Incorporating game play into eLearning

Incorporating Gameplay into eLearningLet’s face it: the common perception of eLearning is that it’s about as exciting as filling out a tax return. Click through text; mix in a little audio, some video and a few tick-box quizzes. Not the most entertaining way to spend an hour or two. Most users plan for ’30 minutes of pain’, where their focus is simply to ‘pass the final quiz’ and then, ‘hey presto’ the deed is done and the eLearning is shelved, never to be used again. But how can this kind of attitude stimulate effective learning?

Companies use eLearning to up-skill, train and develop staff in a cost-effective way. PwC recently surveyed 1,200 CEO’s and found that 24% were forced to cancel or delay important strategic initiatives because of ‘talent constraints’. In other words, they felt that their workforce did not have the knowledge and skills to deliver. Moreover, 30% of CEOs felt they could not innovate or compete effectively because of talent constraints within their team.

It’s a problem. Most eLearning does not work, and organisations need to train and develop staff in a cost-effective way. Change is hard to achieve within organisations. Well-intentioned training and engagement programmes often have little or no impact on actual behaviour and money disappears for little or no result.

So the pressure is on for L&D professionals: what can be done to ensure that any money spent on training, communication and culture
change programmes delivers?

How about trying something radical? Why not try embedding gaming concepts like leadership boards, progress bars and badges into eLearning and training development programmes?

Here’s why:

• Gamification (the application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming scenarios) ensures that the training appeals to the innate human instinct towards ‘fun’. Gamification leverages the fundamental need to achieve, get rewards, attain status, engage in competition, collaborate and express themselves.

• Staff engage more with a gamified approach. In fact, research shows they spend over 50% longer on learning and training with gamification features

• Gamification increases participation – staff experiencing gamified training are 86% more active than those accessing non-gamified training.

The Result: employees training with gamified eLearning take in and retain more information, attain higher skill levels all whilst enjoying it more!

So if you really do want your training change behaviour, focus on making it fun!

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