The unprecedented global halt since 2020 has brought a wind of change in the personal and business world. The COVID-pandemic ushered a ubiquitous digital transformation, and the EdTech industry saw a massive surge of students transitioning from offline to online learning environments rapidly.
However, unlike traditional classes, online learning is not merely a product of the student, teacher, and content. Rather, it is the overall learning experience and interactivity that counts.
Thus, the need for improving engagements made educators especially look to gamified learning as an advanced approach to eLearning. Now, gamification has become one of the most fundamental components of online education.
In this article, you’ll learn why gamification is critical for bolstering EdTech growth and a few essential tips on how to incorporate it into your product.
Gamification in Education
What is it that makes us so invested in games? Games have been linked to the production of dopamine, often dubbed the feel-good chemical, which can lead to game addiction.
Just like how a game focuses on interactive experience, a great learning experience calls for enhanced interactivity and engagement. Integrating gaming elements into learning content has been shown to massively improve learning outcomes.
Gaming is addictive — one of the reasons stems from the satisfaction gamers derive from completing the assigned task for every stage and outdoing themselves by completing the next stage until the game is over.
Gamified learning puts the student at the centre of the learning process and transitions them from the passive learning state to an active learning state.
Gamification in education aims to make learning more engaging for students and instils motivation by enhancing their competitive spirits. The badges, level-ups, and other game elements keep the student motivated while they have a fun learning session.
Benefits of gamification in Edtech
The growth and scalability factors of an EdTech app or platform heavily rely upon student engagement rates. Higher student engagement translates into better learning performance and ultimately fuels the product’s growth.
#1. Increase in Student Engagement
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of gamification for education (it’s been backed up by research too). Gamified content makes learning fun and interesting, which enables students to master essential concepts with ease. We all want to win, so why not provide a structure that allows students to learn valuable skills while they play?
#2. Improved Motivation
If something is not fun, it is boring. This is true in the context of academic learning. Boring and repetitive content can turn students into passive learners. Gamified experiential learning keeps the entire class session interactive, active, and fun. The incorporation of concepts of motivation into gamification keeps the courses interactive, active, and fun. It makes students commit to learning new ideas and theories, creating a drive to excel.
#3. Increased Attention Span
For learning, sessions to be effective, and learners to remain glued to the screen for hours, a mix of learning and fun is essential. Gamifying learning content makes learners pay more attention, either for the sake of knowledge or the fun of completing a challenge.
#4. Learners retain knowledge better
An increased attention span helps to enhance information retention. When content is gamified, it becomes fun, and student retention improves.
#5. Increased participation with instant feedback
Gamification can provide instant feedback through training quizzes, in-between rewards, and pop-ups with result confirmation. Incorporating immediate feedback is a great motivation for learners as it will give learners a sense of immediate gratification and make them long for more.
Edtech apps should adopt a student-first design approach, and incorporate learning cues, personalized content, and powerful gamification elements to skyrocket the learning experience for any users engaging with the content.
Proven tips to Gamify your Edtech app and keep your learners engaged
Using many aspects of gamification, you can spark engagement from users and create an experience that they genuinely love.
1. Incorporate competition and make academic achievements addictive
Competition (whether with self or with others) is the fuel of all human ambition and a central concept of gamification. Incorporating competition into eLearning is achieved by the use of leadership boards in learning modules so learners can compete to complete the module.
For example, Duolingo is a leader in the realm of gamified learning experiences. It has daily streaks for you to maintain, daily streak goals to aim for, and leadership boards/badges that you can earn by hitting milestones in your learning progress.
A leaderboard is the key gamification element to add the feel of competition to your edtech solution. In its simplest form, a leaderboard is a high score list. Leaderboards rank learners according to their relative success, measuring them against a certain criterion.
Learners with the best performance whether it be earning points, badges or trophies can be incentivized by featuring their names on the leaderboard. The learner puts extra effort into the learning activity just to see the name on the top position or to maintain it.
Badges and Trophies
In most edtech apps, there are courses with a series of modules for students to work through. For subjects that the student might not find interesting, this can be a slog that kills motivation to keep learning.
One trick to combat this is to introduce a series of achievement badges for successfully completed modules.
Badges and trophies can be awarded to the students for their achievements and feats. On completing different challenges, assignments, or tasks, the student can be awarded a badge and trophy visible on their profile.
These badges show users their progress and encourage them to continue working toward new achievements. It’s a tactic taken from actual games mostly to give users a bit of a dopamine hit.
Students will want to collect all of their badges and mark their advancement through the course. You can even offer bonus points or level increases with different badges to add an extra layer of excitement.
Levels and Progress Bars
Levels are the common mechanics in the games. You complete the challenges, progress to a certain threshold and a new level is automatically unlocked. Levels and progress bars can be a great way to define the learner’s journey. They can really help a student visualise their progress, and push them even further.
Starting from the basics of the subject with simple tasks and gradually increasing the level of difficulty as the student progress in the module. This gradual increase in difficulty and complexity while progressing to new levels gives the user a sense of development and improves their competence.
2. Add a Reward System
Rewards are necessary for any learning situation. Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory has proven that humans are driven by reward, just like other higher animals. Positive and negative rewards influence our decision on which tasks to complete. In eLearning, learners can be rewarded through points, medals, and certificates when they achieve a certain cut-off score or mastery level.
Set up a Points System
Much like in video games, earning points motivates learners and helps them feel rewarded for their efforts. Beyond motivating students to participate, it helps them feel compensated for their efforts.
Earning points allows students to feel like they are becoming masters of their learning. They can see their skills improve, feel motivated, and spend more time learning on your edtech app than ever before. What’s not to love about that?
3. Don’t have too many gamification features
Don’t try to gamify anything and everything. Gamification should be simple, logical, and intuitive. Introduce points and leaderboards, quests, and puzzles based on the learning context and only when necessary to emphasize learner performance.
Gamification is an incredibly powerful strategy, and a great way to motivate learners. The whole concept of gamification works by increasing the interactivity of the learning platforms. It not only helps students to learn easily but also makes their learning journey a more enjoyable process.
Hope this article has given you good insights on gamifying your edtech app. And if you are looking forward to implementing it, we would be more than happy to help you out.