Level 4: E-Learning
What is e-learning?
Because society today is moving rapidly, companies are utilizing e-learning (learning supported by technology and the internet) to advance towards competitive new skills. In 2015, the global e-learning industry reached $107 billion and market experts expect this to escalate up to $325 billion by 2025.
E-learning with gamification
Gamification is a great way to improve the e-learning curve. It inspires the notion of play as an important part of the human learning experience. In the book Actionable Gamification, author Yu-Kai Chou defines the term “gamification” as the idea of combining education and entertainment together. In 2015, business.com shared that 40% out of 1000 organizations worldwide have prioritized gamification as their best learning tool to improve business operations. 90% of employees reported that they feel more productive from utilizing gamification.
*Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. — Yu-Kai Chou, Actionable Gamification. 2015.
Fig. 1 demonstrates Chou’s Octalysis diagram, where he introduced 8 core drives of gamification.
Two types of Gamification Drives, Yu-Kai Chou, 9 Oct. 2019. (Source here)*
Yu-Kai Chou invented the Octalysis map to analyze different games and define which gamification category each game classifies under. Gamification should be balanced on both sides to satisfy user motivations.
The Octalysis chart shows Yu-Kai Chou’s 8 core drives and divided them into 2 types — extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is a short turn that is based on outer motivations like game mechanics (i.e. leaderboards, badges, and points). Intrinsic motivation is a long turn based on inner motivations like self-love and self-improvement.
In another book called Deliberate Fun: A Purposeful Application of Game Mechanics to Learning Experiences, Dr. Jonathan Peters teaches the importance of understanding our users with four questions: who, what, why, and how.
Who: Who are the learners?
What: What might be “fun” for those particular learners?
Why: Why do learners like competition? Why do learners like to be focused quietly instead?
How: How can we make our observations on human behavior benefit what will work and not work for our learners?
What is fun for you may not be fun for someone else…Self-hugging is the concept that everyone believes everyone else has the same motivation as they have. This tendency causes us to create learning experiences that we enjoy, not necessarily what our learners will enjoy. — Johnathan Peters Ph.D., Deliberate Fun, 2020
We need to understand what triggers extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. We can do this by focusing on the potential learners and not by relying on our own assumptions. To find how learners become more motivated, additional gamification factors, such as storytelling, visuals, challenges, rewards, and feedback, are great catalyzers for user engagement. It gets people to learn from the action — the practice of doing.
According to the National Training Laboratories, “learning by doing” helped them grow retention rates by up to 75% compared to just sitting still and listening to a classroom lecture.
Below are some e-learning elements to help increase engagement and retain learning better:
Here are some examples of gamification for learning:
2. Yousician: Yousician changes the way the learners learn music in an approachable and convenient way. Learners can choose their own lessons and play their instrument(s) with fun games to unlock the next level. Currently, there are lessons for guitars, bass, piano, ukulele, and singing available. Learners can follow their own pace and keep learning and playing.
3. McDonald’s Till Training: Fast-food franchise McDonald’s partnered with City & Guilds Group Kineo in developing a more effective way to train their employees. Their goal is so that McDonald’s will be able to enhance their customer experience through a better till system — an improved and fun POS system for sales. The system highlights game features like lifelines and bonuses, along with feedback elements like customer responses and scores, to engage the trainees. Trainees have noted that this platform gave them the freedom to test their skills and learn from mistakes they could have made in the actual work setting. You can also play the game here.
5. Deloitte’s Leadership Academy: Deloitte is the second largest professional services network worldwide. They taught over 50,000 executives in over 150 corporations using their online executive training program Leadership Academy. By incorporating premium content from Ivy League universities, like Stanford and Harvard, and gamification drives for motivation (i.e. leaderboards and reward badges), Deloitte found a 47% increase of learners returning every day and a 50% increase of learners completing the course.
So is gamification useful for e-learning?
The answer is “yes!” Gamification can improve learning curves and make learning fun, especially for younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials. The best learning experience one can have is when he or she doesn’t even realize it. Not only can it help individuals learn better with a subject, but they will find entertainment with its fun game-like experience and want to revisit learning again… and again.
Chou, Author Yu-kai. “Octalysis: Complete Gamification Framework — Yu-Kai Chou.” Yu-Kai Chou, 9 Oct. 2019, yukaichou.com/gamification-examples/octalysis-complete-gamification-framework.