Corporate Training, Keeping it Fresh: Gamification in Online Learning
Gamification | By: The Bob Pike Group
How does game-based training affect the way we learn?
E-learning has long been used in place of in-class learning sessions and is most often implemented as the go-to tool for new employees and to provide on-the-job training. This keeps your employees up to speed on valuable workplace skills needed.
Bringing gamification onto the scene may seem on the surface, somewhat contrary to the purpose of the corporate e-learning session but it is in fact more beneficial than earlier thought.
Some people do imagine these would be learning ‘games’ that may seem to be expensive and unwieldy. Yet others imagine a sort of ‘Olympics’ of events squaring the learners off with each other in a race to the finish line (whatever that may actually be). It’s probably best to start with what gamification actually entails and how it will benefit the business.
What it is and what it’s not
First things first; gamification is not ‘video games at work’. It isn’t about wining badges and smiley’s or digital coins. It isn’t about masking the work in a veneer by putting a game on top of it. Gamification is about game design methods and game mechanics used in non-game scenarios. Think about using this approach at work to drive performance. The leading driver of gamification does not rest with cash rewards or competition. These factors are known to create a threatening or unfair or alienating experience for employees. They are known as extrinsic factors demotivating us in the long run. Nope, in this case the leading driver to learning motivation within gamification focuses on intrinsic motivators. It’s that feeling of control and confidence we feel when we are doing a great job!
When done well, the combination of e-learning and gamification drives engagement, performance and motivation, all leading to great benefits for the company or organization.
Gamified e-learning: Motivating your teams
Simply put, not all e-learning is created equal. It has to be meaningful and engaging to the employees. It won’t work with standard templates used generically for each company. The true test in e-learning comes from achieving the e-learning criteria necessary to give truly valuable and meaningful experiences to the learners.
- It should help learners (employees) transform learning into excellence of performance
- Improved abilities and confidence met by creating a readiness to learn
- Enables continuous assessment of the employee’s performance during the session
- Makes the most use of the learners’ time spent in training
- It should be personalized and use adaptive learning
- It should create spaced repetition to underscore earlier information
- It should be able to deliver behavioral change
The benefits of e-learning Microlearning: On-demand bite-sized learning materials accessed whenever and wherever an employee requires them. It gives your learners control and autonomy over the e-learning process. Microlearning is small. It is manageable when learning items like tutorials, tasks, short simulations or even five-minute quizzes.
Getting social: What pushes collaboration and innovation is the fun and social elements of the learning (a ‘world war Z’ narrative in which your learners contribute hints to each other). Learning in a social setting encourages communication and interaction between learners. It is designed to help employees adjust behavior based on the new materials learned.
Communicating: With gamified e-learning, companies can teach employees about new products, services, upcoming changes or any updates ahead. It is designed to be easy to administer and is often used after the initial run as a great tool to deliver information.
Compliance: It’s no longer a ‘bad thing’ for companies to get employees to learn new things. Using a fun, interactive and personalized way to learn encourages employees to self-motivate their own learning.
Repeat training: The days of walk into a room and learn something that you may forget the next day are over. Microlearning is the perfect example for spaced repetition training. Also known as subscription learning, it is proven that learners retain this knowledge much longer.
Tying in performance metrics: E-learning through gamification gives your learners instant, real-time feedback. For example, let’s say you have an employee struggling with selling a certain product. This can trigger adjusted applicable e-learning, offering the employee feedback and giving them the opportunity to fix their performance, improve their skills, and perhaps boosting their motivation. These are all creating the intrinsic feeling of your employee feeling like they’ve accomplished a job well done!
Sign up for The Bob Pike Group’s Gamification in Training workshop to receive the tools you need to add variety to your training immediately without expensive equipment or software.