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gamification predicted to rise from $2bn in 2012 to $7.4bn this year (Source: IBIS Capital). When used properly and not as a ‘sticking plaster’, gamification offers huge potential to make the learning experience more enjoyable and engaging. Games play a natural part in most people’s lives today. Gone is the stereotypical

teenage boy ‘gamer’ – the average age for UK gamers is around 35 and women now represent 52% of all gamers (Source: Internet Advertising Bureau). A growing love of gaming, thanks to Candy Crush, Angry Birds and the rise of mobile devices, has created a culture where the expectation for engagement has been raised. With so much attention-grabbing information at our fingertips, it’s harder than

ever to capture the attention of learners, let alone sustain it. And this is where gamification comes to the fore, powering up e-learning and creating more exciting courseware. The use of gamification in the workplace is still relatively immature, but there are plenty of signs it is becoming ever more popular, as people gain a better understanding of what it is, and how it can be best implemented. So let’s be clear, gamification is not the use of standalone games in e-learning.

Instead, it’s the clever application of game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to learn and achieve their goals. At a basic level,

Everything to play for D

Rob Caul and Josh Roberts analyse why gamification in e-learning is becoming so popular

one well, e-learning can motivate, engage and transform learning and development for organisations. It’s not surprising then that gamification – the latest trend in e-learning – is growing in popularity, with the world market for serious gaming and

gamification uses rules and rewards to tap into our innate desires for status and achievement. Part of its beauty lies in its ability to address the most common problem with e-learning today: that people think they know what to expect from a course. With gamification, it is possible to remove such preconceptions and the all too common ‘click-next’ mentality, enabling the delivery of a truly immersive and effective learning experience. Creating game-based e-learning isn’t as complicated to achieve as it may

sound. The skill lies in using the right techniques, theory and application methods rather than technical advancement or coding. But like any other learning technique, if gamification is going to prove its worth in the workplace, you need to have clearly-defined goals from the outset and a realistic outlook on the opportunities and limitations gamification poses within e-learning.

Research shows that almost 80% of learners say that they would be more productive if their learning environment was more game-like.


e.learning age april 2015

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