At one time video games were exclusively seen as a facet of geek culture or something for children and teens. But since the turn of the century and the technological boom, gaming has made its way into the mainstream.
In 2015, more than 50 percent of the Canadian population, or 19 million people identified as gamers. And thanks to social networking sites that have incorporated gaming into their platforms, the number of gamers is growing.
As a result, a variety of industries have embraced gaming. Corporations use games to sell products. Websites use games to attracts users. And the elearning industry is seeing an upward trend in the use of games as well. Whether it’s corporate training or higher education, elearning providers are recognizing the benefits of incorporating games into their platforms and here are a few reasons why.
It’s no secret that humans react positively to rewards. That’s why nearly every store or retailer has a rewards program for customers. Whether it’s something tangible or virtual, rewards are a powerful motivator. Some companies offer rewards like cashback or points users can trade in for merchandise and gift cards. But rewards that aren’t as tangible can be just as appealing. Gamers spend hours in pursuit of objectives that might earn them something as seemingly small as a different outfit for their virtual avatar. For this reason, elearning courses are incorporating rewards into their programs, often in the form of achievement badges or points that allow users to gain levels and reach milestones.
Incorporating games into elearning creates a more enjoyable experience for users. People generally associate games with play and play is generally viewed as a positive activity. Long before elearning, games were often used in educational settings to better engage students because they lead students to associate learning with fun. As a result, learners aren’t only more likely to complete tasks that incorporate games, they’re also more like to be engaged in tasks that don’t involve games because learning now carries a positive connotation for them.
Games make it easy to track someone’s progress. When games are incorporated into learning, they allow educators to monitor the progress of learners, identify weaknesses and remediate where necessary. In elearning, moving up in a level, reaching an objective or earning a reward demonstrates that a user has grasped enough knowledge of a concept to move on to the next milestone. If a learning is having trouble completing a gaming task, it signals to educators that the user requires further instruction.