Next step in gamification of education: from game principles to financial rewards

There is a lot of routine in learning, and in classical school students are assigned a passive role. But as soon as a game moment is added to the training, students’ motivation increases.

The essence of gamification in education is to find practical ways to activate human natural motivation instead of willpower and discipline to achieve learning results. 

Here are 3 interesting facts about the game approach in education according to the Oxford Analytica study Gamification and the Future of Education:

  1. The combination of an increased focus on student engagement and the possibilities provided by digital learning make gamification a powerful tool for educators. 
  2. With game-based motivations, students have less need of teachers’ constant discipline and supervision to conduct their work.
  3. Gamification will likely be most successful to start at the basic educational level and at the skill-building level in universities.

While offline education systems are still starting experiments and pilot programs, many online platforms have already become advanced in gamification practices. They master the game principles to attract users, engage them and motivate them to actively learn.

Achievements, leveling up, leaderboards, streaks and other “fun” mechanics from games are now successfully utilized for improving the learners motivation and results. When the concept of gamification is applied to education, the opportunities for self paced learning expand. Learners are hooked by fun and then rewarded with knowledge and skills. 

With all the improvements from applying game principles the biggest problem of online education persists. Learners still suffer from lack of motivation for regular and intense learning. Competition for attention is so high that most of the users abandon their online learning courses after the first few days, not even weeks or months of learning. 

What can be done more to further improve the engagement and effectiveness of learning online?

LetMeSpeak are working on a unique approach – adding the financial motivation to drive the learning results. In many online educational services, after completing a level, a student is awarded virtual rewards which have value only inside the service. The solution is to add a real value for rewards, which means they can be converted to real money and spent anywhere.

Now, imagine being paid to learn a new language. Sounds amazing, right?

For each simple exercise you receive a financial reward. Your brain receives positive reinforcement each time you learn. On the other hand, each day without learning is a missed opportunity to earn more. It helps you stay focused and committed to learning over time. 

LetMeSpeak has made this a reality through the Web3 technologies. All their users are rewarded with the LSTARs in-game currency for completing stages in the learning process. LSTARs can be exchanged for real money to be spent on day-to-day purchases. 

Additional financial motivation helps our users to study English as a foreign language more efficiently and regularly compared to users who have signed up for a paid subscription but do not receive awards. Users who receive rewards remember 4 times more words and phrases and spend 2 times more time in the app for the first 30 days of use.

The money for the payment of rewards is taken from the payment for access. The redistribution model works from “truants” to those who do well and regularly. The ability to return the money spent on access to the service and earn more comes from people who purchased the access but do not learn regularly.

Financial rewards greatly increase users retention and engagement. Applying this approach allows online educational services to win the competition for attention against social networks and other forms of entertainment. This means product development teams can now really focus on improving the educational outcomes instead of trying to secure the retention and engagement by oversimplifying the learning content and process.

Positive feedback loop starts here: better content and products -> better learning results -> more users attention and sales -> better content and products.

Try the world’s unique way to learn English and experience how financial rewards affect interest in learning at

Huynh Nguyen

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