The growing popularity of video games couldn't but impact other spheres of life that aren't linked to games. People noticed that using the game elements and game mechanics in non-game areas of life generates positive results. That was the origin of gamification — the introduction of various game instruments and elements to reach a wider audience, retain clients and increase involvement, and so on. Gamification is used in everyday life, business, marketing, and other contexts, but today we'll talk about introducing this method to online education.
Online-schools owners and course creators are constantly searching for new methods and approaches that'll make them differ from the boring and routine courses and educational institutions. Online education isn't compulsory, so people spend their energy and money to get valuable knowledge and skills. That's why your task as a course creator or school owner is to make your product as interesting and useful as possible and make people fall in love with your education to purchase more and more courses in your school. And gamification is one of the ways to transform boring lessons into catchy and memorable ones.
We face gamification in everyday life even more often than we think. When we register an account on social media, we are offered to take a few steps to fill in a profile. Shops offer us to get various loyalty cards, and it's also the element of gamification. This method lets both online schools and students enjoy multiple benefits to consider gamification in detail.
The Benefits of Gamification For Course Creators and Students
All people involved in the work of online schools, whether their owners, course creators or teachers, are interested in selling the product to a more significant number of people. That's why they are constantly searching for new promotion methods and instruments that'll help them create good content. In other words, they need to spend their own time and efforts to attract clients. But what if we tell you that gamification can turn the situation around and make clients beg you to sell this course?
Online education has always been popular, but the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine restrictions made it even more demanded. People started to spend more time at home, some of them don't want to waste this time and prefer obtaining new knowledge and skills. But it doesn't mean that online education shouldn't improve, develop and introduce new approaches. It's time to discuss all the benefits gamification gives us.
№1. Increase in sales volume
Many online schools and different courses have owners and creators do their best to attract new clients. But ultimately, it turns out that they are using traditional approaches to education that are outdated now. Schools and projects already using gamification are the most popular, and you've probably heard about them. We'll discuss successful examples a bit later.
If we discuss the advantages of gamification for school owners and course creators, we'll conclude that the increase in conversion rate and sales are the key advantages of gamification. People purchase your course, pass it and share their positive experience with friends attracting new clients to your school. When you set a clear purpose before implementing gamification, it'll certainly yield a positive result.
№2. Increasing the completion rate
All course creators know that a low completion rate is a widespread problem that needs to be solved. People start a course but then drop it due to unclear reasons. However, the reasons are obvious: you have problems with the way you present educational materials. You can't interest people and give them the motivation they need. Sometimes the intrinsic motivation isn't enough to do something, so you shouldn't rely only on the inner inspiration of your students. Therein lies one of the difficulties of distance learning — not all people can be effective and diligent learners online. That's why your courses should keep students involved in the educational process and don't let them lose motivation.
№3. Better quality of education
It's great that you have a strong desire to attract more clients and earn more money, but don't forget that your main goal is to provide high-quality knowledge to people. The implementation of such an instrument lets online schools increase students' academic performance, memorization, and students' productivity. It all means that your courses are effective and will help people change their lives. Students see their achievements and get ready to delve further into the studying of new topics.
Strategies for Implementation of Gamification In E-Learning
If you want these changes to be successful, please, carry out a little research to define the psychological portrait of your target audience, other possible ways to support students' motivation you use, and problems that may arise after combining gamification with other instruments. Remember that gamification should contain game dynamics, mechanics, and game design elements. There are three degrees of immersion in a game: complete, medium, and light. The use of this or that degree is up to you. Now you'll get acquainted with the examples of gamification, but don't rush: try using this or that strategy, test each one carefully. It'll help you to define drawbacks and change the online course to make it convenient. Create a focus group and ask them to share their opinion about your product. It's the only correct approach you should use when trying to introduce an update.
If you have a lot of new students during each course launch, it's helpful to create a guide on using your service in the form of a game. Create an attractive animation and familiarize your students with a platform step-by-step.
There's no better way to motivate students than to give them bonuses for completing certain course sections. Avoid using publicly available league tables because those who'll be at the end of the list will think they're the worst.
№3. Competitive elements
It's another good way to make students complete each assignment and part of your course. Organize a competition between students. It's also possible to invite teachers and mentors to participate in these challenges to establish a good student-teacher connection. Use your imagination to create something unique.
№4. Points or credits
Unlike achievements, points aren't one-time promotions. They can be given for each completed stage or be accumulated and then changed for a valuable bonus like a check-list or free book. By the way, points can be used for purchasing any helpful content. You may use points, virtual currencies, and any other elements.
№5. Badges and titles
This element has much in common with points, but new titles seem to be more respectable rewards for students. People try to have a higher reputation in society, so why can't they translate this sentiment in studying?
№6. Time limitations
Finding a person having no problems with time management is a difficult task. So that you don't set limits for completing a task or module, be ready that students will put everything off. Assess the number of times necessary for completing each section of your course and notify students about this time limit. Give bonuses to those who finish the course earlier than you've set.
№7. Interactive feedback
Students shouldn't feel lonely, so give them support. Feedback is especially necessary after students complete specific assignments or read theoretical information. Communication between students and mentors is very important. Don't forget to assess all students' actions, even wrong ones.
Successful Cases of Gamification
Before you make any significant changes to your product, check the experience of your competitors. It helps people avoid mistakes and find inspiration for new ideas.
It's one of the most popular educational platforms, using the elements of gamification: aims, achievements, titles, points, and other instruments. The founders of Khan Academy use creative names for titles: they tied them to celestial bodies. Students can check the feedback about their assignments.
Each of us has installed this app at least once in the hope of learning a particular language. And studying was quite successful because Duolingo is the best example of gamification in e-learning. More than 25 million people regularly use this app. Duolingo managed to combine education and entertainment using multiple mechanisms of gamification: achievements, competitions.
This game was created by the developers of Microsoft Office to teach people how to use this program. Many of them consider this software too tricky or are just lazy. Here players earn points after successfully completing different tasks (to change the page's design, text, or presentation, etc.). The game tracks your progress and lets you share it on social media.
It's one of the most successful competitors of Duolingo. It can boast of different gamification instruments: interactive feedback, welcome-scenario, the possibility to purchase something using bonus points, in-built chats, and even a punishment system. Even though it's free, people get so involved with it that they get ready to purchase paid options.
A Bottom Line
Well, gamification in e-learning is really the most effective way to transform your lessons and make your course yield an income. This method has a big future, so you shouldn't lag behind your competitors, who have long been enjoying its advantages. Gamification is also widely used in offline education, but it's not so effective. Start small: introduce a few essential elements to your online course and track results. If you see progress, continue in the same vein.
We hope we managed to tell you everything you need to know about gamification. But you can still ask questions in the comments section below, and we'll answer all of them.