The online training landscape is constantly evolving and innovating. Gamification is now a regular feature in many e-learning programmes. Although it brings an element of fun into the user experience, what is important is if it contributes to the learning experience.
To ensure learners succeed, content and delivery need to be relatable and meaningful. This can be a challenge when training large numbers of learners in a corporate environment. Learners need to be engaged and remain so for the training to benefit them. Technically speaking, gamification uses game logic and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage and motivate learners in solving problems. By using game strategies, gamification has proven to be particularly effective in the world of e-learning and corporate training.
Failing in a safe environment
Often from failing a module or course, learners gain more knowledge than they would from passing on the first attempt. Gamification allows learners to learn in multiple ways even when they fail. Due to the ‘fun’ learning environment created through game elements, there is far less harm caused to their self-esteem. Learners benefit from a relaxed environment that does not judge failure harshly; learners can simply try again until they get it right.
By nature, humans are competitive. Gamification in training allows learners the opportunity to compete against their colleagues in a friendly and enjoyable way. By keeping the psychological aspect of a reward system in mind, gamification allows a pleasurable learning experience through achievement. Learners are more likely to complete their training modules and explore the LMS to find more opportunities to gain extra ‘points’.
Multiple studies have been conducted to show the impact of the digital age on knowledge retention and attention spans. The overall approach of gamification ensures that a learner’s knowledge retention is boosted. Information retention happens when someone not only processes information but actively does something with the information they have gained.
Gamifying training depends entirely on a business’ goals and needs. Using it for the sake of engagement and fun is never cost-effective. However, gamification is a great option if the objective is to increase current engagement and results from existing mandatory e-learning programmes.
Successful gamification begins with organisational objectives. Once these objectives have been clearly defined, the gamification will greatly increase learner engagement and retention.
Gamification is also well incorporated into the community features of an online training platform. Awards for training achievements or progress, such as badges, can be shared and displayed on community forums and leaderboards. This promotes competition, while the online community also facilitates easy peer-to-peer help.