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Mobile device users are no stranger to frequent notifications. From morning until night, phones and tablets are abuzz with alerts of one kind or another. Receiving these constant digital announcements has become part of our daily lives.
As game based learning continues to leave its mark on education, the potential arises for a crossover between digital alerts and the elearning market. The notion to use push notifications for the enhancement of gamified training is beginning to come to light.
Elearning game developers and educators alike are constantly seeking ways to keep learners engaged and wanting to discover more knowledge.
Think about what happens when someone gets a notification. They see it, open it, and interact with it in some way. For example, a text message is received, the recipient opens it, reads it, and responds.
Elearning can tap into that potential in the same way. Imagine a learner receives a message pertaining to a concept in a larger gamified training, the learner opens it, and is required to interact with it in some way. It only makes sense for an elearning experience to take advantage of a system that is already set up to be responsive and is commonplace to the user.
Consider the attraction of a regular video game. The player has a specific task to accomplish, be it defeating a dragon and saving a princess, or ridding the world of evil. Each level brings the player closer to that goal as they defeat foes and earn rewards. Sometimes the player is competing against another player, and other times the competition is one’s self. In either scenario, the general idea is the same: overcome obstacles to reach an end goal.
Now picture those same concepts in the gamification of training. The foes to defeat are different and the prize may not be a princess, but the ideas of competition and reward are still a part of the process. They are the motivating factors to see the game through to completion. Take these ideas a step further and imagine how effective the use of push notifications can be.
Consider the example of Mary. Mary is taking an online training course for her new job. As part of the training, she receives several notifications throughout the day. At each notification, Mary is required to complete a quick and simple task that pertains to her job training. As she works through the tasks, she is earning badges for her efforts.
Mary is also able to see that she is earning more badges than her peers. The result is that Mary is motivated to do her best, keep earning badges, and stay ahead of the competition.
Push notifications are a technology that is very familiar to almost everyone. Trainers who utilize gamification should take advantage of that familiarity to reinforce topics and content outside of the established learning experience.