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Why gamification is making an impact in the education industry

Site Online Learning | August 29, 2019

In a world where grabbing anyone’s attention is an art form, gamification has become an effective tool in holding an individual’s attention for more than just a few seconds or minutes. Though initially picked up by marketers, today gamification is having its biggest impact within the educational space. In 2018 gamification in education was worth a whopping USD 2.4 billion and is expected to be worth more than double that by 2024 (1).

But if game-based learning has been around for a while now, why is it growing at an unprecedented rate out of the blue? Based on our experience and interactions with businesses and individuals utilising gamified educational material, there are 5 key reasons: 

A shift in perception.

Playing games isn’t exclusive to any particular age group. There are more adults playing games now than there have been in history. In 2019 approximately 2.4 billion people will play digital/online games (2).

Widespread acceptance of technology within education institutions.

It has become common practice for universities to use Learning Management Systems (LMS’s) to interact with students for delivering courses, evaluations and providing feedback. In recent years’ schools have started to implement such systems to complement the shift to modern learning.

Effectively combats distractions.

The ability to create immersive gamified experiences has helped combat the challenges that learners face in the form of distractions.

The Introduction of AR and VR in a consumer market.  

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality play a big role in the acceptance of game-based learning in the education industry, making gamification ‘cooler’ and ‘trendier’ than before.

An experience that suits eLearning.

eLearning is one of the fastest growing markets in the world (2). Gamification goes hand in hand with eLearning as it allows courses to take advantages of the latest in technology.



Over the years, Site Online Learning has developed gamified eLearning solutions for many businesses in a variety of industries, ensuring that the theoretical advantages of game-based learning can be taken advantage of by students and employees. Here is why we think gamification is making an impact in the education industry.

  1. It increases engagement. Gamifying education concepts can hold a learner’s attention more efficiently than traditional delivery methods. The inclusion of scoreboards and user-chosen paths changes the way students interact with educational material. It requires a higher degree of personal commitment, making the content more memorable and easier to retain.
  2. Encourages critical thinking. Certain forms of gamification allow users to test various solutions/methods and continuously reflect until they succeed. This form of learning encourages critical thinking as each decision taken by the student promotes problem solving.
  3. Personalised and real-time feedback. Unlike traditional forms of education where feedback is given upon completion, in eLearning (especially gamified) courses, personalised feedback can be provided in real-time. This allows student to use the continuous feedback being provided when making decisions. 
  4. Social learning. Gamification can make eLearning social in two distinct ways. The first is by creating scoreboards that leads to competition (as regular evaluations would), and the second is by creating collaborative exercises that students can undertake together without physically having to be in the same place. This is an effective way of familiarising students and employees to working in a global environment.   
  5. Creating a non-linear experience. Gamification allows non-linear course delivery methods that gives students a greater amount of control. This type of learning experience has been found to work well with learners who can effectively monitor their own progress.

There are a lot of components to consider when gamifying a training course or program. Conducting research and making an informed decision is key. Based on our experience with clients and universities, we find that there are two main reasons why gamified courses underperform:

Incorrect implementation of gamification. Inadequate research or hasty decision-making results in the unnecessary gamification of training material. Not all courses benefit from being gamified. While it can strengthen most material, some will not be as effective, and others will not provide a positive ROI.

Poor Technological infrastructure. This is the biggest mistake organisations make. A successful eLearning training program (gamified or not) requires a well built LMS. An impactful LMS should be easy to manage, easy to use and not a limiting factor in the type of course you want to deliver.

If you are looking to implement a corporate training program or simply update your existing one, speak to one of our course development experts. Our team can use their industry knowledge and prior experience to ensure that your strategy will achieve the goals you have set.


  1. Game-Based Learning Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2019-2024 by Research and Markets -
  2. Betting on Billions: Unlocking the Power of Mobile Gamers by Activision | Blizzard Media -


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