In today’s digital age, we all have access to tons of engaging games, which are fun to play and compete in. In this article, we’ll talk about four design practices that enable us to use gamification in digital learning to make learning experiences enjoyable and memorable.
What is Gamification?
Gamification in digital learning is about applying principles of gaming to attain learning objectives. This is achieved by implementing game mechanics or game elements, such as scoring, badges, trophies, leaderboards, etc., in digital learning in the motive to increase learner participation and engagement.
Gamified learning typically involves a story, a scenario, challenging activities, levels, rewards, etc., which make the learning journey fun and intuitive.
4 Best Design Practices for Gamification in Digital Learning
When it comes to designing a gamified eLearning course, there are a few important practices that we have to follow to ensure learner participation and engagement.
Let’s look at four best practices that will help you create more engaging gamified digital learning experiences.
1. Provide Personalized User Experience
One of the important and interesting elements in personalization of a game is offering the users to choose their own name and their own avatar to represent them in the story.
The best way to provide this in your design is to let the user choose the avatar in the initial stage, before starting the story or getting into the actual content. Make sure to have four to five avatar options for the users to choose from and a name field to add a username.
Once this is done, make sure to use this avatar and username throughout the module or course. For example, you can show different poses of the selected avatar in scenarios or conversations; you can also use the avatar as the profile icon along with username on the interface. This creates enthusiasm for the learner about the game and his/her role in the game.
2. Display Progress With the Help of Visual/Level Menu
It’s always a good practice to show the users their progress. The usual method is to show the menu keeping track of the topics. But in a gamified course, you should have a visual roadmap designed to show the progress of the users.
You can break the content in levels and activities and display level progress, badges, and scores related to each level in the visual menu. This not only helps the users to keep track of their progress, but also gives a clear picture of their scores on each level or topic, which will help them improve when they retake a topic.
3. Make the Design Visually Rich
A gamified digital learning course must be visually rich to create interest and engage learners.
But at the same time, a visually rich gamified course doesn’t need to have high-end visual effects; it just needs to have a strong visual design style to create a positive learning experience.
You can start by taking some references from actual game elements and try to create a similar style to enhance the user experience of your design.
4. Make your Design Look Alive Using Animations
Now that you have a rich-looking design, you need to make sure that your design looks alive in order to hold the user’s attention.
You can achieve this by adding animations to your design. Apart from screen transitions, you need to have some subtle looping animations on each screen so that the design doesn’t look static.
Here are some examples:
Case Study 1 – Ethics at Workplace
This digital learning course has gamified elements such as visual/level menu, scenarios, fun activities, cut scenes, scoring system, badges, learning notes along with rich design style and animations including sound effects.
It has four levels with various activities that reference real-life scenarios, which help learners to decide on how to address the challenges at their workplace.
Case Study 2 – Food Processing
This course is another example of gamified digital learning that has rich-looking design along with elements like avatars, real-life characters, activities divided into stages, timed activities, and scoring system to make the course fun and engaging.
The learner progresses through the learning journey in a mission that needs to be accomplished. The learner is rewarded with points upon successful completion of each activity as well as a level.
At Tesseract Learning, we follow the above-mentioned practices and many more to create great gamified learning experiences to meet your digital learning requirements. I hope you found this article useful, and you can apply these practices to create better gamified digital learning experiences. If you have any specific queries, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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