How To Implement Gamification In Training Quickly And On A Budget

We have a considerable history of the development of educational methods. People have always tried to understand more about how to assimilate new information. And today, when there is a lot of information, this question is particularly acute.

Today’s students also fall into different types, depending on how they learn. Some of them methodically learn every rule and formula. Some continuously listen to audiobooks and lectures. Some leave everything for the last week before the exam and learn everything on the run.

Some look for auxiliary services and ask, “is paperhelp legit to use at college?”. Everyone learns in the way they think suits them best. But today, one method of learning is gaining popularity, which can be universal for many.

Gamification in training is still a mysterious and not entirely understandable “beast.” It seems interesting, but it requires particular methodological approaches and lots of time. 

What is gamification, and why is it used in education?

According to the classical definition, gamification introduces game mechanics or practices into a non-game process such as learning.   

Unlike serious games, gamification is explicitly aimed at off-game results, engaging and increasing intrinsic motivation.

Of course, there are different ways of gamification in education. For example, some companies create applications and portals with a beautiful interfaces, complicated mechanics, and many game bonuses.

However, such educational games for employees have several risks:

  • Creating it is usually long and expensive;
  • Such training means a massive responsibility of its creators to the business. That is, the investment should payback in one and a half to two times;
  • Technology quickly becomes obsolete – in two or three years, a game or its engine may no longer be relevant;
  • A game has its cycle – that is, it cannot be developed once and for all; it requires additions.

Gamification of learning can be done much faster and on a smaller budget. When introducing game elements, it is worth considering the basic stages of influencing the learner-player in any training program.

Stages of learning and play:

Learning Communication. At this stage, the job of the training creators is to get people into the game.

First interaction. It is the moment when the user opens the course and begins learning. It is essential at this stage not to disappoint him.

Retrieval. Most programs require several approaches (a rare course can be completed in one go). And in each such system, the person needs to be supported – interested, involved and motivated to continue learning.

Finish Line. Usually, the closer to the end of the course, the less strength the learner has – so here, as at the previous stage, support, and another push is very important.

The continuation of learning. “In gamification, there is such a thing as a cycle in games. It’s the same in education. When we talk about repetitions, going back to the game, back to the course, and back to the module, these are all game cycles.

They need to be created, and they need to be thought through. After all, we’re not limited to one course. We are interested in the fact that a person who has completed one course will enroll in the next course and pass it successfully.

Ways and examples of gamification in training:

The main benefit of gamification is the learner’s enjoyment. How can this be achieved? Here are a few simple mechanics.

Feeling. The simplest and the most understandable point is that the more aesthetic pleasure a person gets, the more he wants to join the process. The joy may be visual – for example, a beautiful cover makes you take the book in your hands.

And it can also be “auditory” when the impact occurs through the sounds. As with any other, feeling is also important in the educational process.

Narrative. Today’s popular mechanic is storytelling when a course, class, or task is framed in a kind of story. For example, it can be a course made in the form of a fairy tale: the student-player moves around on a beautifully drawn map, the text is stylized, and begins with the words, “In some kingdom, in some state.”

Competition. This is, in fact, the game – whether it’s chess, board games, or sports games. Most at heart want to beat someone or be better. So the mechanics of rivalry work very well. Again, in terms of budget, it’s just realizable. You can take the same test in parallel, for example. And whoever passes it the fastest wins. It’s a straightforward solution like that.

Choice. Creators of training rarely use this tool, though they should do it more often: give the user alternatives so that he can choose the format of the course (for example, text or video) or the level of difficulty. It also works, the expert believes. The difficulty level does not necessarily have to refer to the course as a whole. For example, you can choose between a simple test and a more difficult one. This is not only good for the student (the very possibility of choice is perceived as a good thing) – it will be helpful for teachers to observe the user experience.

Rewards. While many use coins and badges as motivation drivers, student bonuses can be anything, as long as they are at least minimally practical. For example, you can offer exclusive content that will become available due to learning. 

Partnership. This mechanic includes working or playing in teams – a variety of intellectual battles, “brainstorming,” and other similar formats.

The satisfaction of completing the game and learning. The ending in a game is just as crucial as its start. It works the same way in training, so it is worth emphasizing that the learner is doing well at the end of any course. Certificates, animations, and a beautiful ending to the story will work here. After all, many people play games not just for the process but for the expectation of an attractive, exciting ending.

Evaluate the results:

Estimating the actual level of enjoyment from the game is almost impossible unless not interrogating each participant. But the effect of gamification can be evaluated by the course funnel – at every stage. You can check how many people want to go further and how many have lost interest and dropped out of the course.

Of course, the profitability indicators don’t guarantee that people get a charge of good emotions. Moreover, the feelings themselves do not necessarily have to be positive. The fact that a person has experienced a sense is a pleasure.

This is also how it works in games, by the way. For example, you were “killed,” but you permanently recovered somewhere at your “base.” You got an emotion out of it in the end. This emotion is what makes everything work.

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