[Video] The Difference Between Learning Games and Gamification

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You’ve heard all the buzzwords: “gamified,” “game-based learning,” “serious games.”

But what do they actually mean?

What specific pedagogical concepts to they refer to?

Are they effective, and is there any real difference between them?

Actually, yes, and yes.

And you’ll see this and more in our recent video on the subject, embedded below!

And here’s the full transcript, for you reading nerds:

If you watch to the end of this video you will get ten Capterra points, and if you share this video on social media you will advance to Level Two Capterranaut.

Hi, I’m J.P. Medved.  I’m Capterra’s resident training and eLearning expert, and in this video I want to go over the difference between gamification—which I just illustrated—and games-based learning, or learning games.

Why are these things important?

The market for learning games right now is already $3.9 billion and it is projected to grow to $8.9 billion by 2017. Gamification has already seen a widespread, positive impact on student outcomes. For instance, a University of Boulder study found that students taking a gamified course scored 14% higher than other students taking a non-gamified course.

So, these are very important. Now, what is really the difference between those two?

Well, the short answer is here: gamification is turning the learning process as a whole into a game, while game-based learning is using a single game as part of the learning process to teach a skill or a lesson.

So, some examples for gamification involved things like badges, points, progress bars, and leaderboards. Think the LinkedIn profile completeness bar, for instance.

With game-based learning—again this is typically used to teach a discrete skill—some examples would be Mario Teaches Typing or Math Blaster or Number Munchers. All of those great games that you grew up with in school.

That said, the end goal of both is to create more engaged, more successful learners. While we looked at, in a previous video, how game-based learning succeeds in a number of different metrics—in terms of student engagement, student scores, student material retention—in the next video we’re going to look at how gamification also affects those metrics.

Thank you for watching. For more information please check out the links in the video description below, and if you are looking for an LMS or an e-learning software that can help with either game-based learning or gamification, please reach out to Capterra. Our experts can walk you through all of your requirements and needs and really fit you up with the perfect solution, and we can do it all for free.

Thank you!

Looking for Learning Management System software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Learning Management System software solutions.

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About the Author


JP Medved

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J.P. was formerly content director at Capterra.


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