eLearning in the Workplace
As businesses and organizations grow, employee training at a large scale becomes crucial to support company engagement, expansion and encourage internal employee progression into leadership roles. eLearning platforms are becoming more prevalent in sales and operational industries to help train new employees. Many companies are reporting increases in sales numbers, employee engagement, as well as more team members being promoted to leadership positions. Culture plays a big factor in determining what type of curriculum and content will have the greatest impact on the team and company. Many businesses are exploring Gamification techniques within their Learning Management System (LMS) to make learning more compelling to the users.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is not the “gaming” you are thinking of — it is very different than playing video games or computer games — but does utilize some similar concepts like leaderboards, badges and awards. Gamification is the application of game design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Do you remember the computer games, Math Munchers and The Oregon Trail? These are great examples of Gamification and eLearning from the good old ‘90s.
The goal of Gamification is to elevate the content by making it fun to absorb. Gamification techniques with high levels of engagement provide users with a better learning experience; they do this by being able to grow their knowledge in a private setting that allows superiors to monitor progress and provide instant feedback. When Gamification is done right it can lead to an increase in content retention and can prompt behavioral modification in the workplace. From a Manager’s perspective, Gamification can support customer service initiatives, increase onboarding efforts, and boost company sales. Business owners can see the impact have a positive effect on leadership development, as well as their bottom line.
Some successful Gamification techniques include:
- Point systems and leaderboards
- Interactive quizzes and instant feedback
- Badge assignment when users reach key milestones
- Leveling up
- Audio and visual content strategy
- Progress bar
These concepts combined or stand-alone support personalized learning experiences that recognize and reward users for their advancement; this creates a sense of progression and accomplishment in the user’s mind. When people feel recognized they intrinsically want to continue to grow and accomplish more. These feel-good reactions help support knowledge retention and increase engagement leaving users hungry for more.
Gamification is Bigger Than Badges and Points
Gamification within eLearning platforms is not all about earning a badge for reading the company handbook, it’s much bigger than that and can depend on their business’ motivation. For example, if you want to increase your sales team’s performance a point system with badge recognition is a solid concept. Badges and leaderboards promote employee’s competitive drive and could work well in that workspace. We recommend that you keep your company culture in mind when implementing a point system, you don’t want to alienate employees from each other or create internal hostility.
If a business’ goals are onboarding and training new employees quickly, a combination of interactive videos and quizzes in a levelling up scenario can help learners retain and recall knowledge quickly. This scenario is great because it also allows Management to test the user’s progress. Because industries and their goals vary, choosing the right Gamification technique(s) will vary; the last thing you want is for your concept to be rolled out before gathering insight internally – you don’t want it to be a flop. If you are unsure what techniques would be most effective and beneficial to your business, we are happy to schedule a consultation to help determine what gamified curriculum will work best for your team and business.
You have probably been exposed to more Gamification examples than you realize. From fitness apps like Fitbit to Starbucks loyalty program, Gamification is everywhere. One of our favorite learning apps is DuoLingo which is a mobile app that teaches native English speakers a new language of their choice. DuoLingo uses the following Gamification techniques effectively and we can attest that they will get you hooked!
- Interactive quizzes that test your written translations, spoken translations as well as multiple choice questions for variety
- Instant feedback for correct answers and it shows you what you missed
- Points for correct answers
- Badges for regular app logins, progress and improvement
- Levelling up to new categories
DuoLingo has been so successful that schools are adopting the platform. They even did a case study to test its effectiveness against a normal classroom curriculum and gauge student satisfaction with the application.
Check out one of our successful eLearning projects for TEAM OREGON that has replaced the need for an in-classroom course. It has been so successful that other states are adopting and customizing the curriculum to fit their unique needs.
Data is great! Tracking logins and progression through modules can allow Management to gauge which Gamification techniques are successful and which could be abandoned. Look at the data but also speak with your users, they are going to give you direct feedback of their experience and can surface pain points and insights that wouldn’t otherwise be shown by only looking at numbers. Another approach to measuring your eLearning success is by A/B testing your Gamification approaches by allowing users to “unlock” new features based on their progression or levelling up; you can introduce new recognition or reward techniques to see how it lands with users who are already engaged and actively using the LMS.
A key success point for effective eLearning Gamification strategy is ensuring that the users are engaged using the application and more importantly, enjoying learning and retaining content. If users don’t enjoy the user experience or the content and Gamification strategy employed, they will be less likely to adopt the platform. Make learning fun, engaging, and make it memorable. As technology continues to advance, we will likely be seeing more eLearning applications utilizing artifical intelligence and augmented reality (AI/AR) to take their curriculums and Gamification techniques to the next level – we can’t wait!