The Benefits of Gamification – and the Science Behind It

What are the benefits of gamification?

Who doesn’t like being rewarded for their hard work? Awarding badges, certificates, or points, can result in an improved, more engaging learning experience. Gamification in eLearning has become increasingly popular as not only does it make the learning experience more effective, it motivates individuals to reach their end goal more quickly — and feel more satisfied when they get there. But beware, some of the elements of gamification produce extrinsic motivators and will only work for short periods of time. Consider using intrinsic motivators such as empowerment and meaning; these are the Duracell motivators that play the long game. Gamification Octalysis.

But what many people may not realise is that there is an exact science behind why gamification in eLearning is so effective. Dmitri Mendeleev (Russian Scientist who first published the Periodic Table of Elements) was even one of the first scientists to use gamification to complete an educational task.

benefits of gamification

So, what is the science behind gamification in eLearning?

When we play games and are rewarded for our achievements, even if it is simply moving to the next level, our minds our stimulated and hormones are released. These hormones are called endorphins, which are also released during exercise, and they bring on feelings of well-being and enjoyment. Because of these endorphins, learners experience accelerated motivation, excitement and sense of accomplishment when learning, making the gamification experience more effective and memorable.

Benefits of Gamification In eLearning

So now that we know the science behind it, below are the key benefits of employing gamification strategies in your organisation.

1. Better experience and knowledge retention

Gamification in eLearning creates an exciting effective, informal learning environment, allowing learners to practice real-life situations and challenges, adding an interactive element to your eLearning courses. This creates the feeling of immersion, which captures the attention of learners and motivates them to succeed. When learners feel positive about their learning process, they become active participants rather than passive observers. As a result, Gamification in eLearning boosts knowledge absorption and retention by blending learning with the production of endorphins, and therefore successfully committing information to the long-term memory.

2. Versatile Applications

Gamification can be used to fulfil a variety of learning needs including product sales, induction and onboarding, customer support, awareness creation, and compliance. Even a subject matter that may be complex or dull can be absorbed more efficiently, because learners are actively participating in and enjoying the learning experience. Gamification can also cater to the needs of every individual. Working against personal benchmarks, being recognized for a job well-done, offering training narratives – gamification provides everyone, and not only those at the top of leaderboard, with the potential to improve their performance.

3. Provides Objective Data about employees

eLearning allows employers to easily measure how well their employees are progressing through the learning process. Gamification can show, in an unbiased and objective way, who is performing especially well, and who might need a bit of a wake-up call, eliminating the need for guesswork and assumptions. Gamification can essentially act as a means of constant and automatic data collection. This can be data about anything in your organization – sales reps productivity rates, internal knowledge usage rates, and more. Such data can be extremely valuable, even though it can be overlooked.

5. Allows for Automatic Feedback

Just as it is important for employers to monitor the progress of employees, it is equally as important for these employees to receive constant, up to date, and automatic feedback. Gamification is a great way to do so. For example, by using leaderboards, it is possible for employees to see how they are doing compared to other individuals and teams in the organization, or to benchmarks they had set for themselves previously (with the caveat mentioned earlier!). Feedback allows users to consistently understand how well they are doing and what they can do improve, and therefore is one of the most important elements of gamification.

This article should give insight on why you should evaluate gamification and the benefits of gamification for eLearning, the science behind it, and how it will benefit both your learners and your business.

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