In teaching and training fields, the students’ motivation is undoubtedly the main component capable of decreeing, or not, the success of the training path.
It is for this reason that Gamification finds its natural application in e-learning.
An old Japanese proverb said: "None can find the best way to do something without starting to willing it."
The goal of Gamification is this: motivate people in doing their actions.
LEARNING BY DOING (MORE)
According to Zichermann and Cunningham, authors of the book "Gamification by Design", everything can be potentially fun, just because the mechanics of the game make it so.
In fact, the game is the original form of our knowledge. It is the engine that underlies our first relationship with the world, a primal tool for acquiring awareness, and the main way in which learning happens.
Studies from several institutes confirm that the game makes learning process more effective, through three main elements:
In 2005 at the "National Summit on Educational Games" was presented a research: it was about how students remember information. Resuming the famous model of Edgar Dale and Nick Van Dam, it has been shown that there are huge differences in the amount of information that people remember, when it comes to reading, hearing, seeing and interacting.
These results were also deepened by a further research, carried out by the University of Denver Business School; it highlighted the effectiveness of "game-based learning platforms" in involving all-levels-users in internal learning processes.
It has been demonstrated that who uses a gamified platform in e-learning processes:
- Can retain about 9% more information in the long run;
- Acquires on average 11% more in concrete knowledge;
- It gains 14% more in "skills" based on the knowledge, that it has just stored.
From these starting results, it is clear that the main gaming mechanics such as simulations, interactivity, levels, objectives, points, rankings and badges (better detailed in a previous article) can improve the study method and the learning process, making it lasting, concrete and effectively usable.
GAMIFICATION APPLIED TO TRAINING: WHAT ADVANTAGES?
Gamification is therefore able to support all learning stages, and it is an ideal partner for those responsible for training (training institutions, schools, universities, etc.), to achieve the following objectives:
• Stimulate informal learning, by proposing training content in an innovative and fun way;
• Strengthen user engagement with real-time feedback, aimed at improving performances;
• Encourage student progress by leveraging motivation;
• Simplify learning and the ability to remember the newest concepts;
• Creating a path on levels with rankings, and generate a healthy competition process that brings a greater involvement;
• Favour the increase of interactivity, thanks to the “reward mechanism” that pushes the users to reach the goals;
• Increase the awareness level of educational path, and that of the achieved training goals.
Students are asked to complete tasks (missions) and to achieve results in terms of skills and competencies, that are translated into points or badges. Sometimes, however, the analysis and the study, appear far from reality, thus failing to have a direct impact on everyday life: that creates real satisfaction and motivation.
The comparison with a practical situation, instead, increases the awareness of what the person is learning; the need to advance in the game, activates the following search for creative solutions to problems that occurs along the way; the continuous real-time feedback aimed at improving performance, strongly reinforce the involvement and motivation.
Let's see together two examples of Gamification applied to the e-learning world. The first one refers to the application of gamification in a work learning context, a theme that we will elaborate on in the next blog articles. The second one instead, presents a gamified app for handling behaviour in the classroom.
1. E-Learning Gamification for business training: "Gulf Agency Company (GAC)" case
The Gulf Agency Company (GAC), based in Dubai, present in other 40 countries, and with more than 10,000 employees, has modified its e-learning course "Introduction to GAC World" in 2015, by Moodle LMS, from a typical structure to a gamified format.
The company has structured the program inserting, challenges, levels and other mechanics of Gamification, instead of the classic activities.
Each new week of the course (5 weeks in total), a new level was presented that included two challenges: study materials with embedded questions, or material followed by a quiz. The access to the new content has been limited based on the level completion.
When the students passed a new level, they gained a progressive importance badge.
To see the effectiveness of the new format, the GAC training unit performed both the typical and gamified versions of the course at the same time, submitting them to the same number of attenders. In the end, feedback from the members of both groups was collected.
The gamified course, compared to the standard one, presented the following results:
- 15% more positive feedback;
- 25% more people who claimed that the course had even exceeded their expectations.
Thanks to Gamification, the Gulf Agency Company was able to increase the participation in its training course, having also a higher percentage of satisfaction of its employees.
2. E-Learning Gamification for school education: "ClassDojo" case
ClassDojo is a class management tool launched in August 2008, which exploiting the logic of Gamification: it connects teachers, parents and students, facilitating the communication between these subjects, and also making it more fun and stimulating student learning.
ClassDojo uses a series of gaming techniques to help to improve specific behaviours and keep high the level of engagement.
At the beginning each student selects his own avatar, to which he will remain associated in time and which will be displayed in the system.
The teacher identifies the behaviours he wants to encourage or discourage, by attributing points (or removing them) in real time. This, generates a sort of classification, constantly updated, which the students and their parents can view at any time.
It is also possible to introduce individual or collective prizes that can further reinforce the intrinsic individual motivation and the cooperation between peers, in achieving a common goal.
- Actively used in 90% of primary schools in the United States and in over 180 countries;
- Translated and used in more than 35 languages;
- Teachers who have used it, consider ClassDojo an excellent tool to improve the climate within the classroom and motivate students to study, active participation and collaboration.
Do you want to discover more about Gamification for e-learning?