As online learning continues to evolve, technologies like gamification and virtual reality are poised to advance learner engagement and success. Gaming and learning are affiliates to each other. To learn, improve and to up one’s skill is the culture of learning. And gamification is the active and imaginative use of game mechanics (such as point scoring, competition with others and rules of play) that increase participation in non-gaming environments. Thus, gamification can improve user motivation and engagement in a given activity.
Over the years, gamification has become a norm. For an online learning platform to flourish, it should be designed in a way that it not only holds learners’ attention, but learners should keep coming back to the platform. Ed-tech firms are attempting to gamify education with the motive to encourage learners to complete a given task.
The need of gamification
According to a recent report, by 2020 around 40% of the working population in the corporate world would be Gen-Y. This generation has grown up playing video games and is demanding—it wants to work, and enjoy too. To engage this audience in online learning is difficult, and here steps in gamification. In addition to improvising the learning process, gamification can provide activities as per the potential of each learner. How gamification benefits learners are:
*Give users the motivation to do something (experiment, win, receive rewards) and support all training needs ranging from behavioural change, soft skills and compliance;
*Evokes friendly competition;
*Enhances user engagement and can be used as a behavioural change tool;
*Give users the ability to carry out tasks—freedom to experiment, freedom to assume identities;
*Give users a cue to complete tasks.
All these activities have been proved to increase the perceived capability of a user. Humans enjoy positive feedback and challenges that games provide. In fact, youngsters are so taken by gaming that adventures, challenges, rewards points, badges and virtual currency are more fascinating to them than ordinary life. Thus, a well-crafted gamification solution designed with learner preferences in mind can result in higher retention and engagement. This, in turn, leads to enhanced performance. So, what are the prospects of gamification?
Given the current state of game technology, learners consider gamification as an enhancement tool to engage in repetitive tasks. For example, learning for professional IT coders and developers can get boring, but lately the norm has changed for good, leading to innovative ways of coding.
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The gamification industry is growing massively. The modern generation wants an ecosystem where learning is no longer associated with just textbooks, rather made possible through every possible mode. Game-based training and learning methods, therefore, are the need of the hour. Rapid proliferation of mobile technologies and the growing demand for technologically-advanced interactive games aimed at enhancing employee productivity are expected to propel further growth.
The author is country head & general manager, Pluralsight India, a technology learning platform for IT professionals.
By Arun Rajamani. Views are personal