Gamification refers to using online games as part of the learning experience of students and it also refers to using the principles and concepts behind gaming. It has become quite popular because it’s one of the best ways to keep the students interested and active during learning sessions, especially with online learning.

The teaching methods used in in-person classes is different from the methods for online classes. Unfortunately, some teachers struggle to grab and retain the attention of their students. Gamification works in both setups, but it’s especially beneficial to online sessions. A well-design lesson with gamification keeps students focused in class despite the distance and the distractions.

Related reading: How to Improve Your Study Skills With Mind Mapping?

Using Gamification Elements

Gamification in online learning is quite interesting because there is an entire world of games that teachers can explore when designing classes. Likewise, gaming principles can be incorporated into existing lessons.

Whereas choosing the appropriate online game to use in class is crucial—it’s one thing to capture students’ attention in the beginning, but this attention has to be sustained while making sure that the learning goals objectives are met. There is no shortage of educational websites that provide games. Depending on the content to be taught, it might be easier to take some gamification elements and incorporate it into a lesson. Here are some examples:

  • Competition –keep students on their toes by introducing some competition. It can be in individual or team setups.
  • Point system – for process-focused activities, teachers may want to explore awarding points as a student progresses. These points can be a mini reward for being able to stay focused.
  • Rewards – always make sure to give students a meaningful reward once the activity is over. Rewards can help motivate students to work harder and do better. However, be careful your choice of reward as students might focus too much on this extrinsic motivation to the extent that they will lose intrinsic motivation to work hard. Meaningful rewards can come in the form of handwritten notes, healthy snacks from the cafeteria or plaques or certificates.
  • Create a challenge – check the latest challenges on social media (i.e., TikTok) and see if you can adapt any of these into a new topic that you will discuss in class. Have them create 10-second videos related to the topic. These quick videos will test the creativity and skills of students when it comes to developing a concept, creating content and publishing. 
  • Setting time limits – set a timer on the screen to encourage students to work fast. It trains them to be efficient with their use of time while increasing productivity.

These days, games are no longer just made for leisure. Gaming can be utilized to increase student engagement in classes so that they can be as involved in classes as they would when they are playing games.

When planning for classes and learning sessions, It’s not just about finding online games and allowing students to play. Gamification can be as simple or as complex as the teacher sees fit—it depends on the goal of the teacher, and the type of tools that they will use to teach and encourage interaction in an online learning setup.

School administrators should look into investing in learning technology that can improve learning experiences of teachers and students. Like students, teachers have to continuously learn new skills, techniques and tools that can help them teach effectively. More importantly, students are the recipients of the product of the teachers’ commitment to continuous learning.

Best Practices

Incorporating gamification strategies in the online learning setup requires some planning and practice. Here are some of the best practices to implement when using gamification in online learning:  

  • Be process-focused. Part of the joy of using games and gamification is that it encourages students to pay attention to the process, methods and strategies. Teach through sample scenarios and case studies. Instead of explicitly stating facts for students to memorize, they learn to think in a broader sense.
  • Set clear learning objectives. To ensure that the class is able to make the most out of the learning session, teachers should set goals and objectives games and gaming principles make a learning experience interesting, but students should not lose track of the goal just because they are having fun.
  • Assess the learning and progress throughout the activities. Gamification elements should be used strategically. Find ways to assess the students’ performance as this will determine whether the game-based approach was appropriate. Assessment information may also provide insight into the students’ grasp of the topic and their preferences.
  • Make it enjoyable an engaging for everyone. Come up with a variety of activities and games that can pique the interest of the group. Understand that just because a games or gaming principles are used, that everyone will be engaged. However, even those who are not interested still have to participate. Have periodical check ins, check on their progress to make sure that everyone is on track.

Benefits of Gamification

The use of gamification is becoming more common. Gamification strategies and techniques have been gaining traction within the online learning community due to its ability to engage students while teaching them the concepts and content they need to learn. When schools shifted to online classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers had to become more creative with their teaching methods and strategies. Since then, many reported benefits have come to light.

Here are some examples:

  • Instant feedback. Students get immediate feedback when playing games and using gaming principles when learning. In this process, students are actively engaged but so are the teachers and facilitators. To make sure that the learning session stays on track, teachers also actively participate by facilitating and giving corrections and processing learning experiences.
  • It helps improve learning among students. Students have different learning styles, and one way to capture their attention in the online learning setup is by developing lessons that incorporate gamification. Gamification provides learning experiences that are engaging and enjoyable.
  • Active learning. Instead of passively receiving information from a teacher or lecturer, students are able to actively participate in the activities.
  • Increase information retention. Students remember concepts better when they are interested, engaged, and actively use their brain. All of these processes happen when students are engaged in games.
  • Continuous learning. If teachers design activities that have stages and phases, students can learn continuously while retaining information from the previous “stages”. As students play, teachers can guide, correct and process the learnings with students.
  • Assessment of mastery. Gamification is a good way to assess students’ mastery of topics. In lieu of quizzes, they can play games which test their knowledge and understanding.

Limitations of Gamification  

As promising as it is to integrate gamification in online learning, it does have a few limitations. Teachers have to be skilled at crafting games that cater to the needs and interests of the group.

For teachers who are used to the classroom setup or are not as tech savvy, this may require additional training. However, putting in the extra hours just to learn will be worth it as gamification unlocks many doors to teach students and to connect with them. Teachers also have to find a way to keep students engaged even if the activity is not appealing. Games and competition are fun, but students have their individual preferences.

Final Thoughts

Students are able to tap into skills through gamified learning in online learning. Teachers have had to learn new ways to each and keep students engaged in online classes because they tried and tested methods in face-to-face classes do not necessarily work in the online setting.

Teachers have to create learning experiences that are relevant to students. A well-designed lesson plan and activities can encourage students to think creatively. While learning from games is fun, it does have some limitations. Plan activities that will allow students to engage with the content. A good alternative to games is using case studies, having interactive lectures and reports can work for students.

Gamification also works in various types of learning settings—in schools and in companies. We have discussed the ways in which it works in the online classroom, but training teams in companies should not hesitate to incorporate gamification elements when training professionals.  


Online tutoring is one of the best ways to provide support to students. All students have their areas for improvement and subjects that they struggle with, even if they’re at the top of their class. For many years, the norm for tutoring is to go to a tutoring center or hire a specialist to help a student with a subject they are having difficulty with. The tutor and student meet as a specific venue to have one-on-one instruction. 

It did not take long for online tutoring to take off. Like in-person tutoring sessions, online tutoring can be done one-on-one or in groups. In addition, these sessions are designed to provide students support, whether through homework help, enrichment exercises, or even study skills tutorials. 

Related reading: Reading Online vs. Offline: Which One is Better for Studying?

Online Tutoring 

Online tutoring enhances the learning experience by providing support to students who need it. Each student has a unique set of strengths and areas for improvement. Having tutorial sessions can help students further develop their talent while improving their weaknesses. 

Learning in a classroom setting is the norm, but young learners are becoming more used to doing everything online. Like online classes, online tutoring can happen asynchronously and synchronously. Asynchronous tutoring involves receiving work, which they do on their own time, while synchronous tutoring involves live instruction. Both tutor and student are online at the same time. In both cases, students work with a “human” teacher and have the goal of helping students improve in specific subject areas. 

How Online Tutoring Works 

Online tutoring starts with a student signing up for classes that they need additional help with. Typically, it’s a subject where they have the lowest scores. For example, if it’s science, the student has to identify which science class (chemistry, biology, physics, etc.) they need help with. Students can sign up on tutoring websites and find tutors through that portal.  

There are different types of tutoring: homework help, skills training, second language (ESL), etc. These can occur within the school year (as one of a student’s after-school activities) or throughout a summer break. The tutorials that take place during the school year are often focused on academic assistance, while summer tutorials are enrichment classes like reading and arithmetic skills.

The benefit of joining these summer programs is that the skills and knowledge stay fresh and keep the brain active. During long breaks, because students hardly pick up a book, they forget some of the things that they learned during the previous school year. Each subject area requires specialized instruction. Hire tutors that are subject experts. 

Whether in-person or online, tutoring sessions are to provide assistance where the students need it. Young students today have gotten used to learning and consuming information online. Young students have no problems navigating new websites, apps, and games. 

The challenge for tutors is to design activities that can keep students engaged as tutorial sessions happen online. It’s tempting to deploy the same tutoring strategies that tutors use in in-person sessions and do the exact same thing on an online platform. The challenge here is to be able to determine the needs of a student and come up with materials that are relevant and useful for them. 

Benefits of Online Tutoring 

Online tutoring has been around for many years, but it has become even more popular recently. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, students had to stay at home and do classes online. As such, tutorial sessions also had to be done online. Here are some benefits of pursuing online tutoring sessions vs. traditional face-to-face sessions: 

  • Accessible. Students are not limited to meeting with tutors that are nearby. Some students have needs that may require them to seek specialists. Depending on where a student lives or goes to school, going to a tutorial session might require them to contend with geographical limitations.  
  • Flexible. Tutors can take advantage of different apps and websites when developing lessons for students. Doing tutoring sessions online opens many opportunities to get creative about designing lessons and producing learning materials. 
  • Convenient. Students have more control over their schedules. There is no need to waste time in traffic and that extra liter of class to shuttle between the home, school, and tutoring venue. 
  • Differentiation. Tutors can provide differentiated instruction that caters to the needs of the student. While efficient for schools and teachers, learning in a classroom setting can be challenging for some students. For example, a student who has reading comprehension concerns might not keep up with a class discussion about an assigned text. A tutor can provide enrichment classes to enhance a student’s reading comprehension skills and at the same time help the student catch up with the assigned reading. 
  • Personalized instruction. Tutors are equipped to teach students in a way that is tailor-fit to the students’ learning style. A kinesthetic learner might struggle to keep up with long lectures in school. A tutor will find a new way to teach the same lesson so that the kinesthetic learner can process and understand the information. 
  • Efficient. Doing anything on an online platform is more efficient because it can be done anywhere. Whether a student is in a different country than the tutor is inconsequential as long as they talk about the same subject matter following a schedule they agree on. They can also share resources just as quickly, whether through email or a specific learning platform. There is no need to print and ship out reading materials. 
  • Innovative. Teachers and students can explore various online platforms. Tutors and students can choose any resource and medium through which they can learn.

Some Challenges 

Although online tutoring offers many benefits to students and parents, it does come with some challenges. For example, some students benefit most from in-person sessions, while others benefit from it being online—thus having access to online sessions no matter where they are in the world.

In addition, there are students who prefer receiving instruction in person to immediately make clarifications and raise any concerns. In contrast, others prefer to receive instructions and work independently in the meantime. 

Students have to have a stable internet connection, a decent gadget, and a quiet location with online classes at the most basic level. These three elements seem simple enough, but it’s not easy. Unfortunately, not all students who need tutorials can have access to these basic requirements. Below are a few other challenges that students and teachers may encounter: 

  • Students’ attention span. It’s so easy for students to get distracted during online classes and tutoring sessions. Tutors have to devise a plan on how to engage the student’s attention throughout the duration of the online class. 
  • Self-management skills. Students have to be able to have the skill to help themselves focus and listen to their tutors well during each session. Like any online class, it’s up to the student and parents to create a learning environment that is conducive to learning. Moreover, students have to have the self-discipline to accomplish tasks assigned to them during tutorial sessions and balance that with keeping up with school work. 
  • Following through. Online tutoring sessions are personalized and differentiated. However, students have to be able to use the skills and knowledge taught in these sessions to enhance their learning experience in school. Learning in online tutoring does not stop once you switch off your laptop. 
  • Access to technology. Advances in technology have allowed services like online tutoring to thrive. However, not everyone has access to the same quality of internet connection and gadgets for students to be able to make the most out of a tutoring session. 
  • Giving useful feedback. In the best-case scenario, a tutor can form a team with teachers and parents to provide services to a child. However, the main concern is to give and share feedback with other members of the team. Likewise, this feedback has to be relevant and valuable. Not only will the tutor work with the student, but they will also be working with other professionals. 

Final Thoughts 

Schools do their best to deliver the best type of education for all students, and students do their best to keep up with the requirements to get good grades and have a good grade point average. Schools come up with the appropriate curriculum, but sometimes, students struggle, especially since subjects become more complex as they move up a grade level. Another complicating factor is the have varying learning styles and levels of academic achievement. 

Tutoring is an integral part of education. Even the most intelligent kids in the class can benefit from online tutoring to address their struggle areas or need the most help.

The trick is to find the tutor that is best equipped to address a student’s concerns. Then, students can enjoy the same benefits as face-to-face tutoring. Maximize each learning session by focusing and following through with the work at home.