Who doesn’t like playing games? During our childhood, we all played games that were not just fun but helped us boost our skills. Be it chess, ludo, table tennis, or basketball, we all have some of the other memory attached to games.
Games play a pivotal role in the overall development of children. It is through games that children learn to develop cognitive skills, creative thinking, physical strength, and most importantly sportsmanship.
You must have experienced at some point in life how our elders rewarded us for our achievements and even if we failed we were given a pat on the back so that we don’t give up easily.
Having said that, you must have now understood the significance of games in learning. With recent technological integration in learning and the EdTech boom, learning is going beyond enclosed classrooms to digital space. This is expedited by the use of learning management systems (LMS).
A learning management system is a web-based technology that is used to plan, implement and assess the learning process. With the development of an LMS, learning becomes a game where learners play, have fun, and learn at the same time. This becomes possible as an LMS comes with a gamification feature.
What is Gamification?
It is a process of incorporation of game-like features in a non-gaming setting like learning. Gamification can be used in different contexts- businesses can use it to train employees, the healthcare industry can use it to train healthcare professionals and schools and universities can use it to boost students’ learning.
Wondering why integrating game-like features is learning? Well, it’s a fact that no matter how old we grow, we still tend to lean towards the game. Eg- Playing ludo and earning coins subsequently pushes us to play and earn more. Also, there must have been instances where you have compared your coin collection with your friends to get a sense of accomplishment.
Well to make learning interesting and exciting, an LMS infuses the game
features in e-learning.
Some important gamification features are:
- Goals- Complete the task and get a reward, such as a badge or points.
- Status- Users increase their level or rank through completing training. Leaderboards show who is ‘winning’ and inspire users to work harder to compete.
- Community- Users are paired or put in groups to solve problems, complete activities, or otherwise achieve an objective.
- Education- Tips, tricks, and quizzes are given to the user throughout the process.
- Rewards- This includes badges, coins, etc.
These gamification features give rise to intrinsic motivation (to do the training properly) through extrinsic motivation tools (like- game rewards).
Benefits of an LMS enabled gamification feature in e-learning
1. Amazing Learning Experience
- It resolves two major issues in the learning process- engagement and retention.
- Features such as notifications and pop-ups, game-specific elements like group tournaments and challenges, dynamic leaderboard, rewards for timely completion, of course, help keep the learners engaged and stick to the course. It prevents frequent dropouts from courses in between training or learning.
- Very importantly, gamification promotes active learning rather than passively mugging up content.
2. Self-Directed Learning
Gamification allows self-paced learning. This means the online learners can access learning or training modules at their convenience. This gives so much flexibility to the online instructors as well.
3. Badges and Trophies
Through gamification, the learners travel on a learning path and clear different levels and accordingly are given badges. These badges provide positive reinforcement for the targeted behavior. It acts as a motivational driver. Unlike leaderboards where achievements of all the online learners are displayed, badges are rewarded to an individual learner for his/her accomplishments.
Competition is strongly tied to rewards allocated. The status and achievement dynamics keep inducing a spirit of competition among learners. Seeing the better performance of other peer learners, friendly rivalry arises. This acts as a positive motivational factor. Here, the leaderboards play a key role by displaying scores and achievements and celebrating their win.
5. Induces Behavioral Change
Just like in real games where one takes risks and chances to win, e-learning too can develop risk-taking abilities among learners. Such a behavioral change is induced by making assessments enjoyable for kids. For instance, multiple-choice questions can be categorized into different levels of difficulties like- very easy, easy, difficult, and very difficult.
These categorizations can be symbolized using badges or other game-like elements. This pushes learners to see where they stand and revisit their assessments.
6. Continuous Learning Culture
Through gamification, there are high possibilities that e-learners routinely participate in training. By organizing contests, training assessments, and conversations, hype, and excitement for learning are created. The virtual coins and badges seem to be a treasure for learners that they seek continuously.
In traditional classrooms where learners have to wait till the need for feedback, LMS-enabled gamification allows instant feedback generation that guides learners and online instructors to identify learning gaps.
As learners, we often crave outward recognition for our accomplishments. Gamification recognizes this and increases learners’ satisfaction. This is why learning becomes entertaining and gives pleasure to learners.