Gamification has been a hot buzzword in the learning space for awhile. All kinds of learning tech—from the LMS to the simple mobile apps—all claim to incorporate gamification. It’s why 80% of Forbes 2000 companies had plans as far back as 2014 to introduce gamification into their learning programs. And it is why the gamification industry is growing at a rate of 46% while the LMS industry is shrinking at a rate of 36%.

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Gamification doesn’t work as an afterthought

But in the rush to jump on the gamification bandwagon, the truth is that most learning technologies have simply bolted on some sort of gamification add on. Sure, it allows them to say they’ve got this covered. But because gamification has been an afterthought and not top of mind from the get-go, the features fall short of expectations.

This approach has also caused confusion because the word has come to mean many different things. What do you think about when you hear the word? Badges? Game play? Rewards? These are definitely game mechanics that work. But when oversimplified, they don’t do anything to boost learning results. Is it any wonder many leaders still struggle to see their value?

Gamification of learning is more than badging

To truly use gamification in corporate training to boost memory and drive ongoing learning engagement, you have to do it right. This means, weaving in a number of game mechanics (game play, points, leaderboards and rewards) into the way learning is delivered to make it successful. Instead of being add-ons that don’t really have anything to do with the learning at all, you must have an overarching strategy to integrate game mechanics that make sense for driving a specific goal:

  • Game Play – Games are great for driving fun and engagement. Mix microlearning content with the game itself so it’s not a separate entity. That way employees will learn while they play. They’ll even learn more effectively by playing the game because their mind will be put into a state of “flow”.
  • Points and Rewards – Use points and rewards as incentives to keep people coming back. As employees complete training, give them points that they can bank. Then let them cash in their points for prizes.
  • Leaderboards – Use leaderboards to spur some friendly competition and motivate everyone to participate. Leaderboards should showcase how individuals stack up against their peers in their knowledge on key learning topics. And if employees are part of a team learning initiative, they should be able to see how well their team is doing too.
  • Badges – Foster recognition and continued motivation with badges. Display a badge each time an employee achieves milestones like achieving a high score, answering a specific number of questions correctly, completing certain training sessions, and more.
  • Social Elements – Keep everyone in the know about all your learning successes. Use things like news feeds to let everyone know when a team member achieves a high game score or graduates from a learning topic. This allows everyone to cheer each other on and keeps them motivated to continue.

 

Gamification Resources to get you started

Inspired to gamify your learning program the right way? Check out this page on our website for the top Gamification Resources or click directly on the resources below:

Gamification WorkbookThe ultimate guide for transforming your business with gamification

WebinarProof gamification is impacting business performance

Articles

Laura Martin

Author: Laura Martin

Laura loves nothing more than to roll up her sleeves and dig in. She’s a process person: give her a blank slate of a business and watch as she takes it from obscure to renowned—and beyond. It’s exactly what she did when she launched Axonify’s strategic marketing efforts and put the company on the map. As VP of Marketing Laura’s a big part of why we’re so personable and charming, and her verve fuels our push to shake up the learning space with leading-edge thinking.

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