The word Gamification was coined by Nick Pelling in the year 2002/2003. But it took another 7 or more years for ’gamification’ to become a buzzword and gain popularity.
The analysts forecast the global education gamification market to grow at a CAGR of 66.22% during the period 2016-2020, which denotes the continuous growth of e-learning gamificationAs we are stepping into the initial days of the year 2019, let’s take a look at what are the e-learning gamification trends for the year 2019.

1.Gamification design shifts to intrinsic motivation

The first trend, which I have mentioned here is about the gamification design principles giving an ultimate focus to intrinsic motivation rather than relying on external factors. I have included this as the first and foremost trend because I believe that gamification design is going to be the differentiator going forward.
Experts feel that the use of extrinsic motivational factors in gamification is not fit for the long run and it can only bring immediate results, which may roll back at the later stages. Gamification designers need to inbuilt the intrinsic motivational factors into e-learning for which they need to thoroughly analyze the player type. For example, extrinsic rewards like discount coupons or discounting used by e-commerce companies are good enough to cultivate the habit of online buying but these rewards might not induce the buyer to buy in long term and its eventually the convenience of online buying and the choices available which make a buyer come back. The same is the case with gamification of learning as well, learners will initially get hooked to learning due to external factors like badges, leaderboards etc but will come back wanting more of it only when they enjoy the process of learning. In fact, this principle of extrinsic motivation converting to intrinsic motivation is well captured in the Duolingo language learning app.  Hence, the experts believe that the future of gamification will see an inevitable shift to more intrinsic motivation.

2.E-Learning gamification will go deeper and wider

Experts predict that gamification will make deeper inroads in important industries, which have customary processes like education, healthcare, pharma, financial services. In such industries gamification of learning was implemented mainly in areas of compliance and important operations but with sustained results, gamification will find application in other areas of learning as well like sales training, onboarding as well as soft skills.
E-learning gamification will find a wider application in the unexplored areas of corporate governance, civic maintenance. It can also make a big impact in fields that are extremely competitive and differentiation is the only solution to existence. This includes e-commerce, retail, entertainment etc.

3.Biggest application in the employee onboarding process

Employee onboarding is no more an ignored element as studies and findings report that new employees are 69% more likely to stick around for more than 3 years if you provide them a well-formed onboarding.  Hence it is very important for organisations to ensure that they provide an engaging onboarding experience to their employees and gamified e-induction is the best solution here.

In fact, gamification of employee onboarding is one of the areas, where gamification is most widely used in the workplace as it creates a great brand experience for the employer and increases retention and application for the new hires. By including gamification in the onboarding process, the organizations can choose to gamify the various stages in the onboarding process like pre-induction, induction and post induction.

Here are some popular ways of using gamification in the onboarding process.

1.Recognize progress and achievement by creating a reward structure

2. Make it challenging for the new hires and encourage leveling up

3.By including the right game mechanics

4. Gamification of learning will go social+ viral

Today with the proliferation of social platforms, the users are more interconnected than ever before. We predict a latent increasing trend of blending the social elements with e-learning gamification to engage the audience.

Here are popular ways to blend social elements and e-learning gamification

•Apart from the formal structures or channels, learning happens through the various informal learning channels like social media websites, apps etc. An example is a social forum like Quora or LI etc use game elements like badges, points etc to motivate the users. Quora had an upvote system that enables the users to vote for the answer that is most relevant. The answer that receives maximum upvotes is shown first in the list.  
By using a simple game mechanic, it could motivate the users to provide quality content and increase their contribution.

In a structured or formal learning like the Deloitte Leadership Academy, they gamified the entire platform(Structured gamification) with game elements like badges, leaderboards etc to motivate and encourage learner participation. The learner received points for daily logins, completing tasks and achieving milestones etc. This platform provides multiple options for social collaboration.

•In content gamification, organisations can use built-in social sharing by allowing the learners to share the achievements, rewards etc on the social platforms or even on the internal forums etc.

However, we have only begun to explore the true application of social learning tools and other social elements in learning and it it will be a while before it reaches its full potential.

5.Shift to gamified LMS

While your organisation may have an LMS, does it supports gamification?

Modern LMSs’ available in the market are including the best of gamified elements like points, badges, and leaderboards to create and sustain the engagement. Thus the future will see the updation of the LMS with more game dynamics and elements enabling the organisation to perform tasks like –
•Leverage the power of competition with the game elements like leaderboards .badges, achievements, points in the LMS.
•Detailed tracking of the user learning process and reward the learner with points, badges etc.

6.Appeal to a multi-generational workforce

Millennials, Gen X, Y, and Z continue to puzzle the OD and talent management teams across organizations. The reduced attention span, high disengagement are sure to create headache to the organisation to manage the new generation for the workforce. To solve these challenges, organisations are preferring to implement e-learning gamification to engage the millennials.
Millennials and later generations were born into a digital world and are considered as a generation that connects well with games and technology. Thus making the learning process engaging and fun.  Hence, e-learning gamification is simply a no brainer learning initiative to engage the millennials who will replace the existing workforce of baby boomers/gen x

7.E-learning gamification enabling personalization of learning

Personalization of learning is sure to grow leap and bounds in the year 2019. The future looks interesting as we can expect the organization to take the benefit of both e-learning gamification and personalization. But, it is still in experimental stages as it’s mostly fuelled by AI and machine learning capabilities. The future will see organizations being able to implement e-learning gamification and personalized learning experience where AI and machine learning can analyze, predict the learner journey and include the suitable game elements that match the individual learners’ preference. Like after understanding the existing knowledge level of the learners, the machine learning capabilities can recommend a customized and personalized learning path and even assign gamification elements accordingly.

8. Gamification will continue to blend with other learning technologies  

While e-learning gamification is also used as a standalone learning strategy, there is a visible trend of combining or blending e-learning gamification with other learning strategies. For example, according to a recent study conducted on a group of target learners, it was found microlearning creates 50% more engagement. When microlearning is combined with e-learning gamification, the benefits of learner engagement is expected to multiply several times.
E-learning gamification can blend with other learning strategies as well. Like AR, VR  to make the learning more engaging and immersive. Imagine playing online firefighting gamified VR module where you can learn the basics of firefighting, the Do’s and Don’ts etc in a virtual environment build using the technologies of Virtual reality. The organization can reward the learner  when he/she is able to complete the challenges like -douse the fire within the stipulated time frame, completing the e-learning assessment etc

9. Increased penetration of gamification in mobile learning apps

The proliferation of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets etc has lead to the evolution of an app culture that is driven by the numerous mobile apps that aim to make our life easier and mobile learning apps are no exception. As of March 2018, Apple announced that there are 200,000 educational apps on the App StoreFrom the basic functions of delivering learning content, mobile learning apps use gamification techniques to engage the learner. This makes us confident to predict that the future will see increased penetration of gamification in mobile learning apps
The app store already hosts many such learning apps that use features of gamification to engage the learners. Some popular examples are  

  • Drops
  • Duolingo
  • Khan Academy

10. Gamification will be accessible across devices

A couple of years back gamified content was accessible only on a desktop computer or laptop. Now, gamified learning content will be able to really take off with the growing popularity of mobile learning platforms and the responsive designs that allows the organisation to design gamified e-learning content that is playable across the devices.

Here are ten trends that are sure to be a game changer for the year 2019 as far as e-learning learning gamification is concerned. Feel free to share your suggestion and recommendations using the comment box below.