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Louisa Farino

flick learning ltd


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10 reasons why e-learning should be gamified


1. Games are fun – we choose to play games for a simple reason: it’s an amusing way to pass the time. The sheer scale of our appetite for games cannot be ignored. For example, Candy Crush Saga was downloaded more than 500 million times in 2013 and then in 2014 we spent $1.3billion on in-app purchases. Apply this philosophy to a learning scenario and you’ve made the whole experience more enjoyable for the learner.

2. Games are familiar – we may not know the exact the rules of the game we’re about to play but we know the general principle behind us. Not only is this comforting but it means that you might be part of a gamified experience without knowing it. Think eBay where the simple notion of feedback maintains the status quo, or even, forms the basis of a successful speed reduction programme.

3. We learn by doing and failing – there is a very valid reason that the narrator on Come Dine with Me leaps to offer a particularly acerbic comment when one of the contestants utters these words “I’ve never made this dish before”: everything we do gets better with practice.

4. We like our achievements to be recognised – it started with a reward chart at home when we were little and then came stickers from the teacher. As we get a bit older, these things tail off but actually we still like it so why not reward learning accomplishments with badges?

5. A little extra encouragement always helps – knowing you have to do something immediately saps all the fun out of a task. It’s like household chores. However, throw in a good reason (eg having people round for dinner) and suddenly the task becomes more appealing because there is something good to come at the end of it. The same goes for mandatory learning.

6. We love the visual – presentation matters and, in reality, you don’t need words to convey your message if you get your plot and visuals right. Don’t believe me? The John Lewis 2014 Christmas Ad with Monty the Penguin was shared 433,000 times in the 7 days following its release. It didn’t use the words to tell us how we should view John Lewis but we got the message all the same.

7. Goals maintain focus – whether it’s a daily to-do list, a meeting reminder in your Outlook, or a Facebook notification reminding you of your friend’s birthday, we all needs prompts and goals to know what we need to do and when. Frankly, I’d be lost without ToDoist in my life and the daily reminder of what I’m overdue on keeps me subtly on track to hit deadlines.

8. It’s all about me – there’s nothing more frustrating than spending ages reading through something, getting to the end and thinking “what did that have to do with me?” Personalising the e-learning with an avatar of your choosing and selecting your work environment to experience a different path through the learning makes the difference between learning and my learning.

9. We compare ourselves to others. According to Richard Bartels, each one of us is ether a Killer, Achiever, Socialite or Explorer based upon how we interact with others and play the game. We often need to know how we compare to others

and, actually, compete with others to get the best out of ourselves. It’s the driving force that wakes us up at the crack of dawn to get the towels on your chosen sunbed when you’re on holiday or makes us change queues at the supermarket to save seconds on your waiting time. If we’re honest: winning is sweet.

10. It works. Fact – Learners recall just 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. If there are visuals accompanying an oral presentation, the number rises to 30%, and if they observe someone carrying out an action while explaining it, 50%. But learners remember 90% if they do the job themselves, even if only as a simulation.

If you still need more convincing on the merits of a gamified e-learning experience, then get in touch with us and we’ll relish the opportunity to figure out how we can make this a successful approach for you.

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Louisa Farino


Read more from Louisa Farino

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