Gamification continues to be a hot topic in the learning industry. It can transform boring, mundane courses into a fun, competitive and enjoyable experience for learners. If you are struggling to engage learners in your training material, you might want to consider implementing a gamified learning strategy into your LMS.
What is Gamification?
Before we start, we want to make one thing clear. Gamification does not mean that you need to turn your training content into a game. Instead, gamification incorporates typical game elements, like competition, control, and challenges, to enhance your learning content. Gamification also uses a variety of visual and auditory experiences making the experience more enjoyable and memorable.
A gamified learning environment can allow the learner to take ownership of their learning. Learners can be given the power to take the courses at their own pace like they would in a video game. This gives them the autonomy to experiment and build up intrinsic motivation.
We know that healthy competition can be a great source of motivation. A universal point system is a great way to create a competitive environment. An LMS like Expectancy can be set up to award points for completing training, engaging in social learning through forums, providing feedback, completing quizzes, etc. A leaderboard can be implemented to recognize those putting the most effort into exploring and engaging with the learning experience. Levels can also be integrated, to keep learners motivated on moving forward, and curious about what’s next. A badge system is an excellent way to award significant achievements, like completing levels or spending a certain amount of time within the learning platform and identify subject matter experts. These badges can be collected and showcased on a learner’s profile. You may even want to customize a reward system based on the badges and points accrued. Challenges are another great way to keep the learners engaged. Assignments or challenges can be branded as challenges, resulting in additional points or badges.
Just like one would in a video game, a gamified learning course gives learners access to immediate feedback. This might be feedback on how they did within a simulation, quiz, or interaction. Immediate feedback provides the learner with the opportunity to learn from their mistakes before moving on, as well as celebrate achievements.
Progress bars are an excellent way for both learners, leaders, and administrators to understand where they stand in terms of completing the training. This increases motivation for the learner to reach the finish line. It also helps administrators understand where learners might be getting stuck.
Benefits of Gamification
After going through the gamification elements above, you should be able to understand how a gamified learning environment can increase learner motivation and engagement. Beyond that, the healthy competition increases the chances that a learner will reengage with the learning platform for more training or pick up where they left off. When learners are motivated to pay close attention to the learning content, they are also more likely to retain and apply the information learned. Scientifically speaking, small incremental rewards can positively influence chemicals in the brain, keeping learners alert, energized, and wanting more. Lastly, gamification can translate into workforce skills like competition, imagination, and time management.
A gamified learning strategy doesn’t mean that you need to do a complete overhaul of your learning content. You need an LMS like Expectancy, that is built with gamification elements at its core.