Gamification: The Near Future Forecast

Gamification is So Hot Right Now

There continues to be a lot of talk around gamification and related concepts.  A desire to increase learner engagement has become a driving force, so much so that Forbes magazine reports up to 70% of major employers in the US are using gameplay for business purposes and cite examples including Marriott, Delta, McDonalds, and the US Navy

So, what is the near future (like happening in 2016) of gamification in eLearning?

The Future of Gamification: Predictions

Use of games and gamification for non-game training courses will increase in 2016, with more and more businesses getting on board.  Note that gamification and eLearning games are not the same thing. Gamification is the implementation of game mechanics and dynamics in a non-game setting, while game-based learning has been used for thousands of years to augment other forms of training. However; both of these methods will see increased use this year and for years to come. Let’s take a high level look at various aspects of games and gamification and what the future holds in store for each.

Mini-games

Another trend on the up rise is the use of mini-games within larger courses. This provides similar benefits as the use of bite-sized chunks of data within training programs.  Benefits? Mini-games help ensure that learners are able to explore a single topic without distractions.

Branding

Branding has always been crucial for eLearning within businesses and organizations. Simulations might use branded environments with which employees are familiar (a well-known sales floor layout, for instance) to further reinforce ties to the business, ethics, values, and culture.  Expect branding to play a larger role in training gamification.

Augmented Reality (AR) Games

While Google Glass might have been mothballed, there are plenty of augmented reality systems either available or in the works. Example: Microsoft’s HoloLens

Look for AR to play a larger role in gamification, game-based learning, and other eLearning methods. AR provides an ideal way to offer an immersive learning experience based in both the virtual realm and the real world. Experts predict that there will be 200 million AR users by the end of 2016.

More Game Elements

Future designs will implement more and more game elements into non-gaming eLearning. Some of the most promising options include:

  • Rewards: Rewards will begin to tie into the business itself and the real world, rather than being related solely to the course in question.
  • Competition: People perform better when faced with competition. Look for more eLearning materials to incorporate competitiveness through the use of elements such as leaderboards that highlight those who complete the most training.
  • Storytelling: All games have some element of story. This feature will be applied more often in non-game training. Look for greater interactivity here, too, as learners are given the ability to help shape the story, rather than being passive participants.

LMS-Based Gamification

Perhaps the most important consideration for businesses is the growing number of learning management systems (LMS) that will offer gamification. Older LMSs were primarily text-based with little graphic design and no gamification.  As LMS developers catch on to these emerging trends in professional training, the future of eLearning looks like a completely different…game.

Recommended Reading:

http://www.trainingindustry.com/e-learning/articles/gamification-the-training-trend-for-2016.aspx

http://www.digitalchalk.com/blog/top-elearning-trends-2016

http://www.yourelearningworld.com/elearning-gamification/

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