If you’ve been following this blog, you know that gamification is an incredibly effective e-learning instructional design technique.
- It increases participation, retention, and engagement.
- It’s especially effective for adult learners.
- It reduces cognitive overload.
- It makes performance management fun.
- It improves brand audience engagement and increases sales team motivation.
In a nutshell, games make everything better. That includes learning.
A gamified learning environment improves learning outcomes. So when you plan the elements that will go into creating your gamified environment, here’s a framework you can use…
1. Set challenges, don’t define goals
Every e-learning course begins with an objective or goal. However, words matter! Don’t begin the program with a boring slide that says “Course Objective: To improve verbal communication skills”. Instead, start off with an animated slide that says something like:
YOUR CHALLENGE: To get more confident and precise in verbal communication, in 15 sessions or less
2. Structure the learning journey in the form of levels
It is possible to present your content as a series of traditional learning modules, but honestly, that’s pretty boring. Instead, level up your instructional design with a levels-based map to the learning journey. In practical terms, that means keeping modules short and increasing excitement at the completion of each.
3. Provide feedback immediately at the end of each level
Don’t wait for the end of the course for detailed feedback. Provide instant feedback whenever possible. This way, your learners can keep track of their standing against learning goals and take steps to improve their performance.
4. Use scores, badges, and public leaderboards to leverage the competitive spirit
The learner’s Score is an objective, number-based indicator of performance. Your learners earn points based on specific accomplishments. As their Score rises, your learners gain gratification and a sense of accomplishment. By reflecting these Scores on a publicly visible Leaderboard, learners get a pictorial view of their progress, both personally and against other members of the cohort. In parallel, they can earn Badges upon achievement of significant milestones.
5. Balance competition and collaboration
Public leaderboards drive the competitive spirit, which is great because competition is a major human motivator. Let learners play against their colleagues and effectively assess their standing in the peer group. At the same time, make sure you balance competition with collaboration to prevent over-competition in the workplace. Include collaborative elements of team-building and interpersonal engagement so that learners can leverage the support of peers or guidance from experts to meet their goals.
There are other elements that go into great gamification instructional design, such as game design, storytelling, and character design. These vary based on your industry and course objectives. However, as a general rule, make sure that your characters reflect the diversity of your audience.
Allow us to help you keep your learners engaged and aligned. Get in touch today.
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