One cannot deny the growing importance of using gamification as a learning strategy in the corporate training environment as it can effectively blend with the requirement of the modern learners.

But how is e-learning gamification able to make learning fun, engaging and interactive?

It’s simply because the e-learning gamification includes the carefully chosen game elements and game mechanics that raises the meter of engagement and interactivity to higher levels.

Here in this blog, let us see one such very important element- rewards in e-learning gamification.

We as humans like to be rewarded for what we do, whether it’s a pat on the back for a job well done, or an employee of the month award recognition It’s in our nature and we are wired to enjoy them and this, in turn, motivates us to continue to do the good work.

Importance of rewards in e-learning gamification

1. It’s about motivation

‘It will be so relaxing for us if  the employees were self or intrinsically motivated to attend the training programs.’
If you are from the L&D department or from a corporate training, I am sure that this thought had passed through your mind at least once. But today as we see, one of the main challenges faced by the L&D team of every organization is to motivate their employees to attend the training programs. Hence, the organizations of today are trying their hands on the new learning strategies to induce motivation among the learners and the importance of using rewards to motivate the learners requires utmost importance.

Advantages of using rewards to motivate the employees

1. The thought of earning rewards helps the learner to repeat the learning process or it puts him to the reward loop making the learner motivated to enjoy the learning process. In a simple sentence, rewards trigger powerful human emotions that can motivate the learner.

2. There are enough scientific studies and theories that tell you the same story. For example, the Incentive theory of motivation suggests that we are pulled into action by outside incentives. This is exactly correct in case of a gamified e-learning as it includes the external or the extrinsic motivational factors like points, virtual gems and even discounts coupons and free meal tickets etc offered by the companies.  The thought of achieving these rewards triggers the motivation in the learner to complete the gamified e-learning.

3. Once the learner enjoys this experience, the natural human tendency motivates him to repeat the process again to gain the rewards.  
A word of caution here as the organizations must plan the implementation of the rewards by understanding what can motivate the learners and ensure not to include the rewards just for the sake of it.

2.Retention and recall of the learning topics

The objective of every e-learning is to ensure the retention and recall of the learning topic. In other words, what is remaining in the short term memory of our brain should be transferred to the long term memory.
The studies tell that rewards are important elements to ensure the retention and recall of the learning topic. The thought of earning the extrinsic reward like a badge or certificate after completing the gamified e-learning can ensure that the learners stay motivated and engaged with the learning content. The thought of ‘I wants it’ creates positive reinforcement in learning leading to better retention and recall of the learning topic.

As discussed on the previous point, rewards are powerful enough to trigger emotions and put the learner into the reward loop that can attract the learner back to revisiting the learning topics leading to better retention and recall. The neuroscientist, Charan Ranganath describes that rewards help you remember things because you want future rewards and the brain thus prioritizes the information accordingly.
For example, taking an example from a real-life scenario where the teachers used to announce the rewards for scoring highest marks in the examination. The thought of achieving the reward will motivate the learner to study more and be an expert on the topic which finally leads to better retention and recall of the learning topics.

3. Rewards are necessary to create a sense of ownership

Reward in e-learning gamification creates a sense of achievement and recognition among the learner that makes the learner feel -‘I won it’. Achievement is one of the most powerful psychological driving factors of human motivation to bring the desired behavior change.
Once the learner understands that his/her right actions are rewarded and recognized, the learner is motivated to repeat the action or process that won him the rewards, finally leading to take the ownership of learning process. It creates a culture of responsibility as the learners will be more interested in something they feel they have ownership of.

Hence I feel that these three important points can clearly explain the importance of rewards in e-learning gamification.