Gamification in learning

Gamification in Learning

Integrating elements of gamification in microlearning makes for an effective and engaging learning experience for training employees.

Gamification influences learners’ behaviour as it motivates the progression through modules and embeds a sense of healthy competition in employees. Gamification in corporate training is an eLearning strategy which utilizes game mechanics and dynamics in eLearning courses, essentially turning them into a fun-filled, entertaining learning experiences!

Tailoring employee training programs fit to each different persons’ role and responsibility is time consuming, ineffective and perhaps impossible. This is where gamification for training in microlearning modules comes into play. Although one concept, gamification can be split into different levels, based on how much gamification is loaded into mobile learning.

Gamification theory

In their paper, Psychology Theories In Gamification: A Review Of Information Systems Literature, Christian Schlagenhaufer and Friedrich Alexander explored theories of gamification. They identified five theories which can help explain why gamification is so effective.

Theory of Flow
A flow experience is one which is simultaneously demanding and rewarding. When the level of challenge matches the learner’s skill set, the task has clear goals with boundaries, and the learner receives immediate feedback, the student’s state of mind becomes very productive. Gamification can satisfy these three conditions.

Self Determination Theory
This theory states that effective functioning and psychological health is based on a universal set of psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence. The more these needs are fulfilled, the greater the person’s wellbeing. Gamification is able to attend to all three of these needs.

Self-Efficacy Theory
If you feel you can compete and win, you will play the game. Otherwise, why bother. Thus, gamification of tasks needs to be at levels within the grasp of the learners.

Theory of Planned Behavior
This theory helps to predict whether or not a person will do a behavior. While the theory is quite complex, at a basic level it speaks about how a person feels about a behavior, including how “normal” it is and how much control they have over doing it. Extending this to gamification suggests that if this is part of the educational norm, there will be more compliance.

Uses and Gratifications Theory
Starting out as an explanation of why mass media is used, this theory currently includes computer-mediated-communication and the internet. It can explain why people like to participate in online gaming communities.

4 levels of gamification in corporate training

eLearning Industry has highlighted 4 levels of integrated gamification practice companies have adopted in corporate training (fig.1).


Fig.1. 4 levels of gamification.

Read on to learn what each of the four levels of gamification entails.

Gamification in Corporate Training – Level 1: Partial Gamification

Partial gamification is the entry level of gamification for training and is often in the form of a quiz or assessment in a traditional eLearning environment. Basic background of the company can be integrated into these quizzes, for a start to a more overarching understanding. We can call it beginners gamification.

Gamification in Training – Level 2: Game-Based Learning

Game-based learning is characterised by scores, badges and leaderboards. These gaming elements allow for a cohesive relationship between employees and retention of new knowledge, through extrinsic motivation. These extrinsic rewards are a start to developing motivation of employees to engage and continue to learn about new concepts and changes, to later develop into intrinsic motivation.

Level 3: Gamified Learning Path

An element of microlearning, a gamified learning path refers to scenario-based learning, for instance, when learners must help their clients understand the features and functions of a product. Training employees on a product through quizzes and interactive mobile learning activities stimulates their understanding of the company and increases their engagement. That’s two birds with one stone right there.

Level 4: Gamified Learning Portals

This is where the whole microlearning LMS comes in. Gamified learning portals feature short gamified quizzes and challenges to deliver product and service on-going training to employees, the epitome of microlearning. EdApp’s gamification tools allow you to instantly and effectively gamify your learning material by using pre-existing, successful for a reason, gamified templates. With the formatting covered, all you need to prepare is company and/or industry knowledge, questions and answers.

Gamification in Corporate Training

What are the elements of gamification

Gamification techniques include using game templates, giving prizes, and displaying achievements.

Game templates
Traditional games such as Jeopardy, Letter Jumble, and Memory Game have been made into “ready for content” formats. You simply choose the game that best suits the material, plug in your content, and the software creates your game.

Giving prizes
Knowing you won is great, but actually getting something for it is better. Badges are one way to reward learners for completing activities with high scores. Another category of prizes is small, physical items such as vouchers for free coffees and snacks. Learners accumulate stars with which they can “buy” the voucher of their choice.

Displaying achievements
Posting learner successes gives people a way to “announce” their achievements without being boastful. Leaderboards do just that, giving top performers (individuals or groups) a pat on the back and motivating everyone else to step up their game.

What makes gamification successful

Humans, by nature, like to set goals and try to reach them. Whether we are in competition with ourselves or with others, we like to “win”. Gamification livens up learning by incorporating key elements of games. We get to be the winner. We get a prize. People know about our success. Best of all, it’s just good fun.

Gamified Learning with EdApp

If you’d like to use gamification to turbocharge your workforce training for practices, policies, procedures or products, get in touch with EdApp at You can also try EdApp’s spaced repetition implementation, Brain Boost, for free by signing up here.

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