serious games E-Learning engagement retention

Gamify Your eLearning: How Serious Games Can Improve Retention and Engagement

Gamify Your eLearning: How Serious Games Can Improve Retention and Engagement

In today’s digital age, eLearning has become an essential part of education and professional development. However, one of the biggest challenges faced by eLearning is keeping students engaged and retaining the information they’ve learned. This is where serious games come in.

Serious games, also known as educational games or gamified learning, are games designed for the purpose of education or training. They use the engaging and interactive nature of games to improve engagement and retention in eLearning.

The Importance of Engagement and Retention in eLearning

Engagement and retention are two crucial factors in determining the success of eLearning. Engagement refers to the level of interest and participation of the student in the learning process, while retention refers to the ability of the student to retain and recall the information they’ve learned.

Research has shown that engaged students are more likely to achieve better learning outcomes and retain the information they’ve learned for longer periods of time. In fact, a study by the University of Colorado found that students who were highly engaged in their eLearning courses had a retention rate of 75%, compared to only 10% for students who were not engaged.

What are Serious Games?

Serious games are interactive games that are designed to educate or train players on a specific topic or skill. They can be used in a variety of settings, including education, corporate training, and health care. In eLearning, serious games can be used to teach a wide range of subjects, from history to math to computer programming.

There are several types of serious games that can be used in eLearning, including:

  • Simulation games: These games simulate real-world scenarios and allow players to practice decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Role-playing games: These games allow players to take on a specific role and interact with other players in a virtual environment.
  • Puzzle games: These games challenge players to solve problems and complete tasks in order to progress through the game.
  • Adventure games: These games take players on a journey through a virtual world, where they must complete tasks and overcome obstacles in order to progress.

The Advantages of Using Serious Games in eLearning

There are several advantages to using serious games in eLearning, including increased engagement and retention. Serious games are interactive and engaging, which helps to keep students interested in the material they are learning. Additionally, serious games often require players to actively participate and apply what they have learned, which can lead to better retention of the information.

Examples of serious games that have been used successfully in eLearning include:

  • “Civilization IV: A Game of Nations” is used in history classes to teach students about the rise and fall of different civilizations.
  • “CodeCombat” is used in computer science classes to teach students how to code.
  • “Escape the Room” is used in business classes to teach decision-making and problem-solving skills.

How to Implement Serious Games in eLearning

There are several ways to incorporate serious games into eLearning, including:

  1. Use existing serious games: There are many existing serious games that can be used in eLearning, such as those mentioned in the previous section. These games can be adapted to align with specific curricula or learning objectives.
  2. Create custom serious games: It’s possible to create custom serious games that align with specific curriculum or learning objectives. This can be done by working with game developers or using game development software, for example, Quickskills.
  3. Incorporate game elements into traditional eLearning: Incorporating game elements such as points, leaderboards, and badges into traditional eLearning can make the material more engaging and interactive.

In order to implement serious games in eLearning, it is important to:

  1. Identify the learning objectives and goals that the serious game will help achieve
  2. Choose the type of serious game that aligns with the objectives
  3. Create a plan for integrating the serious game into the eLearning curriculum
  4. Test the serious game and get feedback from students
  5. Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the serious game in achieving the learning objectives


Incorporating serious games into eLearning can be an effective way to increase engagement and retention. There are several types of serious games that can be used, including simulation games, role-playing games, puzzle games, and adventure games. By identifying learning objectives and goals, choosing the right type of serious game, creating a plan for integration, testing, and evaluating the effectiveness of the serious game, eLearning platforms can revolutionize the way students learn.


Danielle Garrison

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