This gamification — a wildly popular approach to jazzing up eLearning — is supposed to improve the timeframe scholars spend getting together with the eLearning content, thus deepening their learning and, ultimately, producing better results.
Far too often, though, designers get caught up in creating cool-looking gamified content with flashy images and meaningless game elements like count-down clocks or mazes or puzzles for learners to solve.
Inside “How Gamification Inspires, ” researchers Sailer et al. state that the key aim of gamification “is to foster human motivation and performance in regard to the activity. ” They then ask how gamification motivates. In a corporate training framework, the real question is whether and how gamification inspires adult learners.
Successful adult learning content is problem-centered, promotes active participation, is collaborative, and draws on and recognizes past experience, in accordance with Karen Jarrett Thoms in “They’re Not only Big Kids: Inspiring Adult Learners. ” “Adults learn best when they use the actual already know and integrate new knowledge and skills into this lender of knowledge, ” Thoms wrote. Their own learning experience have to be relevant, self-paced, and meaningful.
Moving game pieces around a virtual board to unlock content or racing through a maze are gamified experiences that are neither meaningful neither respectful of adult learners’ some experience. So where really does gamification fit into adult learning?
Utilize game elements to learners’ real-world framework
Done right, gamification contains using game elements in a real-world, relevant context. The training itself does not need to become a game, though serious learning video games, designed across the content and presenting relevant challenges by means of a game, can be highly effective.
Gamification applies game elements in ways that kindle fire the intrinsic determination of learners.
- Advertisement -
This can mean:
Applying progress meters, levels, and points to mark progress towards mastery or learner-defined goals
Adapting content shipping, including challenges, questions, and activities, centered on individual learners’ prior knowledge and experience
Targeting content to learners’ job role, career goals, or immediate, job-related needs
Encouraging and rewarding engagement and progress based on learner’s own goals and intrinsic desire to improve
Sailer et al. describe the needs of any self-deterministic adult learner: the need for skills, the advantages of autonomy, and the need for social relatedness. These mesh with descriptions, such as Thoms’, of mature learners.
Game elements that show progress and recognize successes satisfy the need for competence. Offering on demand access to gamified eLearning as a performance support, in a format like microlearning, for example, and providing scholars with choices around when and how they build relationships their training meets the need for autonomy. Using game elements to generate collaborative or competitive games where learners take on a meaningful role meets the advantages of interpersonal relatedness.
Good gamification engages learners
If gamification is performed well — meaningful game elements are added to relevant content — adult scholars will spend more time with this content. They will engage deeper and more often — and this spaced replication will build their mastery and extensive knowledge retention. All that game playing adds up, over time, to real, lasting learning.