Last updated: 25.01.13

Most global firms to use gamification in e-learning by 2014

Nearly three-quarters (70 per cent) of large global companies will have at least one gamification application in place on their learning management system by 2014.

This is according to new research conducted by Gartner, which stated the purposes of these platforms will range from grasping a particular skill to improving employees' health, Marketing Week reports.

While gamification - the integration of game dynamics in to a training campaign to make it more engaging - is becoming an increasingly popular way of drawing in brand ambassadors, it is also being used to help staff build personal brands.

It has been suggested by academics at Harvard University that while fun is important to the learning process, game dynamics in training must feature an element of competition.

As one researcher from the institution told the news provider, the competitive nature of learning sessions are likely to increase the chance of workers participating in them.

He added: "With the gamification approach to learning, it's human nature to want to complete something when it draws you in, makes you think, gives you decision-making authority and tests your comprehension."

Ethan McCarty, senior manager of digital and social strategy at IBM, agreed it is critical to introduce a competitive element into any online training processes that involve games.

He said some activities may be competitive against other individuals, while others are competitive against environments or oneself. "There is a natural human tendency to want to 'level up' or group a level - that is very powerful in gamifying routine tasks," the expert remarked.

It was noted by the news publication that aside from the advantages of greater motivation, global accessibility and increased levels of engagement, e-learning in gamification form is also cost-effective and Tom Richardson, founder of Deloitte's Leadership Academy, said the cost of online training is $5 (£3) per employee per hour, while for face-to-face instruction this is as much as $50 per person.

This comes after a survey carried out by analyst Frost & Sullivan found companies can also save money through the introduction of a Bring Your Own Device policy, as this improves employee motivation and cuts IT costs.