Gamification in a virtual classroom can be an effective way to engage the learners. It is also one way to improve the level of interaction while the learning is going on. A lot of studies have shown that games can help make learning more fun and effective. Not only is it motivational, it is also encouraging for the students. Some of the studies reveal that learning through games is effective because it happens within a meaningful yet practical context. You are not just giving them something new, you are providing them with a platform to apply what they have learned.
Of course, gamification is only effective in elearning if you know what you are doing and you can implement it properly. Unfortunately, there are so many misconceptions when this learning strategy is applied. Getting the wrong idea about gamification will lead you to make mistakes. That can compromise the overall success of your elearning course.
Here are some of the common mistakes that are usually associated with gamification when it is used in a virtual classroom.
Focusing on the fun side more than the lesson.
While games are practically synonymous with fun and excitement, that does not mean you cannot use it for something serious like formal learning. A game can be a good source of information – as long as it is not overpowered by the mechanics. Do not let the participants get too caught up in the game that they fail to recognize the lesson underneath it all. You need to highlight whatever skill or knowledge should be learned.
Choosing just about any incentive.
It will not be a game if there is no incentive. However, you need to consider carefully what type of incentive you will give. First of all, you should make sure that the incentive is something that the learners will value. It has to be something that they would want to win. It should also be relevant to the lesson. If you can connect it to incentives that they can enjoy in real life or within the virtual classroom, that would be better. To do this properly, you need to get to know the learners so you can identify what is appealing to them.
Stirring too much competitiveness.
Another quality of a game is its ability to make learning competitive. However, you need to be careful about how competitive you want the learners to be. When you are using the virtual classroom for a corporate training program, you do not want the employees to be too competitive. After all, you want them to learn how to work in harmony with each other. Make sure the gamification will only result in some friendly competition – and nothing more serious than that.
Opting not to use gamification for serious elearning courses.
It is wrong to assume that serious courses and learners will not appreciate a gamified approach to learning. Remember that gamification is not really about putting a game into the lesson. It means you will use elements of a game to make the course more interesting. This is certainly something that even the most serious learners will appreciate. This is especially true since gamification is all about catering to personal satisfaction in the lesson. If anything, it will keep the course from becoming too boring or monotonous.
Consider all of these mistakes when you are considering gamification in the virtual classroom. When used correctly, this can help make the course more successful and effective.