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Topics covered in this introduction to the gamification of learning:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
Involving learners throughout the entire learning process has become one of the priorities of most professional education institutions over the past few years; except, involving learners isn’t always simple depending on the context. Learners may be unmotivated, not want to be there…and the challenge is doubled when it comes to remote learning. The fact is that sitting alone in front of their computer screen, it is not always easy to find the motivation or desire to focus on huge amounts of text for long periods of time. The student may also very quickly lose interest and feel disconnected from the content. In order to engage them in the course, it is essential that e-learning is personalised and adapted to their profile. Games are a great way to do this. It’s all about making the students want to take part in multiple modules simultaneously to build their skills. However, how do you engage learners? How can you create a desire to learn? There are many factors to take into consideration.
In order to engage students in remote learning you must give them a key role in their learning. This is done through many small, simple actions which can be put in place to kickstart their motivation.
The first step is explaining, in a precise and very practical way, the objectives of the online course – namely, what the learner will know or will know how to do by the end of the module. This is essential so that they can visualise the long-term goal and understand how this e-learning will serve them in achieving that goal.
Next, by taking the time to break the course down into shorter modules, maximum 20 minutes, the whole course content will be organised and will therefore present a clear structure which is more digestible for the student.
It will allow each individual to decide for themselves how many modules to complete at a time, according to their preferences and needs. In addition, beyond the 20-minute mark it becomes more and more difficult for learners to remain focused and alert, even with a very well executed programme. With this in mind, it is important to choose the most relevant information and be very to-the-point.
It is also important to ensure that you adapt the level and content to suit their goals. Having students take a test at the beginning of the course will allow you to ascertain the students’ skills and then offer them the course content that corresponds with their level and expectations. Advanced students will be presented with the more challenging concepts of the course. Nevertheless, you must be careful not to limit their learning to certain areas and leave them at a dead-end. The goal is for them to be able to access the information if they do not know the answer, even if they are at an advanced level. With a course broken down into modules, this kind of positioning tool allows learners to develop certain skills without having to complete all of the modules.
One last easy step to put in place is to offer students the option to personalise their user interface. Being able to choose an avatar or character, enter a name or even change the size of the font is an important asset which should not be underestimated.
Our main piece of advice is to offer interactive content (videos, diagrams, games…) to give the learner a key role in their studies and create a sense of independence and control over their study sessions rather than being forced into the work.
To keep the learner engaged from beginning to end, it is important to give them a variety of methods that makes each individual feel like they are learning something new. You can mix things up by integrating new educational approaches such as using Serious Games, fun tools which continuously adapt the learning styles that are a great way to boost the desire to learn. Drimify’s solutions allow you to easily create this type of adaptable, interactive tool for use with any MOOC or other learning platforms such as LMS. By creating a Dynamic Path™ (see the demos), for example, around scenarios alternating between educational content and interactive experiences, learners are able to learn in an enjoyable manner and be trained efficiently.
To summarise, although engaging learners in the course has become an essential requirement, it remains a very difficult task to accomplish. However, by following the advice given in this article and working with professionals to do so, it is possible to put simple training systems in place to engage students and give them control of their online studies.
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