Day after day of virtual training can get repetitive for both the trainer and learner. Human interaction is a key element of any learning experience, so during times like these we have to get a bit more creative in making that happen behind the computer screen or device. With e-learning in the forefront today, gamification is more important than ever to include!
As a trainer, you have a variety of goals and objectives you want your learners to achieve, but none of these outcomes can be effectively achieved if the learners aren't really excited about the content. Gamification offers a wide range of engaging benefits that make the online learning experience more enjoyable for the trainer and learners! Believe it or not, there is actually a science behind why gamification for virtual training is successful for everyone involved.
The Bob Pike Group rounded up a few interesting science-based benefits of gamification in e-learning:
Gamification in E-learning Facts
It releases endorphins
Participating in activities that stimulate our mind or bodies (exercise or trivia, for example) release endorphins—i.e. the happy hormones. That same effect is achieved with e-learning games or challenges that give learners a chance to achieve a reward or advance to the next level. When these endorphins are released, the learners not only have more fun during the e-learning process, but they retain more information! The feelings of calm and well being from the endorphin release boosts learners’ motivation to learn more and apply what they have learned.
Learner engagement & retention increases
When learners feel great about the learning process and know there is an end reward or goal, they tend to be more active versus passive. It’s no surprise that gamification holds learners’ attention and motivates them as they head toward reaching a goal. Learners are able to effectively absorb all the material and commit it to long-term memory when it’s linked to a fun experience such as a game or trivia during the learning process.
Application to the real world is key
Gamification lets learners see the real world applications and benefits of the subject matter right away. They are able to get a first-hand look at how their choices within the game result in consequences or rewards. Giving them the chance to explore a topic in a risk-free environment instills the confidence they may need in applying it outside the virtual classroom. When they do venture out into the world, they’ve got the power to put that knowledge to great use!
Games can alter emotional responses and improve resilience in learners. Resilience is strongly linked with engagement at work. Incorporating gamification boosts learners’ resilience and confidence. If they know there’s a chance to “level up” at the end of a tough training assignment, they’ll be able to rise to the challenge in the real world!