Gamification: what is and how to use in your online course
Gamification is the use of games design and elements as means for the individual learn something and solve problems.
Widely used in eLearning and corporate training, know more about what it is and how gamification can improve your online course.
Understand what is the gamification
Games stimulate and entertain people for hundreds of years, so it is no wonder that its use in the education process show good results.
Gamification is to use game techniques and strategies for other purpose beyond entertainment.
According to Karl Kapp, expert in gamification applied to education and learning and professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, “gamification is the application of game mechanical in a different environment, such as the corporate world.”
Quite in vogue, its main purpose is attract attention and increase user engagement by presenting challenges and offering rewards.
According to an estimate by Gartner, by 2020, 70% of the largest companies in the world will have at least one application that uses this concept, making it become something fundamental to the business environment.
It is easy to understand these numbers when we think about the power that the game has to make tasks something fun to do.
After all, in games the player always has a mission to accomplish, and phases that must pass to reach his goal.
Applying this logic to the educational and professional environment, you can see how to use gamification to transform routine activities into something more interesting, making the person feel inclined to solve their challenges.
Bringing the game dynamics to reality instigates the individual, increases their engagement, productivity, focus and determination.
According to experts, this happens because games supply other desires inherent to human beings, such as the need for competition, instant feedback, the ability to evolve quickly, search for tangible rewards and prizes.
That’s why the gamification is so efficient, more than a fun challenge, it makes people feel excited to fulfill certain task and achieve results.
Advantages of gamification to online education
To begin, gamification is the answer to the greatest evil that reaches the current education: lack of student interest.
In a scenario where traditional education seems not to work with connected minds accustomed to receiving information in an agile and dynamic way, the use of technology in education has been widely debated.
While to many teachers to use technology in education is something new, for a generation that grew up with access to computers and internet, is completely natural.
A research made by Spil Games shows that 1.2 billion people around the world play some kind of game; of these, about 700 million people play online. This represents 44% of the online population.
What can be concluded is that the technology is a familiar language, the logic of the games is easily understood and well accepted.
A good example is the Minecraft, game in which players must find resources, build structures and plant to survive.
Thanks to its great success among children, teenagers and educators, was launched MinecraftEDU, special version which is already used by nearly thousand schools in over 40 countries.
Use ready games, however, it’s not the only way teachers can follow, the important thing is understand how games attract people and use their techniques to teach.
Missions and challenges, for example, act as fuel for learning, capturing student attention and arousing their interest to participate and interact.
In the educational context, especially distance learning, investing in gamification can bring many benefits to the student and even better results for his learning.
Check out some of the main advantages of using this strategy.
Active learning is an educational approach that aims to encourage student participation and stimulate its commitment to the learning process.
With gamification the student interacts with the content and takes the challenge to win something, turning into the protagonist of his own education.
Through quick feedback, he correct his actions, learn faster and with pleasure.
The dynamics of the game is to give a direction that the player must follow to reach his goal.
Thus, in the educational context, the student sees clearly the steps that must meet, facing it as challenge and not like an obligation and routine.
It is important not to create obstacles that exceed their capabilities, but instead test to its limits, making the victory even more rewarding.
The system challenges generated by gamification works usually through the accumulation of points, followed by a prize to every phase beat.
This process keeps the student motivated, interested to continue moving forward in search of the best result.
The sense of competition and evolution, as we said earlier, is inherent in the human being and stimulates their ability and willingness to go further.
How apply gamification in eLearning
When we talk about creating games, we often think about high investment values and complex development processes, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are several ways to use gamification in your online course using simple and easy to implement ideas. Check some below.
Virtually everybody have received and solve some task based on a scoring and evolution system. Even the school tests work that way.
But if taking a test is seen as something bad and boring, the gamification came to make this process more interesting.
Create differentiated activities for your course and assign points to each. May be quizzes, tests, hit a percentage of questions in a challenge, anything that has a goal and a reward for those who comply.
Everyone likes to feel rewarded for their efforts and see tangible proof that achieved its goal.
Offer rewards acts as a great incentive for your students to strive and evolve faster.
Prizes can be varied and depending on what stage of the challenge has been complete. You can give greater rewards as a free module of your course or some extra study material or even stimulate competition between students.
Healthy competition is normal in games dynamic and serves to encourage the individual to overcome his limits.
Create a competition system in distance education is something few think is possible, but it is actually easier than you think.
You may provide a reward for the first five students who meet certain task, for example. Or offer a prize to anyone who obtains the highest score in an activity. The possibilities are endless, just use your creativity.
The storytelling is very attached to gamification concept, because is nothing more than telling a story to facilitate understanding of something.
Method easy to apply for online courses, instead of just creating challenges separately, you can create a story, linking all stages in an engaging and provoking way.
Just as in games, content would be explained by a character, for example, and each stage of the game comes to learning a specific topic, which aims to achieve victory, beat the boss and get a reward.
The gamification through storytelling gives meaning and direction to your courses and makes it a lot more fun.
Gamification in Corporate Training
The gamification is no longer new in the corporate environment, where this strategy is increasingly used to train and empower employees.
According to Flora Alves, founding partner of SG consultancy specializing in corporate learning, gamification in companies is focused on “Helping businesses to transfer learning to practice.”
The expert also points out that the technique can be employed in any industry and without restriction of age and education level.
The level of knowledge and skills required in business today is quite high, and few people are able to meet all the requirements requested.
Aware of this reality, business owners and managers use gamification to develop skills related to business strategy, resource allocation, conflict resolution, among others.
“In a call center company, was a reduction of 55% in the consumer second call after training with gamification,” said Kapp, on a case study in which he participated.
The Gerdau Group used gamification to train their employees about safety.
To do this, one of the company’s units use virtual reality glasses and knowledge games to replace the theoretical training.
Another example of success, Deloitte Leadership Academy, a multinational business consulting, exchanged formal training for company executives and clients for gamification.
If before the course had poor adherence and completion, after this change was an increase of 47% among users returning to the site to do new tasks.
Among the benefits for the use of gamification in corporate training, we highlight:
- Healthy Competition;
- Winning feeling;
- Performance measurement.
There are numerous ways to use gamification in companies such as points programs, challenges, achievements medals and badges, scores of leaders, etc.
According to a report by global research company Markets and Markets, the estimate is that this year the gamification becomes a more than $ 5 billion market worldwide.
Gamification, Technology and eLearning
Undoubtedly the increasing access to technology and digital media had contributed to this popularization of gamification.
It also made easier to apply, as it was formerly need a lot manual work to create a scoring system, for example, today we have computers and softwares that make it in a quick and organized manner.
In the context of distance education, where technology has always been present, it is even easier use gamification as a differential to attract students.
In addition, the elearning market is a constantly changing environment and therefore, with the right tools, you can innovate and stay ahead of the competition.
Complete eLearning platform (LMS), the Coursify.me allows you to use several features to enhance your course.
By integrating with different platforms such as Dropbox, Youtube and Vimeo, you can upload content and differentiated materials to your online school page.
This allows you create a complete course, which can be further divided into modules and lessons.
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