5 Tools to use gamification in your virtual courses

Gamification strategies can be used at all educational levels, both in face-to-face courses and in virtual courses. In this article I present tools in which you can create fun and educational activities, according to your needs and teaching objectives.

These tools can be used both in virtual courses for companies that want to train their staff, and in educational institutions that offer various courses to their students through their learning portals.

It is a page where you can use games created by users from all over the world or develop a personalized game according to the needs of teaching and learning.

There are several categories, under which you can use the different applications already created or create them.

When creating a game you can create a record of scores, access rankings and make challenges between groups, among many features.

The interface for creating the game is very intuitive and does not require programming knowledge, so it adapts perfectly to all kinds of subjects that are being developed in a virtual course.

Learning games can be created in different formats, such as multiple choice, find pairs of words or images, discover secret words, identify images, perform a ranking or ordering, perform searches on a map or multiple answers.

The edition of the game is done in templates in Spanish that are very easy to fill out and understand. It is important to have the content of the game clear and developed, so that the virtual student finds the learning utility.

A huge advantage of this application is that its access is free.

This platform allows you to reinforce study methods through cards. They can be created or used that have been created by other users. A great advantage of Brainscape is that the cards are available from the cloud, so access to them is easy from any device.

It is a system of repetition by means of cards, to improve learning; The system uses a point system that classifies the level of difficulty of what has been learned in order to repeat what has not yet been learned. This helps to improve the system and learning speed, a necessity in any virtual course.

Another advantage of Brainscape is that it allows you to stick to flashcards as well as text; images, animations and sounds in different formats, which enriches virtual learning.

From the point of view of the e-tutor, it allows monitoring the progress of their students, as well as allowing collaboration between classmates and access to personalized records.

Since the study by means of cards has been used for a long time, this virtualization in the Brainscape application makes it possible to use it in many branches of science for the reinforcement of concepts and ideas.

This application can be accessed from a mobile with IOS or Android installed, which is a plus, since a student can review content from practically anywhere.

It should be taken into account that some functions of this application are free, if you want access to special functions, already designed for formal virtual courses, where you want to provide the highest quality to the student, it is recommended to purchase a Pro package, which starts from the US$9.99 per month.

This platform allows you to create crossword puzzles, completion systems, word and image matching, interactive maps, video quizzes, word spinners and much more, in a very practical way, without knowing programming.

The activities are put together, filling in different boxes and dialog boxes in a fairly intuitive way; It also allows you to integrate the activities in your own web pages.

Together with the creation system, it also allows to have a record of the students’ progress, the possibility of creating an online certificate and the option of downloading activities to use them offline.

An advantage of using Educaplay is the possibility of generating SCORM packages, to be able to integrate them with the institution’s LMS, which is very useful for setting up various virtual courses.

It should be noted that many basic utilities are free, but some features, such as being able to use the platform without advertising, or SCORM integration, come at a price. The platform offers packages starting at US$4.75 per month.

On this page you can create flashcards, that is, mnemonic cards that can have words, images, numbers, diagrams, videos, and concepts on both sides and that are used to contribute to the learning of knowledge by repeating content and associating concepts.

With Quizlet the student can review the contents of a virtual course and also the e-tutors can evaluate the level of knowledge of the students.

The system allows you to use the study cards of other teachers or create your own in a fairly easy way, without knowing programming; in addition to allowing you to create small exams to check which topics should be reviewed more frequently.

The exams can be multiple choice, pair selection, word writing or “gravity”, an ingenious system where words fall on the screen and the answers must be written in the form of an 80’s video game.

The application can be accessed from any computer or from mobile devices, which makes it very useful for students who have multiple activities and want to take advantage of any time to review concepts and have fun.

It also has the Quizlet Live function, which allows you to create collaborative game systems online or in class; in the form of questions and answers that can be played with a group of students, using a mobile or tablet and the sharing of a code so that the group is in the same session.

Like many platforms, many features are free but some features must be paid for, Quizlet offers options starting at $1.80 per month, in special promotions for teachers.

It is another option to generate playful and interactive activities with students. With this option you can create online presentations that can be shared with the students of a virtual course; and they can access them through a code that they use from a mobile device or computer.

With Peardeck, the e-tutor can ask questions in various ways with the presentations created from Google Presentations, since they have an integration tool, which makes the creation process very easy.

You can use animations, videos, gifs and all kinds of multimedia that enriches the interaction between student and e-tutor, in addition to keeping a record of progress and competence to motivate students to learn playfully.

It can be integrated with Quizlet, to take advantage of the use of Study Cards with the presentations and generate more learning options for the student.

Some features of Peardeck are free, but for example if you want to have an activity log or use the TakeAways system that allows you to provide feedback to students using Peaddeck, there is a price.

This platform offers packages from US$149.99 per year.

As you can see, the tools that I mention here do not require programming knowledge, they do not require knowing a technical language.

But if you want to create educational games and you know programming, you can use tools like: burning, Notebook, Lim, ExeLearning and others.

In most of these programs that require technical knowledge, you must download a package that is installed on the computer and follow the instructions for use to create educational activities to apply gamification strategies. It takes a bit of time, but you can achieve very personalized results.

In order for you to take advantage of any gamification strategy, it is necessary to have solid knowledge in the field of e-learning, so I invite you to review the courses at Galileo University edX.