Skip to content

Getting to grips with gamification. Five top tips for beginners

How do you feel about learning games? Perhaps you’re a convert who’s seen how games can lift the culture of learning.

Or maybe you’re unsure, worried that games might not be adult enough, might not be serious enough, might not be cheap enough.

In one ear, out the other

One of the first questions I ask L&D professionals is whether they worry about the effectiveness of passive, reading based e-learning. Did they ever wonder if their audience has just skimmed through a course and won’t retain any of their new knowledge? The result is always a resounding yes.

It turns out that this is a sensible worry, it’s not uncommon for a learner to forget 25% of what they learnt in a page-turner e-learning course within just a few hours and 50% within 48 hours.

Why does this happen? In most cases, it’s because learners aren’t getting a chance to apply their knowledge within a reasonable time frame.

This means it goes in one ear, floats around for a couple of days then floats straight out of the other ear to make space for the next batch of short term information. TRY A FREE DEMO MODULE

Gamification will engage your learners

Rather than expecting learners to absorb information through reading, we can merge game features and online learning to create an environment where our people learn through doing, through winning and losing and through competing. And they can have some fun at the same time.

Sounds great, but where do you start? Here are five design secrets for getting started with gamification, regardless of your tool or budget:

1 | prioritise impact. your learners will be expecting the ‘same old’ – make sure the first thing they see when they enter the course proves them wrong. Animations, videos and avatars all make for impact if you’ve got the budget, but a simple ‘Are you ready to play?’ immediately followed by a first-person scenario will work just as well.

2 | build in motivation. gameplay is all about motivation. Some motivations are intrinsic – driven by the individual wanting to feel good; others are extrinsic – driven by external rewards like praise, ranking or money.So think about your audience; what will motivate them to complete this learning and how can you build those incentives in? Bear in mind that praise from a manager can be just as powerful as a points system or online leader board.

3 | be unpredictable and challenging. it’s easy to lose your audience if they know what to expect or if things are too easy. Fill your gamified course with a range of challenging questions, scenarios and activities that force learners to reflect and make tough decisions.

4 | build in risk. risk is a key part of gameplay as it ups the stakes. If you’ve included a scoring system then try manipulating it to have high-stake questions. Alternatively, you could create easy/medium/difficult paths through the learning where risks and rewards increase with each level.

5 | don’t forget adult learning principles. this last point is key – your game principles should add to your adult learning experience rather than detracting from it. Make sure you still give your learners choice on how they approach their learning, keep all your games and activities relevant to how learners will use the information on the job and embrace failure and repetition. TRY A FREE DEMO MODULE

Gamification in your hands, today

Do you want to know some really great news? We’ve just added some highly requested game features into our Adapt Builder, meaning you’ll be able to embed these into your training, with ease.

Making effective technology easy to use for our customers is something we’re very proud of. And, with the release of our Compliance Learning catalogue, we’ve made this sophisticated tech, simple for you to include in your training programme. The high end suite includes 17 Adapt modules that provide a truly premium learning experience.

Compliance Learning, from Learning Pool, uses game based thinking, mechanics and aesthetics to engage and motivate learners, to grab attention and increase knowledge retention. Even more, it’s quality assured, with the stamp of approval from the Institute of Leadership and Management, and easy to edit in line with your brand and much more.

Got a learning problem to solve?

Get in touch to discover how we can help

CTA background