Gamified Training: Types of Gamification in Employee Learning

Designing Digitally


Types of Gamification

Gamification in employee training has been a valuable part of workplace learning. Gamification is when you add gaming elements to a learning experience. It is not a learning game itself, but the training content is enhanced by features that would be commonly seen in video games. 

The benefits of adding characteristics like healthy competition, immediate feedback, and awards are adding a deeper level of engagement for employees. Gamification in employee training has changed the face of traditional training, and businesses and consumers are reaping the rewards.

While “gamification” is more commonly known, not everyone is familiar with the types of gamification. The two gamification types, content and structural, function differently, but both still provide advantages to learning.

Structural gamification

Structural gamification involves applying game elements to move your learners through content with no changes or alterations to the content itself. This type of gamification focuses on motivating employees to work through the content, keeping them engaged by offering rewards.

One example of this type of gamification in training is allowing your staff to earn points for watching an instructional video or completing a training activity. The points incentivize training completion as employees work to gain the most points they can. 

Some of the other examples of structural gamification include game mechanics such as: 

  • Points. Learners earn points for doing specific tasks, like watching a video or completing an assignment.

  • Badges and Achievements. Learners earn badges and achievements as they work through various learning objectives and complete training goals.

  • Levels. As players move through the content, it continues to build on the previous concepts.

  • Leaderboards. Learners' " ranking " and achievements are displayed on a leaderboard to show who the top training performers are.

  • Social element. As learners see what their co-workers are achieving or possibly struggling with, they are encouraged to help each other. Social learning is a critical factor in success; you can reinforce this through training programs.

It’s important to remember that structural gamification adds external factors to make an activity game-like but doesn’t change the content. Even if story elements, like characters, are a part of gamification, the learning content remains the same.

Content gamification

In the case of content gamification, the training content itself is altered to make it more game-like. It doesn’t necessarily have to become a full serious game but instead adds games or activities into the content. The focus is to increase user engagement by attaching interactive elements like challenges, feedback loops, storytelling, and learning from mistakes to offer an engaging training experience.

In this type of gamification, employees explore and learn material without being provided learning objectives from the beginning. For instance, staff could explore a virtual tour and locate hidden items, indicating an understanding of the training topic through the game mechanics within the training. The tour is part of the training content itself.

Another example of content gamification is beginning the training with an entertaining activity to introduce the course and intrigue users instead of starting with a list of learning objectives and getting rewarded after completing specific tasks. 

Read also:  Learning, Gamification, ad the Science Behind It All

What Type of Gamification is Better?

Whether a training program utilizes structural gamification or content gamification, the results are positive in terms of engaging employees in activities that will aid them in performing their jobs to a high standard. Corporations train their employees to be an asset to their business, and using gamification in learning, content or structural, achieves that goal.

At Designing Digitally we help companies create gamified learning experiences that help achieve improved employee performance and business goals. We customize training programs for companies across the U.S. and Canada and have the expertise to handle your requirements and deliver exceptional learning. Get in touch with our team if you are interested in discussing your training and development needs and learning more about our services


Please note this blog was updated on 10/31/22 by our team.