How to Increase Student Learning Through Gamification

Posted by Katie Brown on 25 October 2016 |

increasing student learning gamificationWhen it comes to learning styles, students comprehend and understand information in different ways. Some students are visual learners and take in information by looking at charts or graphs. Others reading books or text materials to obtain knowledge. And some students are audible learners who prefer listening to lectures.

Whether students use one or a combination of these traditional learning methods, technology advancements—in and out of the classroom—have changed the way teachers educate and students learn. One of the most significant advancements that has revolutionized the teaching process on campuses across the country is eLearning.

What is eLearning?

ELearning, also referred to as educational technology, is learning that is instructed through electronic media, such as the internet. Many eLearning courses are provided completely online, removing the concept of a traditional classroom.

Recent statistics show that more than “18 million college students are taking at least one of their classes online, and by 2019, half of all classes will be done online.”

However, in addition to completely online coursework, many campus classrooms have begun incorporating elements of eLearning into the curriculum. One increasingly popular eLearning tool is gamification, which incorporates game-design elements into educational learning.

Research shows that “learners recall just 10 percent of what they read and 20 percent of what they hear. But learners remember 90 percent ‘if they do the job themselves, even if only as a simulation.’” Additionally, nearly 80 percent of students say they would be more productive in the classroom if their university provided game-like learning opportunities.

The Goals of Gamification

Gamification can have a variety of benefits for students, including:

  • Increasing engagement and participation through scoreboards and elements of competition
  • Improving knowledge retention because students are actively involved in their learning process
  • Providing immediate feedback and progress tracking to see how they are learning
  • Promoting teamwork and collaboration among students to increase socialization and knowledge-share
  • Motivating students to solve problems and complete assignments to achieve goals 

How to Incorporate Gamification

Game-based learning environments use reward and challenges to propel students to answer questions correctly or solve problems. To incorporate gamification elements into the curriculum, training or coursework, the material should:

  • Demonstrate progress and success
  • Engage students
  • Be challenging
  • Show accomplishment
  • Incorporate avatars or digital currencies
  • Increase competition by incorporating a scoring system
  • Use interactive elements

In addition to providing value in the classroom, the benefits of gamification and eLearning can be seen in sexual violence and harassment prevention training courses as well. For example, at Campus Answers we use gamification in our eLearning training curriculum for faculty, staff and students.

When gamification elements are incorporated into training and classroom curriculum, learners find the material, even when sensitive in nature, to be more engaging and impactful, often resulting in higher retention and participation by students.

Learn More About Our eLearning Training

The benefits of gamification on students can be seen in a variety of education-based environments, from the classroom to training on important campus matters, including sexual violence prevention training.  

For more information on the benefits of gamification and other instruction design best practices for eLearning and training courses, check out this previous blog we wrote about three best practices for eLearning instructional design.

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