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What Your eLearning Provider Wants You To Know About Gamification

What if corporate training felt more like leveling up in your favorite digital game than sitting through another dull slideshow? Learning experts know one thing for sure. The most effective corporate learning solutions cater to learner preferences, are interactive, and activate our internal motivators to help optimize training outcomes. Enter gamification!

Remember the satisfaction of clearing a row of blocks in Tetris? While it may seem like a simple game of block elimination, beneath the surface, Tetris is about decision-making and problem-solving. Its addictive nature stems from the repetitive yet strategic decisions players make to beat the puzzle game. Because everyone likes to win, gamification adds a competitive edge to training that drives intrinsic motivation. From compliance to product knowledge training, gamified learning keeps learners engaged, proving that play and productivity go hand-in-hand. But there’s more that your eLearning provider wants you to know about gamification.

Read More: What is Gamification? 

What Your eLearning Provider Wants You To Know About Gamification

Today’s workforce requires a fresh approach to learning, and eLearning providers are taking every step to ensure strong experience design. Gamification offers a unique approach to learning, embedded with reward systems that motivate employees and drive skill-building.

Keep Learning At The Core of Gamification 

Don’t let the pendulum swing too far. Learners do best when there is a balance between the motivation to win and to learn. Gamified learning can benefit everyone involved as long as the gamified content is designed with purpose and doesn’t distract learners from the core learning objectives. Gamified elements of training programs should always reinforce key concepts and promote knowledge retention. To maximize gamification’s effectiveness, eLearning providers emphasize the importance of identifying your top learning objectives. The more specific, the better!  

As you tie your gamified content to core learning objectives, keeping learners laser-focused on specific concepts and behaviors will improve what information they retain. Center your gamified elements around problem-solving scenarios to keep learners on task. 

Gamification Is An Effective Engagement Strategy

Gamification isn’t just fun and games. It’s a tried and true engagement strategy. Recent studies have shown that applying gamification in education can improve cognitive, motivational, and behavioral learning outcomes. Matching gamified elements with other active learning methods enhances learner engagement by improving their attitude and incentivizing learners to compete!  Gamification also gives learners a chance to refine their skills through practice. 

Gamified learning taps into emotional motivators, challenging learners to earn rewards on their merit, further incentivizing them to retain the right knowledge to help them excel in their roles. Depending on the use case you can even incorporate scored elements like leaderboards and prizes to drive a competitive edge in a group setting. Most adult learners are motivated to learn what they can apply right away, and gamification taps into this by showing learners what information they need to move ahead. It also provides real-time feedback that learners can use to self-assess their skills. 

Gamification Is Not For Everything

Gamification won’t fix bad learning. It can enhance an experience, but not all content works well with a gamification strategy. Be careful not to implement games into every learning scenario, and leverage gamified elements to make them count!  Ultimately, fun and entertainment cannot ensure learning. By thoughtfully designing interactions to reinforce learning objectives, gamification can produce strong learner recall and enjoyable training experiences. 

Read more: 4 Successful Examples Of Gamification In Real-Life Corporate Training

Top Strategies For Implementing Gamified Training

Gamified eLearning can elevate your organization’s culture and can help cultivate a more productive workforce by improving the employee lifecycle with engaging learning content. Brandon Hall’s HCM Outlook 2024 reports that 72% of employers listed ‘improving the employee experience’ as a top initiative. As organizations implement gamified elements to elevate training and reach learners, there are a few distinct characteristics of gamification that should always be top of mind.

Use Rewards, Timers, and Scoring Systems

Scoring systems are a tangible symbol of progress, helping learners feel more accomplished. By integrating goal-oriented training, learners are encouraged to strive for top scores, thereby enhancing their motivation to excel. The ability to track their scores and observe a direct relationship between their decisions, actions, and scores further fuels their drive to perform at their best. Adding a sense of urgency to training can be accomplished with gamification by prompting learners to beat the clock and unlock rewards during their learning experience. Gamified content adds a little excitement into the mix while mimicking real-world scenarios that require time efficiency.

Utilize Experimentation and Problem-Solving 

Experimentation and problem-solving are major features of high-quality gamified learning. Think of it as a way for learners to actively engage with training material, just as they would when solving a puzzle. This approach allows them to apply what they’re learning in a practical, hands-on way. Remember our Tetris example? When a learning experience is iterative, learners have the opportunity to hone their skill application. 

Keep Your Training Interactive and User Friendly

One of the goals of gamified training is to keep learning interactive and engaging. By keeping training user-friendly and fun, learners are more likely to retain essential knowledge. You’ve probably heard the “use it or lose it” idea, right? It’s about making sure we apply our knowledge to maintain it. Gamified training content is action-based to keep learners connected throughout the program. 

Gamification does its best work when applied to topics with concrete right and wrong answers. Gamification activates the brain during the learning process by giving learners the freedom to make choices, fail, and perform better in the next round!  We can all agree that overly complex games often prioritize rules over fun. Avoid overcomplicating something intended to spark an enjoyable user experience!

Gamification Case Study: Gamified Learning For The Next Generation Of Learners Lincoln Electric’s Voyage Arc

Gamification Use Cases

Not all of the topics in your course will lend themselves to gamification.  Stay away from topics where the outcome may be subjective (e.g. communication), or there can be many complicating factors (e.g. providing feedback). Consider, instead, topics where the correct answer or outcome can be described with concrete criteria.  

Supervisor Training

Imagine you’re tasked with enhancing supervisor training within your organization. For this course, you decide to leverage gamification to talk about scheduling. Gamified content can revolutionize this process. Consider designing a training course focused on skilling supervisors with the step-by-step process of creating a schedule. The game’s objective? Ensuring every employee gets their desired shifts.

To gamify training for this necessary skill, it’s important to first start by providing multiple opportunities, just like solving a puzzle. Each decision branches into different learning paths, challenging supervisors to maximize their scores by making choices to maximize how many employees they can make happy. The competitive edge? Gamified training will also help determine which supervisor can achieve the highest level of employee satisfaction. This approach takes mundane training and transforms it into an engaging, strategic experience that drives learning outcomes while keeping participants motivated. 

Onboarding Scavenger Hunts 

Gamification thrives in blended learning models. The overarching strategy is to blend microlearning activities based in the real world with gamified elements that drive engagement and meaningful learning outcomes. Think onboarding! One use case for gamified blended learning might be a treasure hunt to familiarize employees with your organization. By implementing QR codes that launch eLearning courses, learners will be motivated to complete the course and gain practical knowledge for their roles. Gamified content is also an increasingly popular recruitment tool.

Gamify Your eLearning Program Today

Leave passive learning in the past! Gamification enhances the training experience, seamlessly integrating theoretical concepts while keeping learners active participants. Remember- gamification is scored, iterative, and timed. Keeping gamified content interactive and learning-focused will motivate your employees to showcase their competitive side. 

Take disconnected learners out of limited training programs and engage them with high-quality gamified experiences. Want to learn more about implementing custom eLearning programs?

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