How Does Elearning Design Affect Motivation?

Designing Digitally


eLearning design

The first thing that usually comes to mind when one thinks of games is fun. eLearning design is focused around the idea that games are enjoyable, entertaining, and engaging. Games encourage competition and motivate players to strive toward goals.

The question is, “Why?” What is it about the nature of games that causes a person to focus in on an objective, work toward success, and enjoy themselves in the process?

There are two different factors, intrinsic motivation and a socially-based motivation, each of which is important to elearning companies as they develop effective training tools.

A Look at Intrinsic Motivation

An internal catalyst for learning is important for several reasons. 

These reasons are:

  • A challenge is presented.Competing against one’s self to overcome a challenge is appealing to most people. The player is motivated to go on to deeper levels in a game as they try to improve their own scores or rewards.
  • There is ambiguity about how the activity will play out. A player who is engaged in a game is pushed to continue by the desire to know what lies around the next bend or how the game will ultimately reach a conclusion.
  • Learners are in control of the outcome.Some learners are driven by the idea that they are in control of their own destiny. Their failure or success rides on the decisions they make on their own.
  • Real-life skills connect to an imaginary game.Especially for a corporate training situation, elearning design can really capitalize on the fact that, though the situations presented are fantasy, they are learning real-world skills that transfer to life outside the game.

The Incentive of Reciprocal Learning

Working cooperatively with others can be a significant motivating factor.

  • Learners work towards a common goal. Learners working together spur each on to keep going toward the end objective. Some people are spurred on by the feeling of camaraderie and being part of a team.  
  • Competition is an impetus for learning. On the other hand, competing against others can be a great push for trainees. Competition speaks to the very nature of many people and causes them to try harder and be less likely to give up when working toward a goal. 
  • Rewards are motivating. When each participant is aware of a possible award or reward for reaching a goal, it often has a motivational effect. Seeing someone else earn an achievement causes others to want that same recognition. 

The Focus of Elearning Design

Armed with the knowledge of how they can reach learners both intrinsically and in a socially-based method, e learning companies can design products that are effective training tools for corporations.

Everyone learns differently and is motivated by different things. Creating games with a variety of methods and goals is a smart practice for companies who specialize in elearning products. Taking different motivational approaches ensures that each individual learner is being reached at a level and with a method that suits them best.