E-learning gamification is a ‘buzzword’ and continues to show an uptrend in the domain of e-learning. With the growing popularity of e-learning gamification and its increasing acceptance in the corporate world as one of the favorite learning strategies, it becomes very important to understand e-learning gamification in depth.

Hence for the benefit of my readers, I have prepared a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions on e-learning gamification.

1. What is e-learning gamification?

Gamification in simple terms is the application of game design elements and game principles into non-game contexts. Implementing or using the strategy of gamification to the process of learning (via e-learning i.e using electronic medium or devices like laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets etc ) is called e-learning gamification. The non-game context here refers to the learning process.

2.Why e-learning gamification?

The answer cannot be a one-liner and hence I recommend to read my blogs on e-learning gamification here to understand more on the advantages and benefits of gamifying the e-learning.  Statistics from MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global gamification market to grow from USD 1.65 billion in 2015 to USD 11.10 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 46.3%

1.E-learning gamification boosts engagement and interactivity among the learners.

2.E-learning gamification helps in better retention and recall of the learning topics.

3.E-learning gamification brings friendly competition among the learners

4.E-learning gamification provides instant feedback to the learners.

5.E-learning gamification can motivate the learners and bring the desired changes.

6.E-learning gamification rewards the correct actions of the learners.

7. Gamification can be applied to a wide array of corporate learning programs.

These are some popular benefits or reasons that answer the question  ‘why e-learning gamification?’

3. Is e-learning gamification the right strategy?

I have heard this question repeatedly asked by many clients who are confused in deciding if e-learning gamification is the right strategy for implementing their training requirements. Many consider e-learning gamification as a magic wand to bring success everywhere its implemented.
But I recommend using the following steps before you implement the e-learning gamification to derive maximum value out of it.

•Conduct a need analysis and evaluate if e-learning gamification is the ideal and right strategy in the context of the current training needs analysis
•Understand your target audience/ learners
•Evaluate the technological readiness of your organization

There are many organizations which implemented e-learning gamification only because it involves the fun elements and later it failed in achieving the objectives and goals. E-learning gamification is most effective when it is used to encourage learners to progress through the content, motivate the action of the learners and influence behavior and in forming habits.

4. Where can you use e-learning gamification in corporate training?

This has a very similar answer to the previous question of ‘when do you use e-learning gamification’ except that it discusses the application of e-learning gamification in various training topics.
I would say that e-learning gamification is an effective strategy which can be included in a wide variety of learning topics. But its always advisable to check if it’s the right strategy in the context and training topic.

Some areas or topics  where e-learning gamification is used popularly are :

1.Sales training e-learning gamification.
2.Gamified e-induction- Check out some examples of Gamified e-induction here.
3.E-learning gamification to impart soft skills- An example of e-learning gamification used to impart soft skill is business etiquette. Check out the sample here.
4.Gamification of product training
5.Gamification of compliance training

5. Are there any standard guidelines for gamification of learning?

There are no records of any such official guidelines for e-learning gamification. Moreover, e-learning gamification has been continuously evolving over the past few years and hence the industry is reaching the stage of growth and maturity to use e-learning gamification effectively.

6. What is the value of workplace e-learning gamification?

E-learning gamification acts as a motivational and guidance tool at the workplace. For employees, it provides positive encouragement and valuable rewards, like social status, for doing things they need or want to do anyway. It’s also a guidance tool in applications like onboarding and learning where a sequence of new tasks needs to be completed and tracked. When tied to specific, desired business outcomes, the value of e-learning gamification to employers is that it is accelerating the outcomes.

7. How is e-learning gamification different from game based learning?

In game based learning, the game is part of the learning process. It is applied at a product level, in a course, module or topic, to meet specific learning objectives. The aim is to help learners understand a concept, learn a discrete skill or check learners’ understanding of a concept (through assessment). In game-based learning, the content to be mastered is presented in the form of a game, through features such as simulation, competition, conflict and so on.

On the other hand, in e-learning gamification, the learning process as a whole is turned into a game. It is applied at the system level, where the complete pedagogical system or the learning management system is designed as a game. In this case, game elements may manifest in the form of badges, rewards, or levels that learners achieve/collect as a result of completing a learning task.

8. Is e-learning gamification only relevant for millennials and the younger generations?

By 2020, millennials will represent the majority of the workforce. Even now, they have a huge influence on workplace dynamics. But this doesn’t mean that e-learning gamification is only for the younger generation. E-learning gamification is meant for all ages as the modern day learning is being delivered through mobiles and mobile learning is being incorporated in every learning strategy.

While the baby boomers may not be using the smartphones and tablets as frequently as the millennials do, I feel that they have already embraced the mobile largely. To corroborate this, here is an incident…… I was very surprised to see the invite to play a popular social game on Facebook from my mother who is 55 plus. So dispel this myth from your thoughts and believe that e-learning gamification will be enjoyed by the different age groups.

It’s all about using the appropriate game elements and game mechanics and finding the right balance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors to motivate the learners’ Age doesn’t seem to hold any boundaries here as people even after the age of 50 are active in social media platforms and enjoy playing the games.  According to Statista.com  in the USA, 29 percent of the responding video gamers were 18 to 35 years old and most surprisingly 23 percent was on the age bracket of 50 years and older.

9. What are game mechanics and game elements?

If you come across the definition of gamification, I am sure that you have seen the repeated usage of the word game mechanics. According to Wikipedia.com, game mechanics are constructs of rules or methods designed for interaction with the game state, thus providing gameplay. While game elements are the features of a game, when applied to the earning process, make it more engaging and motivating for learners. The popular game elements are the following-
•Challenges
•Points
•Badges
•Customisation
•Leaderboards
•Levels
•Feedback etc.

10.Is e-learning gamification a costly affair?

With the development of technology and with the modern authoring tools having advanced features and functions to develop amazing e-learning modules, the cost of developing gamified e-learning courses has come down a lot.

The modern authoring tool cuts short the time and effort required  as the developers can now easily explore the online library to download images and templates at wish . The authoring tools hosted on the cloud make it easy for the developers to work simultaneously on the projects . Thus all these factors have made gamified e-learning the best friend of corporate learning.

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. What are the roles of rewards in e-learning gamification?

Adding the rewards to the gamified e-learning can sometimes work wonders in enhancing motivation levels and boosting the esteem needs of the learners.
The first step in planning the rewards for such an intervention is to think from the learner’s perspective and ask yousef the question: WIIFM? or “What’s In It For Me?”
While designing gamified e-learning, the organisation need to ensure that the learners are able to easily relate to the rewards and the thought of earning the rewards can motivate the learners. To know more about rewards in the gamified e-learning, visit our blog here.

12. Is gamified e-learning better that traditional e-learning?

Comparing with the traditional e-learning of click-next style of learning, e-learning gamification has more advantages and benefit. For example, the organisation can bring more fun and engagement through e-learning gamification whereas the traditional e-learning fails in doing so.
To know more on the differences between gamified e-learning and traditional e-learning, visit my blog here.

Here were some common and popular questions answered about e-learning gamification. If you have any additional questions feel free to mention them in the comments section and  we would love to answer them for you.