Gamification in Education Apps for Better Learning Process

14 min read

Why Gamification is Needed in Learning Apps?

If you are planning to make an e-learning website or app, pay close attention to gamification. Have you already researched the issue? Check if you are using all the benefits from gamification for online learning applications in your product. Gamified software helps people to learn languages, technical sciences, improve skills in a fun way, and it pays off. According to statistics, when reading, a person remembers 10% of the received material, 20% of it - when hearing, but when using tasks with game components, the coefficient of acquired knowledge reaches 90%. Not surprisingly, companies like Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola are investing in the gamification of education apps: the industry has already reached $11.94 billion, up 142% since 2016. Another advantage of gamification is its universality: no matter what you create - a language platform, applications for teaching floristics, or a fitness app - game elements will be relevant and effective everywhere. Let’s take a closer look at how they can be useful?

Motivation&Engagement

Rankings, contests, and elements of risk make users more motivated to win, and therefore - to learn.

Thanks to leveling, the ability to improve the player’s skills, and collect rewards, the student remains involved in the learning process for a long time. Daily/weekly events and elements of a team game also contribute to this.

Better user experience

Gamification makes learning fun, entertaining, and interactive. In such products, information is better to remember, and its repetition will not be as boring as a regular course. Plus, it is easier to introduce such trends as microlearning into such solutions - so that the information is given to the student in fractional parts so that he can study at a convenient time in a convenient place without interrupting one big boring lesson.

Third-party skills improvement

In addition to its direct purpose - assistance in learning a new language, science, or mastering a new specialty, gamification helps develop other qualities such as socialization, critical thinking, problem-solving, managing finances (thanks to the in-game currency).

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Top 5 Education Apps Using Gamification

Gamification in 5 top learning apps

Coursera

It is one of the world’s largest learning platforms with 82 million users, 10 000 000+ downloads, cooperating with 200 universities, educational organizations, and foundations.

Coursera essentially is a massive open online course. The user is offered more than 6500 courses in various directions - from language learning to floristry. All courses are divided into categories (more than 300).

As for the business model, half of the material is provided under the freemium scheme but with paid certificates. Coursera Partners with numerous educational institutions, and this list includes such eminent institutions as Stanford. It allows Coursera to provide certificates that carry recruitment weight, for example. As a result, by the end of 2020 Coursera’s users received about 12 thousand degrees.

The price of studying on this resource varies, as some of the courses are provided free of charge, and some are by subscription. For example, Coursera Plus will cost you $59/month or $399/year for 1 user.

Memrise

It is a language learning app with 42 million users, which revenue in 2020 reached $22.8 million. The creators offer the user to memorize words interactively. To do this, they provide more than 20,000+ videos from teachers who are native speakers with the function of integrating a phone camera with a translator. The student also has access to basic functions such as an interface, progress improvement and tracking, achievements, and awards. You can consolidate the acquired knowledge with the help of quizzes, tests.

If you want to use Memrise with all the features on a premium basis, then be prepared to pay $8.99 per month, $18.99 per quarter (this option is only available for the mobile version), or $59.99/$79.99 per year for training through the website/app.

SoloLearn

This app is for learning programming with an in-app coding feature.

In 2021 it has been adding 300000 users/month. Now the quantity of its learners is 21+ million globally. 

The students can take lessons, check their progress and improve skills, earn rewards and consolidate knowledge using standard activities - quizzes and tests.

In addition, this platform has such elements of the gamification of e-learning mobile app as battle mode, ratings, and leaderboard, for even more engagement and motivation.

If you want to purchase pro access to the application, without ads and with the ability to customize the curriculum, it will cost you $12.99/per month or  $69.99/year.

Classcraft

It is a game that strongly resembles popular RPGs with 2.5 million students from 85+ countries. 

Here the user can create and customize his character, improve and modify it.

Gamified learning comes in the form of missions, events, and challenges. Users need to create or join a team to play. In this way, children learn to socialize. As for pricing, it starts from $120 for a year subscription. Also, a free version and a free trial are available.

Duolingo

This learning application offers the user 40+ languages available for learning playfully.

By the end of 2021, it has reached 8.6 downloads, now it has 500+ million users.

The use of gamification here is implemented as follows:

Students have access to progress tracking functions, skill improvement, video materials, quizzes, reward systems, community chats. In addition, the application has an in-game currency, and elements of risk - a limited number of lives that are lost when the user fails.

As a result, this app aimed a revenue of $161.7 million by 2020.

Education in this resource is free. However, you can purchase a Duolingo Plus subscription for $6.99 per month with a trial for 14 days. With it, you’ll have an unlimited number of lives, the ability to test knowledge and skills without restrictions, and you’ll also enjoy the absence of ads and work on mistakes.

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Advantages of Using Gamification in Education Apps

Advantages of Using Gamification in Education Apps

For users

Entertaining learning process.

Due to the system of achievements, collecting, progress bars, and leveling, it is more interesting for the user to get new skills. Learning is no longer boring.

Microlearning.

Thanks to gamification for e-learning applications, it is easier to implement microlearning - one of the main trends in the e-learning market. Thus, users will be able to learn small doses of material conveniently and excitingly, which will positively affect the assimilation of the material.

For vendors

Demand

The idea to make a website like Coursera - with gamification tools, has been steadily in demand in recent years. Thus, about 70% of global market leaders are already using gamification. Such popularity is beneficial if you want to start an eLearning startup to sell ready-made edTech solutions.

Perspectives

It is expected that by 2025 the revenue from sales of gamified software will exceed $ 30 billion. Such financial success works for an increasing interest from investors, which gives vendors almost unlimited prospects for their product development.

For business

Employee engagement

According to statistics, 72% of employees feel more motivated to work due to the gamification elements in the training software. Thus, gamification in education apps will help you avoid boredom, monotony, and emotional burnout at work.

Continuous staff development

With educational games, you will be able to maintain user engagement for learning, and in this way, your employees will always be aware of the latest working methods and technologies.

Challenges You May Face When Implementing Gamification in a Learning App

Challenges You May Face When Implementing Gamification in a Learning App

Wrong game balance

If rewards are too easy to earn, they will not fulfill the main goal of the gamification of the learning app - student motivation.

On the contrary - if you make the game too difficult to pass, it will not engage the user.

A good tool, in this case, is the competitive element. Battle mode, tournaments, and challenges in which players in the same conditions will compete for prizes.

Wrong choice of techstack

When organizing the development process, take care of having an action plan and a set of key technologies and methods.

Based on the experience of our team, we recommend React and React Native. These technologies allow you to start implementation quickly. Also, you can save up to 30% of the budget and time for the development of mobile educational apps - thanks to the hybrid method, when a single code base is used for both iOS and Android platforms.

These technologies are also perfect for startups, as they make it possible to make the code reusable and flexible - no matter how you want to change your product, it is expandable and modifiable almost unlimitedly.

Methodology misuse

Development

Scrum and Agile are the best methodologies in our experience. By dividing the scope of work into milestones and completing them in sprints, we can ensure a perfectly streamlined delivery process without chaos and confusion and provide the customer with full control over the project.

Since the work is carried out in turn, each stage is supervised by the owner’s product, and a new stage cannot begin before the previous one is approved and completed.

Deployment

Our specialists always use the CI/CD method at this delivery stage. It ensures uninterrupted communication between the team and the customer, minimizing the likelihood of human error and launch delays.

Hiring newbie developers

If you are short on resources or want to optimize development costs without sacrificing quality, hiring an outsourcing elearning app development company would be a great solution.

It’s vital to select reliable members of the development team - since the success of your future business depends on their qualifications.

To choose a versed technical partner, pay attention to:

  • Portfolio. Study ready-made solutions in the company’s portfolio, customer reviews, and you can even check ready-made software yourself. Working with firms that have dealt with projects similar to yours means an accurate estimate, vast experience in handling delivery challenges, no problems with delays, high-quality communication, and the freedom to choose more advanced technologies.
  • Independent resources such as CLUTCH - these services are independent, which means that the assessment of companies their claims to be objective. Use them to understand how experienced and reliable the company is.
  • Location. Programmers from the USA and Britain are among the most expensive at hourly rates. Whereas engineers from Eastern Europe have x2 or even x3 lower rates. Moreover, the quality of their services is quite high. It’s all about the lack of large domestic products. Therefore, study the location factor, weigh all the pros and cons to get the perfect price-quality ratio.
  • Pricing and terms of cooperation. A professional, experienced and responsible company will offer you several cooperation options, explain the pricing, and provide transparent work conditions.

A lack of promotion

When planning a budget, consider promotion costs and prepare a marketing strategy for your solution. You can make the most convenient, beautiful, and top-notch solution in the entire market, but it will not lead you to success if it is not known.

According to our clients’ experience, the promotion costs at least $10,000. This amount depends on the specifications of your software, its complexity, scale, marketing methods that you choose (advertising in social networks, attracting marketing companies, level of specialists, general concept, etc).

You can gain a budget for your promo by saving money on the development stage - by outsourcing this process to Eastern Europe developers. In addition to savings, you’ll also get excellent quality of the project and the workflow organization.

Mismatch of target audience

A successful application has to solve the target audience’s problems.

Not to be mistaken with this, you should conduct a thorough analysis of the market, competitors, and target audience.

Consider factors such as localization, age, gender, social status of the potential user, level of education, and IT industry development in the region.

To conduct analysis yourself, you can use tools like Google Analytics and Segment.io.

Or you can turn to professional discovery specialists who will analyze your business idea in detail.

Remember, that saving money on a discovery phase, means losing money then, so it would be better to order technical consulting from the pro team.

Codempire has vast experience in it, as soon as we provide free consulting for startups with preliminary estimating and market analysis.

Security insurance

No one wants their personal data to end up in the wrong hands or to have their content stolen or plagiarized. Therefore, take care of data protection using such methods as advanced encryption, SSL certificates, watermarking, and double-step authorization.

8 Ways You May Use Gamification for Your Education App

8 Ways You May Use Gamification for Your Education App

Challenges

A task-oriented approach is a great way to keep the student engaged. Daily and weekly events, goals, themed challenges, team events, and leveling - these are all great examples of gamification in e-learning apps that you can implement into your product.

Some challenges/events may be optional and will be available for an additional fee. It can also help you increase app monetization.

Leveling

Dividing all the training material into thematic parts and designating separate tasks and achievements for them is a great idea of how to keep the player motivated throughout the long learning process. It will help you avoid user frustration and improve the experience.

Reward system

Rewards, experience/skill points, extra features, and all sorts of in-game prizes/purchases - such game elements will make your end-user feel the pleasure of their academic success. And the collecting element will be able to keep interest in the game for a long time - the longer the progress has been made by the user, the less likely it is that he will abandon the game.

Risk

A limited set of lives, or attempts to play a game round, accumulation of points, and the possibility of losing them in case of incorrect answers - all these gamification in education applications tools can warm up the student’s interest and motivate him to study educational material more carefully. 

This can help monetization - if extra lives/attempts are charged as in-game purchases.

The main thing here is to keep a good game balance: if passing the levels is too easy, then the whole point is lost, and if it is too difficult, there is a risk of getting frustration and the opposite of the expected effect.

Interactive elements

Audio, video, interactive buttons, pop-ups - use it all to make the gameplay as engaging as possible.

It is worth highlighting quizzes and tests - they not only diversify the learning process but are also an excellent tool for better assimilation and consolidation of the material covered by students.

You can also add animated stickers, avatars, or items available for additional payment. This will help you increase your product revenue.

Storyline

Don’t underestimate good storytelling when planning to develop a language learning app. Interesting characters and storylines can attract students no less than challenges and awards. So take care of good content inside the game. It will be awesome if you provide the student with the tools to customize their character - to increase learners’ motivation and earn more from the app.

Teamwork

Team events and challenges, rating tables will increase the students’ commitment to a team game. You can provide them with the opportunity to join a team or create their own. Such gamification in learning apps contributes to the socialization skills improvement, which positively affects both children (in the case of educational games for students) and adults (in the case of educational gamified software for corporate programs).

Leaderboards

Leaderboards, ratings, evaluation system, reward accumulation, a battle mode, special events, and tournaments can increase the competition in your app and hence the motivation to play.

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Codempire Experience in Using Gamification for Learning Apps

Avid Adventures

Avid Adventures Result

We created a career development simulator game similar to real-life conditions for our technical partners from Singapore.

The main task was to create a PWA that could be used in large-scale events with thousands of users in the online game mode.

During the implementation process, We used React.js, TypeScript, Firebase. We worked according to the Scrum, CI/CD methodology.

Our specialists had equipped the game with a user interface, skill upgrades, online play, quizzes, reward system, in-game purchases, user account customization tools, an admin system with customizable gameplay, and the ability to analyze the results of the game round.

In just 3 months, we completed and launched the product on the market, saving 40% of the client’s budget (compared to the local firms’ development services cost).

Now educational and government organizations from all over the world, including the United States, are interested in this project.

Potatomath

Potatomath Result

Our agency provided mobile development services for a Malaysian company. Our customers specialize in teaching children mathematics and programming. They needed to develop a game based on online student competition.

We used the React stack - for the front end part and Node.js, Nest.js, MongoDB - for the backend.

It took 4 months to turn this business idea into a profitable startup.

As a result, the client received an application for iOS and Android platforms, with 50+ math topics, rewards, scores, a battle mode for online games, quizzes, and a rating system.

Our agency has good expertise in implementing gamification in learning applications. We have developed projects for our clients from Malaysia and Singapore. These were educational games with such features as user interface, a battle mode, skill improvement tools, quizzes, online mode, rating, etc. Today, they have been successfully launched and brought profit to the owners.

We continue to work with our partners, providing support and expansion of their project. Our team will be happy to develop a similar solution for you, using all their experience and knowledge!

Conclusion

  • Gamification can increase student motivation, improve the game experience, develops directly involved and third-party skills.
  • Market leaders of training gamified software are Duolingo, Sololearn, Coursera, Memrise, Classcraft.
  • Adding gamification in training programs is beneficial for users, business owners, and software manufacturers. For the first, this makes it easier and more pleasant to acquire the necessary knowledge, for the second - to improve the qualifications of employees more efficiently, for the third - to sell the actual product in demand.
  • The right choice of the tech stack, methodology, a reliable expert technical partner, conducting a market, potential users, and competitors’ analysis, can save up to 30% of the implementation budget. Taking care of correct game balance, information security, and thinking over your marketing strategy in advance, you can develop an educational website or application without delay and ensure its success in the market.
  • Task-oriented gameplay, leveling, elements of risk, reward system, interesting characters and plot, competition, and teamwork are all great tools that you can use to gamify your product.
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FAQ

What are the key features for edTech apps?

To stay on track in the e-learning market, you should equip your solution with the following features: 1)Video conferencing tools; 2) User interface. With skill-tracking and improvement, reward collecting; 3) Community; 4) Gamification for education apps; 5) Admin panel; It will be great if, in addition, you equip an application with simplified access using social media accounts, which will make life much easier for your end-users.

How can I monetize my app?

There are 8 standard ways to monetize e-learning applications: - Freemium model; - Course payment; - The subscription fee; - Paid certificates; - Extra content/services; - In-game purchases; - Advertising; - Marketing tools. They are actual if you want to make a website like Coursera or Udemy, with a huge amount of educational materials of various kinds.

Which tech stack is better for learning game?

Based on their rich experience, our delivery team has developed the best technology stack, which includes: 1) Front End part -React for the web and React Native for mobile; 2) Node.Js and Nest.Js framework for the Backend; 3) MongoDB or PostgreSQL as a database; 4) AWS cloud base. We have repeatedly used all these technologies for all our projects. They showed themselves well, in particular, in the development of gamification for learning apps.