🎮 How to gamify elearning? 6 techniques known to less than 1% of experts 🚀

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Ishwar Sundararaman . 04 Oct 21

Founder @ Unsolved. Launch Micro Courses & Build Learning Communities. IIMB, Serial Entrepreneur

Gamifying eLearning experiences really helps drive engagement, retention, and student outcomes. But one question on the mind of every course creator is how to gamify elearning for your online course.

🎯The purpose of this article is to help you gamify your online courses. 

We will look at the most popular techniques used to gamify elearning. And more importantly how to apply these techniques to your course.

In this post we will cover the  following topics. Number 5 on this list is the real deal 💡

1. What is gamification?

2. Why Gamify elearning?

3. Examples of Gamification in elearning

4. Types of gamification

5. Six gamification techniques unique to elearning 💣🔥🤐

6. Community + gamification


1. What is gamification?


Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts. 

For example, points, badges and leaderboards help motivate people to perform certain behaviors.

Gamification incentivises people to complete tasks they previously found boring or unpleasant.

It can also be used to increase engagement with content, that is already interesting or enjoyable. 

Gamification is a new way to keep students engaged. But it's tricky to create a game like experience for students. 


2. Why Gamify elearning?


Gamification is a great way to engage learners.  It encourages them to participate and complete elearning activities. 

The right gamification elements, can help create a better experience for your learners.

Gamification for online courses is not just about adding badges and achievement levels though

It is more about creating a fun process that encourages your learners to participate.


3. Examples of Gamification in elearning


There are several online learning websites and apps that use gamification as part of their teaching. 

Here are some examples of platforms that use them well

I. Duolingo – Is a language learning website and app. 

It gamifies the learning experience by using 
a. experience points 
b. streaks of continuous learning days. 

There are more examples that you can read about on their blog page.

II. Khan Academy -  Khan Academy aims to provide free education for anyone anywhere. 

The website uses a system of badges to motivate users to complete tasks.

III. Coursera –  an online platform, that partners with top universities in the world, to provide free courses. 

The platform uses points for people to keep track of their progress. These points can then be exchanged for different badges.


4. Types of gamification


Normally gamification techniques uses the following 2 concepts in their strategy

1:   the use of game mechanics (points, badges, leaderboards, missions, challenges, levels)

2:  the use of game design principles (e.g. progression, levels, rewards)

But when it comes to gamification for online learning, you should use terms that are more relevant


5. Six gamification techniques unique to elearning


There are huge benefits to using gamification in the context of eLearning. 

When used well, gamification increases student engagement, and completion rates.

Here are some gamification elements you can deploy in your online course

a: Reputation Points -  It gives value to the learner's activity and ranks them within the community. It is a great way to show off to your friends and family as well as an effective way to motivate your learners.

b: Certification - It is the equivalent of getting Badges & Achievements. Students seeking certification, have way better completion rates. It's a form of leveing up. Certification also allows you to have elevated status within a community

c: Ranks - Are the equivalent of leaderboards.  It gives an accurate representation of your virtual status. It can be used to show differences in ability, progress and achievement.

It gives a sense of competition and a goal to strive for.

d: Time - As a metric is a great way to create urgency in task completion. Giving the user limited time to complete a session can drastically increase speed of completion.

e: Trophies - Are level based and unlocked when you really crack something difficult. They are the equivalent of unlocking a reward and gives users a sense of achievement.

f: Streaks -  Show the user how many consecutive days they have learnt. This gamification technique tries to build a habit. Once a streak is going good, students try hard not to break it.   

If you are looking for a gamified learning platform to host your course on, take a peek at Unsolved


6. Community + Gamification 


One of the best ways to gamify your course is to add social and peer pressure. A community can really play that role well.

Community is a great way to create more engagement and discussion between students. 

It helps you build a tribe of people who are there to support one another, who are there to help each other succeed.

Joining a course is normally short lived. Joining a community is for life. 

The benefits of hosting a community go beyond enabling networking between like-minded individuals.

A community helps you stay in touch with students and cross sell and upsell courses at a future point in time

To summarise:  Gamification well done, can make your course extremely exciting. Adding a community adds much needed social pressure. And together they are a very potent combination

If you are looking for a gamified learning platform that also helps build community, take a peek at Unsolved.