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The term ‘gamification’ is seeping into many industries and verticals, like education and eLearning gamification to employee training and development . Gamification, in its simplest form, refers to the application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity, and is often used in a way to increase user adoption and overall engagement. It has become an excellent tool for motivating learners at a higher level, than traditional learning methods.
The best part? The benefits of making your programs or projects more game-like are tremendous. In a recent study, it was found that almost 80% of learners stated they would be more productive if their university, institution or workplace was more game-like. In fact, 61% of surveyed executives say that they actually take daily breaks throughout their workday to play games. These impressive statistics reflect the growing interest in and usage of gamification.
When it comes to eLearning gamification in particular, how can you enhance the learning experience for your users, through implementing successful strategies and tactics?
We’ve gone ahead and done the research for you, so that you, and your business, can be aware of these strategies now, prior to incorporating eLearning gamification into your business.
There’s nothing worse than awarding points or redemptions for just about everything, whether it’s the click of a mouse or a response to a simple question. If you create incentives or rewards for even the smallest of tasks, this move can run the risk of impacting the entire concept of gamification, often in a negative way. If it’s too easy for users to gain incentives, they might not feel like they need to return to the eLearning modules or courses; alternatively, if it’s too difficult, you can run the risk of the user feeling defeated about their performance. Be sure to test your eLearning program for incentives, and attempt to find the sweet spot for both incentives and awards.
If you’re not in beta test mode with a select and small group of users, this may be the reason why you have bugs in your programming code. Successful gamification requires near perfection when building a system, otherwise users could feel frustrated with the experience - and perhaps not return for another course, module or program. It’s important that you and the developers test the program again and again to mitigate the risk of finding bugs once deployed. As the project timeline is put together, allow more time than you think you might be needed for testing and deployment, just to be on the safe side.
Much like being mindful of your incentives, it’s important to communicate everything clearly when it comes to eLearning gamification; this means all content from your course material to your incentive program structure. From the copy within your course syllabus, to the introduction of the course on the first page of a PDF manual, ensure all copy is crystal clear before publishing and sharing with your audience.
When a company launches a gamification addition to their project or product, it’s important to monitor and moderate users around-the-clock - especially if your eLearning modules are available to use 24/7. This is most important during the deployment phase, though customer service and response should be built in to your program even after a beta phase. Whether it’s receiving feedback from users about a course, or an incentive inquiry for your eLearning gamification, one of the keys to success in a gamification program is to ensure you are responsive to users and their inquiries.
When it comes to marketing of any kind, it’s integral that you understand your target persona - or your target audience. This includes everything from their age and location to their gender and interests. Not only will this help tailor your eLearning course syllabus, it will truly help outline and deploy your gamification program. Understanding your target audience will aid in building your program, adding incentives and optimizing over time.
The global gamification market is growing - and growing rapidly. By 2018, it is expected that this market will reach $5.5 billion. This significant growth is a clear indicator of the increased wide-spread utilization of gamification in the market place. If you’re thinking of adding an eLearning gamification program for your training and development needs for your business, the time is certainly now.
Designing Digitally, Inc. can assist you to develop your eLearning gamification program and ensure that it includes these five critical keys for a successful program rollout.