How (and When) to Apply Gamification

Corporate Trainers; Learning & Development; K-12 Education | By: Erin Patrick

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Are you thinking about adding gamification to improve your engagement factor? Maybe you’re already using an engagement tool, but not leveraging it, and you’re wondering how it all works with training and learning in today’s virtual environment. Maybe your perception of games is that they’re fun for trivia but that’s about it. In this post, we will take a dive into how gamification can transform your training, and provide practical tips on how to apply these *game-changing* techniques for long-term success.

What is gamification and why is it important?

According to Cambridge dictionary, gamification means “the practice of making activities more like games in order to make them more interesting and enjoyable.” It can be described as the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications. In the context of gamification for serious learning, we apply this concept to content to meet learning outcomes and enrich our learning experience.

Why games?

After a year of a pandemic and remote engagement, finding connection can be a struggle, whether it’s in our working lives or personal lives.  As we start to emerge from lockdowns and Netflix bingeing, to return to an office or hybrid work environment, there may be some transition challenges we have yet to encounter.  Gamification not only delivers a powerful way to deliver content, but can also be an effective way to ease tension and bridge gaps. Because, let’s face it, we can all use a little more fun, and a little bit can go a long way!

How to use games as a review tool

One of the most common and effective methods to apply games to serious learning is as a review or assessment. Games allow you to compress your topic and demonstrate learning into shorter time periods, accelerating the speed of learning.

Here are two simple ways to use our games as a review or assessment tool (Note: we will use game templates for the BravoZone as our examples):

Build your content in Quiz Show or Spin-Off for an instructor-led or live session. These multi-category templates offer a lot of room for content to be delivered and reviewed, and could even replace part of a Powerpoint deck. (We recently did a webinar on this very subject, which you can check out here!)

  • Know what they know in real time and use that to inform your next session.

  • Enhance your game by adding video, audio, or graphics to your questions to make your content more compelling and your training more effective.

  • Determine if you want to also use it as a team building exercise, or have everyone go head-to-head.

  • Present your game live towards the end of your session to consolidate their learning and end on a high note.

  • Celebrate your top scorers with a gift certificate or lunch with the boss.

Build your content in Spark for a self-paced mini-module to send out via email or social media after a training session. Present your review or assessment in manageable chunks your learners can do on their own time.

  • Deliver your quiz or game after a session to reinforce your primary focus once retention has started to decrease

  • Identify knowledge gaps so that you can tailor your instruction to meet their needs

  • Access data and analytics to remediate

  • Connect with your team remotely in an engaging way

  • Celebrate your winners with a coffee and bagels or pizza party.

How to use games as an icebreaker for onboarding

Connect the dots with your new hires through fun with a purpose. Schedule time at the beginning of your first day. Collect some information from your new hires ahead of time:

• What’s your favorite food?
• Do you have any pets?
• If so, what kind?
• Where have you traveled?
• What’s the hardest part about working virtually for you?
• What’s the easiest part about working virtually for you?
• Best book you’ve ever read?
• What’s the last TV show you binged?
• If you could learn one new professional skill, what would it be?
• What is your most used emoji?
• You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick?

Build your content in
Spark for a self-paced mini-module to send out via email or social media after a training session. Present your review or assessment in manageable chunks your learners can do on their own time.

How to use games to boost your brand on your website

Brand recognition (in a virtual world) is always important, but what does your brand say about your culture? Does it convey your core values or communicate your vision? Or, does it provide a teachable moment on who you are and what it is you offer? Is it interactive? Posting a game on your website that offers a fun way for your clients or prospects to engage with your brand is a great way to apply gamification.

1) Select a self-paced mode or self-paced game template from our BravoZone suite.
2) Use the intuitive builder to customize your presentation with your logo and welcome video that introduces you to them.
3) Build content that reflects your company’s values, or maybe a quiz to see what your clients know about you (and what you want them to know about you)
4) Offer an incentive for completing the game or quiz that is relevant to your organization.

How to use the game analytics for instant feedback

Once you’ve completed your games and your engaging session with your group, you can then access the metrics to provide feedback and inform your next training session. Learners want and need feedback on the quality of their input- their successes and their errors. With the appropriate corrective feedback, this can become an invaluable learning opportunity that creates more and more teachable moments.

You can use our built-in LMS (Learning Management System) or your own since our templates are SCORM compatible, and get sophisticated data at your fingertips. This will help you better understand how the knowledge is transferred or where the gaps are happening so you can meet your learners where they are.

Remember the power of repetition

Optimize the effectiveness of spaced learning and just-in-time learning with the power of repetition. When we are learning something new, we retain more information for longer periods of time if we repeat that information. And, if we can consume this information more often over shorter periods of time with ‘nuggets’ of content that’s relevant to that primary focus, we will be much more likely to transfer that knowledge from short-term memory to long-term memory. This transfer of knowledge process is called “consolidation” in the psychology world, and the technique we apply here is microlearning. We recommend that you apply games to training before, during, and after a session.

* Introduce the concepts before a session and conduct a knowledge check
* Present during the session for maximum engagement and ability to practice
* Repeat after a session to reinforce learning and boost long-term retention

In the virtual environment of ever shrinking attention spans, this is perhaps the most powerful tool in your arsenal for boosting retention and improving learning outcomes, and gamification as  your go-to engagement tool will help deliver just that.

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About C3 SoftWorks

With over 35 years of involvement in education and training, we bring a deep understanding of the instructional challenges you face. Whether you’re teaching in the classroom, or over the web, our customizable training game software will help you present your content in the most engaging way.

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