The term gamification was coined by Nick Pelling in the year 2002. Past then there were very few who knew about the concept of gamification and its possibilities of implementing it in corporate training. You can refer the following trend chart from Google to understand the rising demand for gamification over the years.
The success of e-learning gamification is mainly attributed to the capability of gamification to make the learning experience engaging and interactive
But how do you do it? Here are my tips to engage the learners with gamification.
We human beings are wired to enjoy the competition and we love to compete with the peer learners and achieve the milestones before them. This natural tendency of the human beings can be very effectively used while gamifying the corporate training requirements. For example, include the element of leaderboard in your corporate gamified module to induce the competition among the learners.
A leaderboard is a kind of scoreboard displaying players/learners results from top to bottom. Make sure that you link the leaderboard with points achieved or with the learners’ progress. As no one likes to be on the bottom of the leaderboard, the learners are sure to compete and try reaching the top positions. This helps in building up the user engagement and interactivity in your gamified corporate training.
2.Make good use of a Story
Researchers have proved that people tend to remember facts more accurately if they learn it through a story than from a drop-down list of facts and figures alone. A powerful narration of story can ensure that the learners are hooked to the learning content right from the start itself. Stories are powerful enough to build familiarity and trust and most importantly the stories are equally appreciated by the different type of learners i.e the visual learners will appreciate the visual pictures that a story can evoke or create. Auditory learners focus on the words and the storyteller’s voice. Kinesthetic learners remember the emotional connections and feelings of the story.
I recommend to choose a theme or include a memorable character in the story that a learner can associate easily. You can even integrate the story into a gamified branching scenario
3.Choose the right game mechanics
Game mechanics are the vital components of gamification which transforms the dull learning experience into an engaging and interesting one. To engage your audience, it’s very important that an organization chooses the right game elements and mechanics. I don’t recommend random dumping/including of game mechanics to your gamified corporate training. Here is the list of some very popular game mechanics that are widely used
Before implementing the game mechanics, ensure that you understand the relevance and meaning of the chosen game mechanics. Ensure that the chosen game mechanic can perform the desired objective or motivate the learners to perform the desired action. Hence my tip here is to understand the learning objectives as well as the target learners. Study your audience to understand what can motivate them in achieving the learning objectives.
For example, certain learners will get the motivation they need from the implementation of badges and points in the gamified corporate e-learning , but others might require a leaderboard that appeals to their competitive nature.
4.Reward your learners
Rewarding the learner for their correct actions like achieving the tasks or completing the set milestones etc can bring the element of engagement in your gamified corporate training.
Scientific study reveals that when exposed to a rewarding stimulus, the brain responds by increasing release of the neurotransmitter dopamine resulting in the triggering of real powerful human emotions like joy, satisfaction, achievement etc. I recommend the organisation to understand what will drive your audience to perform the desired action and benefit the organisation to achieve the business objective and also to sustain the engagement for long. Hence the organization needs to go beyond the usual points and badges reward system.
For example, companies have started exploring the different options available like connecting to various other physical forms of rewards like discount coupons, brand merchandise etc. Also, the leaderboards are no longer restricted inside the learning environment alone, learners can now share their positions and scores in the different social media websites and forums too.
5.Create a Sense of Urgency
To engage the learners with gamification, I recommend creating a sense of urgency among the learners.T he simplest and most common way of achieving this is to add a timer to the game that force the learner to complete the task before time. Other ways to create urgency among the resources is by including game elements that are scarce and depleting. For example, we developed a gamified induction module for a leading client in the manufacturing sector. The gamified e-induction module included the theme of ‘mountaineering’. To create a sense of urgency among the audience, our developers included the scarce element of “Oxygen”. With a meter showing the status of the oxygen level available with the learner, it could successfully create the sense of urgency among them. The oxygen levels were replenished only when the learner completes the set task or achieves the set milestones.
Here are 5 handpicked tips to engage the learners with e-learning gamification. feel free to sahre your thoughts and suggestions using the comment box below.