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One of the strongest motivators in learning is challenge. The term “challenge” refers to a task, which while sometimes difficult, is achievable through hard work. As human beings, we are attracted to challenges because they A) Include a degree of randomness or excitement, B) Usually include multiple subgoals, and C) They are highly-variable depending on the actions you take. So, why is this important?
Experts suggest that challenges should be incorporated into education as a way of engaging learners. Learners who are reluctant might be encouraged to participate by a set of challenges. Utilizing gamification elements in your learning can do a great deal to encourage and engage learners, while challenging them to succeed. Let’s learn a little more about how gamification plays into the learning process.
Incorporating game based features such as points, badges and achievements can assist in engaging and challenging your learners. The challenges, goals, and reward structure must provide a sense of difficulty, but still be achievable to truly maximize their effectiveness. If the learner doesn’t experience enough of a challenge, or too much of a challenge, they may not be interested or become discouraged.
Gamification elements such as achievements and badges provide motivation to the learner by giving them something to strive for. An example of a challenge through gamification could be receiving a badge for completing the first level or section after successfully passing a knowledge check. By giving the learner something to strive for by overcoming challenges, you can increase the likelihood your learners will stay engaged and reach your learning objectives.
An interesting example of gamification is a program called FoldIt. FoldIt is a science-based module that rewards players with points for understanding the function of specific proteins. A testament to the project’s success: a group of users were so engaged they discovered a crucial protein involved in HIV!
What can we expect from gamification and learning in the future? Well, the possibilities are almost endless. Incorporating game based elements challenges users to remain engaged and work through your web based training. Companies can use gamification in training employees while educational facilities can present information to students in new and exciting ways. Parents can utilize gamification with their children as a means to keep them engaged and entertained, while educating. Overall, gamification is a great way to encourage learners to succeed.
Check out this neat video on gamification in real life, created by Designing Digitally, Inc. Also, contact us to learn more about how your organization can utilize gamification in your web-based training.