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Can learners really benefit from gamification?

schedule 28th March 2018 by Sam Havers in Virtual College

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Gamification has been defined as using aspects of game design in non-game situations. This can mean including elements such as badges, lives, levels or leader boards. Gamification is becoming increasingly popular in education, with the market awash with apps and websites for education professionals to use. Before we head to learners, let’s explore what organisations know about gamification. The benefits of using gamification in elearning are clear:

  • Online tools can save time and money.
  • Online training is standardised, and more accessible to their learners.
  • Gamification has been recognised as improving learner motivation and productivity.

The four benefits for learners, however, are less well known, so let’s explore these now.

Future proofed learning for the next generation

  1. In order to succeed both personally and professionally in the digital age, learners need to be creative, and have strong collaboration and problem solving skills.
  2. Modern theories of effective learning identify that learning needs to be active, situated, experiential, problem based and provide immediate feedback. This suggestion is supported by the growing call within education for a 21st century pedagogy – namely an approach to teaching and learning which will prepare learners for the modern world of work, equipping them with the skills that 21st century employers require.

  3. Gamification in elearning can offer learners an opportunity to practice real life situations in a safe space. They are able to make mistakes in order to learn, without putting themselves or anyone else in danger. This approach clearly helps to develop learners’ creative and problem solving skills, moreover it has also been suggested that this approach can increase knowledge retention.
  4. The use of badges, levels and leader boards included in gamification, facilitates immediate feedback. This enables learners to easily identify areas they need to develop and revisit within their learning. This immediacy also facilitates better engagement and increases knowledge retention.
  5. A final benefit for learners of gamification is the social aspect that many courses include. Competing against fellow learners, online or in the same environment, can help learners to develop their collaboration skills, which are so highly desired by a potential employer.

For more information on gamification projects Virtual College has developed and how this can improve behaviour change within your organisation, please contact

Sam Havers Author

Author: Sam Havers

Sam is an instructional designer with a nine-year career as a classroom-based teacher prior to joining Virtual College. She has a degree in Education and Professional Development, and is currently studying towards a master’s degree in Education and ICT.

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