3 Gamification Strategies to Keep Your Learners Engaged
Practice makes perfect, right? But who wants to practice something that’s boring and dull?
Gamification helps learners practice without even realizing it. Even better, gamification improves the user experience so your learners spend more time on your platform. Isn’t that what all learning companies want—more users spending more time on their eLearning platform?
This blog will break down these three gamification strategies to tell you why they work, how they help people learn, and, best of all, how you can implement them quickly and painlessly.
And don’t worry - you don’t need to be a video game designer to make gamification work for your online learning program.
Leaderboards work because they anchor user expectations. We've all experienced anchoring our expectations whenever we've been offered a basic, regular or premium service like an oil change. Unfortunately, the premium service unconsciously raises the price we're willing to pay.
Luckily, you can use the same motivational trick for good by encouraging your learners to learn more! Research suggests whenever learners see a leaderboard, they unconsciously raise their goals closer to the top. Then, they engage more with the online platform to succeed.
A leaderboard can help improve the user experience by adjusting learner expectations to a higher level. They’ll start to achieve more because they’ve anchored their expectations higher.
How to implement a leaderboard effectively?
- Show it before your users start the game
- Choose an achievable target
- Highlight top users to show social proof
Video games give users fantastic feedback. They often include a health bar to let players know when things have started to go away. And if the player uses their last life - no worries!, They can restart the game or the level to try again. This classic video game user experience has proven incredibly addictive. Players try harder to win simply because they’ve died. They will likely keep trying to pass the level until they have succeeded.
Confidence-based learning theories suggest learners need the same conditions to learn. They need a diagnostic test, followed by practice, and another chance to ace the test before they continue on to the next concept. Gamification provides this exact user experience.
You may have already built feedback into your online learning courses. Now, you need to add a gamification layer to make your learners try even harder to get the right answer.
How can you implement instant gamified feedback and improve the user experience?
- Link wrong answers on flashcards to a player’s health bar
- Post scores from games on a leaderboard
- Earn rewards for right answers on quizzes
Reward Milestone Accomplishments
Finishing an online learning course feels great, but how do you give learners that hit of dopamine satisfaction halfway through?
Video games encourage people to keep playing by rewarding them for each level completed. Players can also earn experience points. And, the multi-billion dollar gaming industry proves people love this type of user experience.
Psychologists refer to this type of motivation as extrinsic motivation. Research shows that rewards tend to lower intrinsic motivation for tasks. The catch? People need to find the tasks inherently interesting or engaging to have intrinsic motivation to start with.
Some psychologists asked if extrinsic motivation improved the outcomes for boring tasks. The answer was that people remembered more boring information if they were extrinsically motivated.
Since many eLearning courses cover important but admittedly dull information, this finding suggests that the extrinsic motivation provided by games can help learners slog through the tough bits of education.
How can you implement rewards using gamification in your learning program?
- Break your online course into modules with rewards for completing each
- Give learners digital badges, trophies, or achievements for their work
- Offer real-world prizes for on-platform achievements
Are you wondering how to implement these gamification strategies into your eLearning program?
Fortunately, you don’t need to create the complex world of a video game to reap the benefits of gamification. A simple quiz with the added element of competition is often enough to spark most people’s competitive instincts.
But you don’t have to do it all yourself.
The right online learning solution partner can help you ensure your program is set up for success. BenchPrep offers baked-in gamification that will take care of all the nitty, gritty details for you. Your learners will reap the benefits of gamification without any of the hard work on the back end.
To learn more about gamification and other strategies you can use to design a successful eLearning program, check out this webinar we recently hosted with Tagoras. We explored an approach to planning, creating, and evaluating learning experiences that starts with clearly defined outcomes and focuses on maximizing relevancy and engagement for learners.