We all like to play; we do it from an early age on. So it is only natural that gamification has developed into a growing trend in the digital world. Defined by the Oxford Dictionary as the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity […], it has been around since the 1970s. Now many marketeers are using people’s natural instinct for learning, mastery, and competition in order to sell products and services. So do we. We like to bank on those learning instincts when we design eLearning modules for medical education.
Rationale for eLearning
Delivering part of your medical education initiative via eLearning makes a lot of sense because it offers a number of advantages both for the learner and for the course provider. You can access it anywhere and anytime, in different languages and time zones and at relatively low cost (often for free to the learner). If you decide to offer a chat function, you can network learners and trainers/ teachers. Whether you are designing a training tool for your sales reps or a medical education series for your customers, you are more likely to keep the learners’ motivation high if you introduce gamification.
How gamification can help to make eLearning more attractive
Just putting a multiple choice test on the computer doesn’t make it a game. In order to achieve the long-term benefit of gamification, you need to fulfill and observe the following key criteria:
- There needs to be a challenge otherwise there is no appeal. Whether you set a minimum number of points to be achieved, publish contestants’ results in league tables, offer badges, certificates or combine all of these, all or any of the above will play to the learners’ competitive instincts and keep players interested.
- Learners need clearly defined goals that they can achieve in bitesize chunks. Be careful to pitch your lessons realistically and at the right level, otherwise frustration and demotivation will set in. For instance, an eLearning lesson that takes more than 15 minutes to click through is likely to overtax the learners’ concentration and to diminish learning success.
- Rules are equally important – no game works without them. Here you will need to decide whether you want to put a time limit on answering the questions, how often you allow learners to retake them and whether you want to show the correct answers.
- Direct feedback on progress will keep learners motivated in the long run. Showing them that they are moving in the right direction and how far they have come, will leave them walking away with a positive glow – and it will keep them coming back for more.
All this can be easily put together and managed in a learning platform. It will act as a one-stop-shop for learner-trainer interaction, learning management, and you can use it to set up a community. It all depends on your goals and objectives. Interested to hear more? Then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org