What works in E-learning: An evaluation of gamification

Randomised Control Trial Status


Trial Hypothesis

There are two trial hypotheses:

  1. Officers who are trained using gamification techniques will have a more comprehensive understanding of when, how and where to use BWV. They will be likely to record more footage than those trained using standard e-learning packages.
  2. Officers trained using gamification techniques will follow correct processes and procedures, making full use of BWV evidence building stronger cases. They will be more likely to include BWV clips in more case files and will have a higher charge rate than those trained using standard e-learning packages.

Geographical area


Research Institution / Organisation

College of Policing

In Collaboration With

Metropolitan Police Service

Project Start Date

April 2016

Participants - inclusion criteria

The MPS are rolling out their training / allocation of cameras to boroughs in small groups of boroughs at a time. The seventeen boroughs at the end of the roll out will be used in the trial. In addition ten boroughs will be used to refine the gamification technique to be tested, and the outcome measures used.

Criteria for officers:

  • Rank: PC and Sergeant
  • Role: response officers 
  • Restrictions: must be on active duty (i.e. not long term sick or maternity leave, restricted duty or suspended). Officers returning to active duty will be included in the sample.

Target Sample Size

Approximately 2,040 officers have been allocated to the treatment group and 960 to the control conditions.
The trial will be collecting data on usage, attitudes, Knowledge and the criminal justice outcomes of incidents attended by these officers for about 5 months. ​

Study Design

For the first seven boroughs, two or three response teams will be randomly allocated to the treatment group (gamified learning) and the remaining two or three teams to the control group. From the eighth to the seventeenth borough, three or four teams will be randomly allocated to the treatment groups (either gamified or immersive) depending on the borough – and two or three to the control group.

Comparisons are to be made post-training using recorded police data and survey data, and will be supported by qualitative research (process evaluation) to understand officer’s attitudes.

The study design has been illustrated in the form of an infographic.


The evaluation will involve a random allocation of teams of officers to:

  • Treatment group – who will receive gamification e-learning or immersive e-learning 
  • Control group – who will receive standard e-learning

Outcome Measures

​The evaluation will examine a range of outcome measures which fall into three main categories:

  • Officer attitudes and knowledge retention;
  • BWV/digital evidence usage; and
  • Criminal justice outcomes of violent incidents attended by officers.

Summary of Findings

​Read the news article "What is Gamification?" on the What Works site.

Date last updated

Monday 17 February 2020
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