In online training, gamification consists of integrating game-specific mechanisms into the course design: challenges, rewards, personal progression, etc. While gamification is not a new method of learning, the technologies that can now be used in online training, particularly those specific to video games, are increasing the possibilities of this approach tenfold. But be careful, don’t confuse gamification with serious games! The latter corresponds to training that has the appearance of a game in its entirety and not a “standard” online training that includes game elements and technologies.
Playing makes training more fun, and therefore less arid, and allows you to use the benefits of play for learning. While playing is essential for the proper development of children, we now know that it also has educational virtues for adults, enabling them to develop their own values and attitudes: openness to new experiences, curiosity, risk-taking and the ability to learn from their failures. The use of online training helps the learner to maintain a positive attitude and focus on achieving his or her goals (e.g., obtaining a reward), as well as encouraging exchanges, competition and collaboration among participants. In addition, it can also contribute to the acquisition of motor skills: video games, in particular, can be used to improve reflexes and accuracy. Overall, gamification increases the learner’s motivation and promotes long-term commitment to learning (see 8 keys for learning engagement).
The gamified approaches and tools are chosen and judiciously articulated to serve pedagogy and stimulate motivation. It is therefore not a question of superficially adding a host of elements to an online training program in order to make it fun. The gamified training courses are suitable for both academic and work environments. Some of the most commonly used gamification strategies include:
Transmit the content through a captivating story — to make people want to know what happens next.
Offer quizzes with immediate feedback — to allow the learner to take the pulse of his or her knowledge.
Give rewards (points and badges) along the learning path or unlock content after an action has been successfully taken — to provide satisfaction and inspire people to take up the next challenge.
Show how progress is being monitored — to stimulate the desire to follow the training through.
Share progress on social media — to encourage learner engagement and competition with other participants.