Virtual learning needs to be more than moving a traditional classroom setting into cyberspace. This is a fantastic opportunity to experiment with new learning ideas, and make the entire process of skills acquisition more interesting for learners. Virtual learning can be molded and shaped to better fit the needs of adult learners. One means of doing that is the use of gamification. It can turn education into a fascinating experience.
Gamification by the Numbers
Gamification takes game techniques to encourage people to reach goals, and is used in skills education. Let’s take a look at some of the figures regarding gamification:
It is not a fad. Survey results indicate that by the end of 2015, 50% of organizations who manage innovation process will gamify some aspect of their business. By 2020 gamification will be adopted by almost all industries, communications, and educational facilities;
Learners want it. Close to 80% of learners surveyed claimed they would be more productive if their education was more game – like;
89% of respondents would be more engaged in an e-learning application if it had a point Learners are motivated by strategies that would include satisfaction, relevance, confidence, and attention. Gamification brings all of these into the equation and that’s what makes this particular aspect of e-learning so important. Industry recognizes this as putting more and more confidence in the use of game – based learning. Ambient Insight predicts that the annual growth rate for such a learning style will be at least 8.3% globally for the coming years.
Improvements to Expect in the Near Future
Gamification of learning is going to go deeper into motivating learners. That is going to result in more simulation and animation becoming part of learning packages. Learning tols such as puzzles, fun games, and the use of interest scenarios can be expected. There is always going to be an element of fun in game-based learning. Technology is going to make these little contests more lifelike. While they will be enjoyable, at the basis of any gamification strategy will be very serious skills acquisition.
What Gamification is not
This isn’t blood sport or some cyber version of capture the flag. Students are placed in competitive exercises, but this is not a situation where they are trying to undercut each other. If anything, the importance is to challenge a learner. The competition is meant to stay within the framework of the game.
The value of the games and game-based learning is to give the degree of instant gratification combined with feedback. Learning is the most important benefit of gamification. Other benefits have been discovered that benefit business. Domino’s Pizza created a game-based app: Pizza Heroes. A person built their own pizza using this but Domino’s used it to recruit for the company. It was discovered that this particular form of gamification resulted in lower turnover rates and decreased training costs.
Final Learning Thoughts
Gamification can bring a learner into contact with situations before they actually experience it in a work setting. It helps develop realistic strategies and a familiarity with a given work situation, such as disciplinary action. The fun factor is also a means of engagement.
Combine that with interesting activities and people are more willing to actively participate Self-confidence is also something that can be taken away from any game-based learning. Feedback and immediate rewards can increase a person’s willingness to explore even more That is something worth debating. The experience of many people when it comes education is high anxiety. Failure or uncertainty from the past has built up walls that are not easy to bring down. Gamification can make considerable strides in building up a person’s confidence level. That can make this individual open to additional education, and that is critical. The modern workplace is constantly changing and skill acquisition is needed. Gamification can help make that possible.
Sameer Bhatia is founder and CEO of ProProfs, a leading provider of online learning tools for building, testing, and applying knowledge. Through its Learning Management System, Survey Maker, and Training Maker products, ProProfs offers trainers, marketers, and educators powerful-but-simple features without requiring them to download or learn expensive software. ProProfs tools for building & testing knowledge are used by millions of users each month. The site hosts 1,000,000+ pieces of content in 90+ languages, and is a leading platform for online training and assessment with the world’s largest library of professional tests & quizzes.
He has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California (USC) and is an ed-tech industry veteran. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.