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eLearningGame Design Principles Related to eLearning – Part 2
game design

Game Design Principles Related to eLearning – Part 2

As we discussed in part 1 of our article series on game design applied to eLearning, the influence of game design is undeniable in eLearning content development. Many of the strongest learning principles and theory have been practiced on gamers for decades. In fact the very performance of a game is often tied directly to how well these principles and theory are applied. For example: Tetris is one of the oldest and most popular computer games and has been around since 1984. The rules and gameplay are simple to understand, so you would think there would be no point in creating a new version of it? Well in the case of a Tetris: Effect, they did just that – and let me tell you, the reception has been more than exceptional. Let’s look into, exactly why that is:

game design

Feedback and Gamification are Essential in eLearning

Firstly, the new iteration of Tetris provides feedback like never before. With sound effects, visual effects and additional feedback tied to every input. This feedback keeps the user engaged, as each output stimulates a dopamine response in the player. Additionally all these feedback loops are all tied to the ‘mother’ of all gamification systems. This includes leaderboards, achievements, personal progress tracking, multiplayer and co-operative modes. This comprehensive and holistic approach to gamification results in an environment where every potential player can find a system that motivates their personality.


Many individuals are motivated by competition, which can only happen if you have proper gamification in place. As mentioned above, features like leaderboards, allow players to compare their results with others. This type of feature can be taken further by creating a dynamic ranking system which tracks player progress to other players on a continuous basis. Which motivates players further to stick to the game, as their ranking will drop the more it is neglected. In order to implement a feature like this, you need an evergrowing pool of content, with a consistent publishing schedule. You also need to ensure your training content adheres to Bloom’s Taxonomy, otherwise learners will become bored with the progression of the training.


Intuitive eLearning Design

UX design plays a massive role in the uptake of a system, which is no different with learning management systems. The same applies to your eLearning content and how easily it is accessible from the system. The ideal situation requires the learner to access their training and progress as quickly and simply as possible. Heed these parameters when planning your LMS and eLearning content, and you will have a much better uptake of training and system participation.

In this article we covered the importance of feedback, gamification, competition and intuitive design. In part 3 of this article series we will be exploring more motivational tools like storytelling, certification, and how process learner feedback to optimise your content.

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Sound Idea Digital is a Content Production and Systems Development Agency based in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town South Africa. Sound Idea was started by Francois Karstel and has been in business for over 29 years. Our team has travelled Africa, the UK and Europe extensively. Our foreign clients enjoy highly competitive rates due to the fluctuating exchange rates.

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