Last updated: 10.07.18

Business benefits for using gamification in learning

In recent years, the use of game-based learning and gamification as ways to support learning have become increasingly popular and have started to transform workplace learning. Could your business benefit as well?

Game-based learning vs gamification

Let’s start by defining game-based learning and gamification. Often these terms are used interchangeably but in fact they are very different. Game-based learning (GBL) is all about using fully-fledged games to help learners reach learning objectives. ‘Gamification’ focuses on the use of game mechanics (badges, points, leader boards, etc.) game elements (story, challenges, mystery, uncertainty, etc.), aesthetics and game thinking to engage and motivate learners.

Games as well as gamified solutions can be very powerful tools in your learning and development toolkit and can have a positive impact on your learners and your business, provided they are based on solid instructional design. Just adding a leader board or awarding badges will not lead to the expected outcomes. In fact, poorly designed gamification can even have a negative impact and lead to an overly competitive business culture, reinforce wrong behaviours and actually distract learners from the learning by overly focussing them on winning points or badges or beating their colleagues in the game.

Benefits of game-based learning/gamification

A well designed learning game or gamified solution, however, can have considerable benefits for your business. They can:

  • Increase completion rates – gamification can help to increase completion rates of learning solutions significantly.
  • Increase employee engagement – well-designed gamification can transform learning by making it fun and engaging.
  • Enhance productivity – using game mechanics such as goals and rewards can motivate your employees to improve their skills and consequently make them more productive.
  • Support knowledge application to boost performance – games are a great way to practice the application of new knowledge and skills to different contexts in a safe environment. The repeated application of knowledge and skills within the game leads to more confidence and better performance.
  • Improve problem-solving skills – well-designed games can turn novice problem solvers into experts by developing their higher-order thinking skills.
  • Build team loyalty – by using games in which employees have to collaborate to reach a good position on the leader board or to win the game, is a great and effective way to improve relationships within a team.

Can my business afford it?

Designing and testing games can require considerable resources – time as well as money. However, you do not always need a complex and costly game to experience the benefits. A good gamified solution based on strong instructional design, well-chosen game mechanics and game elements can also be a powerful solution.


Game-based learning and gamification can be powerful tools to promote learning and increase productivity and engagement in your business. However, you need to make the right choice and your chosen solution needs to be planned and designed carefully and tested rigorously. Virtual College can help you make the best choice for your business. Contact us today to discuss how we can help with your learning and development needs here or contact Cameron Glennon