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Gamification in Online Learning: How to Engage Your Course Participants

By Cursum

Do you have your own online academy? If you’re familiar with online learning but haven’t yet tried gamification, you should consider adding it to your courses in your e-learning platform.

Online courses are popular and understandably so. There’s an array of e-learning course types you can use. But remember that even the best online course has no effect if your participants aren’t motivated and engaged.

If you want to increase your course participants’ motivation and engagement, you should consider gamifying your online courses.

But what is gamification? Read on and we’ll define gamification as well as give you some great gamification examples. We’ll of course also tell you how to use gamification in your own e-learning.

What is gamification?

Gamification is not just another buzzword in the world of e-learning. In its simplest form, gamification in education is about adding game elements or interactive elements to an online course. These elements help engage your course participants and take your online learning to the next level.

Adding gamification in education allow you to create learning experiences that aren’t possible in traditional face-to-face learning. Game-based learning elements make your knowledge distribution more entertaining, engaging, and accessible.

As an example, you can make use of rewarding, social, or competitive elements to gamify your learning. You can even build a narrative for you learning content. Below we give you more in-depth gamification examples.

Still not sure which e-learning course type will work best for you? If so, we’ve written a blog post about different types of e-learning courses right here.

How do you use gamification in education?

There are many different ways in which you can introduce gamification into your e-learning. Below we give you some gamification examples that you can easily introduce into your own e-learning.

Create a mission with gamification

Think of your e-learning as a journey or an adventure. Your course participants must be brought from A to B in the best possible way. And in that context, a mission, quest, or riddle can be incredibly engaging for the participant. For example, create a series of small challenges leading towards an overall goal. Make sure to give your course participants useful feedback during the mission so that they’re constantly motivated to continue.

Use gamification to reward participants

As part of the above mission (or any kind of learning actually), game elements are an ideal means to reward learners. For example, you can reward them when they level up or correctly answer a certain number of questions. Reward them with points, badges, or new levels, which make the course participants want to continue learning. If you want, you can also include real prizes that course participants can win or buy using their points. That way, you can turn your learning into a competition. And is there anything more motivating than a competition?


Use time urgency to motivate

A popular game element is time. For example, you can try timing how fast your course participants answer a series of questions or solve a task. Using time limitation on tasks creates urgency, which can make the student more eager to solve the task correctly so they can move on to the next.

In fact, time limitation combined with points can be decisive in terms of creating continuous learning. The course participant will automatically strive to complete the course and may even return to improve their time or achieved score.

Use storytelling in your gamification

Gamification also enables the use of engaging storytelling and exciting characters that’ll keep course participants engaged throughout the learning process.

With storytelling, you can transform your learning to a narrative and perhaps even make the course participant the main character.

In this context, a first aid course where the student becomes involved in an accident and need to save another person is a good gamification example. To obtain their certificate, the course participant must answer a series of questions correctly within a certain number of minutes – perhaps even while other characters call for help or give advice. This approach mix strong characters and storytelling with previously mentioned gamification examples such as time, levels and rewards.


Bring gamification into your online academy

Not feeling like a master of gamification? Fortunately, there are several different ways in which you can acquire motivating e-learning courses. You can, for example, outsource the creation to external content creators or buy ready-to-sell learning content.

There simply isn’t any excuse for not incorporating gamification into your online academy.

If you need advice in regard to online learning, ready-to-sell content, or a new e-learning platform, we’re always ready to help you further at Cursum. We are only a few clicks away.