November 12th, 2013 E-Learning


Gamification is all the rage these days, but not everyone is up-to-speed on what gamification is and how it can be used to supplement elearning.

Before reading about gamification methodology, or even how to implement your own form of gamification, it’s a good idea to get the basics covered first.

Which is the purpose of this post.

What is it?

Gamification is the use of game elements in any context that is non-game related, usually by providing rewards and by fostering user interaction with the learning material.

The form of rewards can vary, but the more common ones include:

  • Points
  • Badges
  • Levels
  • Leaderboards
  • Challenges

Some of these are implemented in conjunction with others (i.e. points and leaderboard). In nearly all cases, points/badges/levels are awarded for successfully engaging with the content at hand. There are generally four ways to encourage this user engagement:

  • Accelerate feedback cycles
  • Outline clear goals and rules
  • Write an interesting narrative
  • Present challenging (but obtainable) tasks

Some Gamification Facts & Benefits

Gamification is growing and can be found in a variety of contexts. Below are some general facts about gamification:

  • In 2010, roughly $100 million was spent on gamification
  • The very next year in 2011, over 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies planned to use gamification for marketing and consumer retention
  • 80% of gamified applications fail because of poorly-defined business objectives

Despite some of the challenges, the benefits of gamification are certainly tangible. It has been estimated that users will spend about 30% longer on sites with social login games. This alone can drive advertiser revenue for apps or sites that are free for use by improving the user-base to attract higher paying ads.

It has also been found that companies can expect 2-4% increase in revenue in the first month of gamification use – but other results are also possible. Just by using gamification…

  • Cisco increased sales by 8-12%
  • Deloitte reduced training times by 50%
  • Autodesk increased conversion rates by 15%
  • Bell Media increased customer retention by 33%

How to Get Started

There are many ways to implement gamification, below are some of the simple methods:

  • Award points to users when they accomplish a specific task
  • Use a progress bar to depict course advancement
  • Use virtual currency within web games
  • Use leaderboards to display high scores on quizzes

As a learning management system ourselves, we have ensured that LearnDash quizzes allow for leaderboards and awarding of points. Even taking it one step further by allowing the awarding of badges with the BadgeOS integration.

What’s the Future?

The future of gamification is bright. One study has found that internet stakeholders believe gamification will keep on growing over the next 5-10 years.

By 2015, over 50% of organizations are predicted to be using gamification – and by 2016 it is estimated that $2.8 billion will be spent on it.

Needless to say, gamification is poised to make a massive impact.



Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter

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