Training and skill development is a business element that can be rife with friction for instructors. How can trainees be kept engaged and participating? Why is skill retention failing? E-learning solutions, such as gamification, are resolving these problems, making it easier than ever to implement highly effective training strategies.
From user badges to progress bars to avatars and leaderboards, gamification has become a highly attractive way to spin the learning experience into a win-win interaction between instructors and users through remote channels.
When we say “gamification,” it may elicit different reactions. For some, the idea of promulgating a fun and light-hearted workspace is exciting. For others, it may bring anxiety, fearing that “gaming” anything may show bad taste or damage credibility.
So what is “gamification?” Hopefully, a clear explanation can reel in unrealistic expectations and reassure those who are disquieted.
Gamification integrates game concepts (score-keeping, achievement, and leader rank boards) into non-game settings.
When applied to employee training and upskilling, gamification can result in increased engagement, performance, and efficiency. Despite the connotations of its name, gamification is not necessarily playful. Instead, it should be understood as a category of strategic tools that can be leveraged to enhance training regardless of context.
E-learning platforms leverage gamification concepts as one of many persuasion tactics to increase participant engagement and performance. For Techinnov, gamification is a method to create “safe spaces” or micro-worlds in an e-learning experience where trainees can easily detach from mental occupation and “escape” within a digital platform.
Even with tight schedules, gamification can provide trainees with a smooth entry point to make committed decisions to participate in the course material, consume it, and retain it.
When e-learning courses and lessons are infused with gaming elements, they become more engaging for learners, driving the motivation to interact with course material when prompted and increasing overall performance outcomes.
A 2020 study showed gamification resulted in university students achieving higher point averages, achievements, and user logins rates than students in traditional instruction. In a recent market study, Techinnov observed more than half of participants achieve 100% more efficiency in second-language learning retention when engaging in simple, 10-minute gamified e-learning sessions.
So why does gamification have such an impact?
For one, it taps into a user’s psychological reward system, bringing a sense of satisfaction and gratification when engaging with modules. A renowned psychological study on video games’ impact on users showed gaming triggers significant levels of dopamine.
On the other hand, gaming elements amplify common organizational and goal-setting practices that make learning more user-friendly.
How explicit this gamification appears in a course may vary from platform to platform based on capabilities and between administrators based on preference. Techinnovs’ e-learning solution allows instructors to personalize gamification based on individual users’ preferences and progress, and module levels themselves can be customized with gaming elements.
This means gamification can be more peripheral or up-front, depending on what a user may require or what a module topic may benefit from.
Let’s explore some of the more popular elements that are used to gamify the learning experience:
Reward — A point system for learning and training is an age-old concept in learning. For example, teachers will, in a sense, quantify a student’s performance with a number or letter grade. Providing a scoring and point rubric for successfully completing a training module can help learners feel invested in participation. Displays showing a user’s lifetime point earnings can help learners feel confident in their progress and reinforce motivation to engage in training in the future.
Achievement — A learning management system or e-learning course can add feedback achievement features such as badges or ranks that can encourage long-form dedication as well as give recognition for historical progress. When users can aim at a series of tasks for achievement, they can feel a sense of purpose and direction.
Goal Visualization — Progress bars and course maps can help track and acknowledge advancement in the user journey, whether that be within a single lesson or an overall training course. These elements provide a visualization of how much has been accomplished while simultaneously reminding the user of how much remains and perhaps preparing them for future lessons.
Peer Comparison — Leaderboards and tier charts can take achievement, reward, and progress elements and socialize them for professional competition. When standings are shared with administrators and peers, many may feel inspired and driven to engage with content more immediately and thoroughly.
Narrative — When training falls within a certain scenario or broader storyline, a learning experience can become more immersive and lead to higher levels of interaction. For example, a sales training module could be presented as a mock client sale journey, where following best practices and corporate guidelines, or accurately identifying the details of an ongoing promotion can lead to progressing closer to securing an account.
E-learning platforms and learning management systems have made gamification of course content easy and highly efficient. Platform management enables instructors to pull in pre-designed gamification software elements and implement them within a course. Techinnov’s e-learning solutions equip instructors and training managers with corporate-grade gamification capabilities, which can be personalized based on the course and individual user.
To learn more about how Techinnov can help you leverage gamification to simplify training, contact us to begin an assessment.
Gamification is the integration of game concepts into non-game settings, such as fitness, sales, and training.
When content is gamified, trainees typically show higher retention levels, more engagement, and better performance with learning materials.
The most common elements of gamification include rewards, achievement, goal visualization, peer comparison, and narratives. These elements can each take a variety of forms and can be leveraged in different ways, including point scoring, leaderboards, achievement recognition, and rewards.
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