This is the second in a three-part series about the benefits of utilizing a rewards-based educational system in your organization. If you missed part one, feel free to check it out here.
Today, we’re going to delve in to one key aspect of today’s modern learning management system: gamification.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of using games, or game elements, in an education setting. This process has several benefits, including:
- Improving user engagement
- Increasing motivation
- Boosting creativity
- Creating a more interactive experience
- Increasing longevity of retained information
The idea of using game-formatted education isn’t new (it can actually be traced to the 19th century!), but it has never been more popular. In fact, a simple Google search about gamification and learning will pull up hundreds of results on this topic, from studies and textbooks to articles and education forums. Why? There are a few reasons. We’ll break it down:
- The majority of target audiences have constant access to a mobile device
- Our social network-based society makes it easier than ever to share game progress and accomplishments
- LMS platforms are becoming more popular, especially those that use tools like gamification to enhance the user experience
- The success of digital games in the marketing industry makes for a natural progression to the internal education sector
It’s easy to see why gamification is so effective in the realm of education. Canadian teacher Scott Herbert got it right in the introduction to his 2018 Tedx talk when he referred to education as one of the most “static, stagnant things that is accepted” by today’s society.
For most people, education invokes a negative connotation—school =boring. If you’re like most people, the word “education” immediately conjures up long rows of school desks and textbooks—neither of which are at all exciting, especially for employees or business builders who are no longer in formal school settings.
However, continuing education is essential to success in the workforce, and as a leader in your organization, you need to find a way to not only present necessary information to your employees and/or business builders, you need to do it in a way that encourages active, engaged learning. That’s where gamification comes in.
Effective Learning Through Play
A study by Traci Sitzmann, an assistant professor of management at the University of Colorado Denver Business School found that “employees trained on video games learned more factual information, attained a higher skill level and retained information longer than workers who learned in less interactive environments.”
That’s significant, especially when you consider that according to the Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits up to 95%. Likewise, selling something new to an existing customer is 40% more likely than acquiring a new customer. Additionally, ensuring the spread of consistent information is vital to maintaining your brand and avoiding sticky compliance issues. The more effectively you can accomplish that, the better.
How to do it Right
Here’s the deal: You may have a miraculous product, unmatched compensation and a company culture like none other, but unless you have an effective way to teach others about these key components of your company, you’re unlikely to attain the level of customer attraction you’re looking for. Gamification is your key to achieving this, but It may not be as easy as it sounds. If you’re going to invest into a gamified LMS, you want to make sure you’re getting the most “bang for your buck” and that your efforts (and money) won’t be wasted. Here are our top four tips for effectively implementing a gamification and rewards-based learning system:
- Make sure it drives your point home. The point is to teach reinforce correct information, but today’s average employee has a shorter attention span than ever before, so focus your gamification efforts on what you want users to know the most.
- Utilize thoughtful rewards. Shareable badges and leaderboards can be effective in conjunction with more tangible rewards, but alone they aren’t typically enough of an incentive to motivate users to continue their educational journey.
- Encourage feedback. If your users are still slow to adopt your LMS after gamification is introduced, don’t be afraid to ask why. Their feedback will be your most valuable asset as you work to develop a system that effectively teaches, trains and engrosses the people you’re looking to teach.
- Use it semi-sparingly. Just like any feature, overusing gamification in your business can desensitize your audience and make it less impactful over time. You want the gamification aspects of your LMS to be fresh and exciting!
If you haven’t given much thought to using gamification in your company’s education efforts before, now’s the time to get started! Of course, that’s just one aspect of rewards-based educational systems—check back next week for the conclusive part of this three-part blog series about this valuable tool!