e-Learning Gamification

e-Learning Gamification: Are you still learning or are you already playing?

We show what added value e-learning games deliver and what e-learning providers can learn from video games.

About two and a half centuries ago, video games were still a long way off. Nevertheless, toward the end of the 18th century, Friedrich Schiller wrote down a sentence that many gaming enthusiasts today would double underline: “Man is only fully man where he plays.” Even though Schiller did not understand the word “play” to mean what we imagine it to mean today, this aphorism still holds true in general. Gaming, especially video gaming, is booming and seems to make people happy. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to video game trade shows like E3 and Gamescom. A visit to these trade fairs is not only worthwhile for gamers, e-learning providers can also learn a thing or two there. Because: e-learning enriched with elements from video games keeps motivation high and promotes learning success. Below, we’ll take a look at what exactly is meant by e-learning gamification and what elements e-learning games should include.

e-Learning Gamification: This is what it means

Gamification” is basically the application of video game mechanics and elements in non-video game contexts – especially didactic ones. In recent years, gamification has received a strong boost in didactics or e-didactics. And that makes sense, because the advantages of video games and the e-learning benefits can be ideally combined. The result of this combination: sustainable learning success through the targeted addressing of e-learning motivational factors. e-learning gamification promotes both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation of learners, which leads to better internalization of learning content. Now let’s take a look at what elements make for the positive impact of e-learning games.

These elements should be included in e-learning games

Immersive stories
A video game without a good story doesn’t work. Players must have the feeling that they can become part of the story and actively shape its course. The situation is similar with e-learning. Gripping storytelling addresses needs such as meaningfulness or striving for meaning and guarantees focused engagement with the learning content.

Openness and choice
So-called “open world games” are very popular in video game circles. In it, users roam a largely open game world and begin missions in a self-determined and self-responsible manner. Even though it will not be possible to make e-learning offerings completely open, this approach should be considered in the design. Possibilities of decision and choice promote self-determined learning and address the experience of autonomy.

Whether it’s a quiz, a tricky puzzle, or a groundbreaking decision-making opportunity: Video games thrive on well-dosed challenges. These quests motivate and keep gamers in the flow of the game. This can be applied one-to-one to e-learning offerings. e-Learning offerings that are enriched with challenges have been shown to boost learner motivation.

Anyone who has completed a challenge wants to be rewarded. It’s the same in video games as it is in e-learning offerings. Rewards such as digital badges, scores, or progress bars that gradually fill up have a motivating effect and encourage you to try questions again or solve puzzles better.

Live feedback
In video games, wrong decisions can often have serious consequences: Characters die, game progress vanishes into thin air, or valuable items are lost. While it doesn’t have to be quite as dramatic in the context of e-learning offerings, thoughtful and immediate feedback makes sense. It is not enough to comment on a wrong answer with “Unfortunately wrong”. Learners need to know what they did wrong and be motivated by the live feedback to solve the task again.

Lifesaver: Best Practice from Great Britain

The fact that the above-mentioned elements from video games and e-learning can be combined has been proven many times by companies and e-learning providers in recent years. One of these impressive examples of e-learning gamification is Lifesaver, a project of the Resuscitation Council (UK). The organization, which focuses on proper resuscitation in medical emergencies, has launched a website and app that provide fun training in resuscitation techniques. Lifesaver has everything a best practice for e-learning gamification needs: an engaging story, time limits, scoring, and online leaderboards. Meanwhile, the award-winning e-learning offering has also been expanded to include a VR option. Our conclusion: The mix of game and film makes Lifesaver an engaging e-learning experience with added value.

e-Learning Gamification at skillbest

The necessary pinch of gamification is also a fixed component of the e-learning conception process for us. However, we are not interested in including a challenge or ranking at any price. At skillbest, we focus on the learning goals of the learners and develop an e-didactic concept based on this that has a lasting effect. Depending on the requirements and e-learning format, we sometimes integrate more video game elements and sometimes less. A few examples: While our e-learning format skillcards focuses on tasks and challenges, with skillstory we concentrate on a gripping story and let learners become heroes. Live feedback, which is indispensable in video games, plays a crucial role in our skillchat e-learning format, for example. If you want to learn more about how we understand and practically implement gamification at skillbest e-Learning, we recommend our brand new Best Practices. There we show you how an order in a bakery becomes an exciting mini-game and what challenges delivery service employees have to master.