learning have been shown to have significant positive impact on learning engagement, absorption and retention. Have you started on your e-learning gamification yet? Talk to us about your journey.