Key Components of Learning Gamification

Designing Digitally


KeyComponents of Learning Gamification

Learning gamification sometimes gets a bad rap. Those who aren’t familiar with the method may view it as frivolous or a waste of time and resources. They assume it is simply a way to make employees feel good by earning meaningless rewards. The truth is just the opposite.

It’s about much more than taking everyday activities and attaching badges or achievements to them. There’s nothing wrong with badges and achievements, of course, but there is much more involved in gamification than just making learners feel good by participating in a game.

The flow

One of the greatest benefits of learning gamification is the ability to pull users into a mental state of immersion in the activity. The learner is fully engaged in what they’re doing. It’s commonly called being “in the zone” or “the flow.”

The flow is important because it is the point when the greatest learning is taking place. The mind is completely focused on the task at hand and information is being absorbed.

Foundational elements

There are three basic components to an effective learning gamification program.

  • Action. The learner is performing an activity that is directly related to the learning objectives. For example, an employee may be required to make a certain number of sales calls.
  • Challenge. The learner will be given a certain mission, quest, or challenge they are expected to complete by a certain deadline. Per the earlier example, the employee is expected to complete the specified number of sales calls within a certain amount of time.
  • Reward. The learner earns a reward of some sort for successfully completing the desired activity. In line with the example, the employee earns a sales call badge for completing the calls within the time limit.

Sustaining learning gamification

Real, lasting learning happens when the learner remains engaged over the course of the entire training program. There are some key elements of gamification that can sustain learning.

  • The activities should mirror real-life situations. In order for an elearning program to have real-life impact, it’s important that the activities mimic actual scenarios that an employee may face in the course of their jobs.
  • The difficulty should grow incrementally. Starting off with manageable, easier to overcome challenges will build confidence in the player, as well as giving them a chance to understand the mechanics of the game before things get more difficult.
  • All of the content should support the learning objectives. Adding too much arbitrary information only causes learners confusion and possibly frustration. They need to have a clear focus from the very beginning.
  • Set smaller goals within the larger ones. This is a good way to frequently monitor progress as a learner works through different levels or units of the elearning game.
  • Go easy on the rewards. Keep rewards in the proper perspective. A true interest in and engagement with the content should be the greatest motivator as opposed to a reward.
  • Strike a balance between healthy competition and completion. Some learners are driven by the competition with peers, while others are more focused on their own successful completion of the game. Balance is key.

The entire objective of learning gamification is to increase the learner’s engagement to a point where they comprehend at a deep level.  This greater comprehension leads to a desired change in behavior.

Contact Designing Digitally, Inc. to learn how they can help your organization incorporate learning gamification to increase employee engagement and retention, raise productivity, and positively impact profitability.