Gamification Best Practices in Corporate eLearning

Best Practices for Gamification in Corporate Learning

If you’re not already familiar with the concept of gamification, it’s well past time. It’s one of the most interesting trends in corporate learning, and has been used by businesses large and small around the world. From the likes of Delta to the US Navy, to agile small businesses in your own back yard, gamification is not just a hot topic, but a crucial consideration for corporate learning, employee engagement and more. Of course, it’s also essential that best practices be followed for gamification in corporate learning.

Learner Centric

First and foremost, you need to ensure that your efforts are learner centric. That is, any games should be focused on the learner, what he or she takes away, and keeping the learner engaged throughout the game. It should impart valuable lessons that can be applied immediately to that learner’s duties, responsibilities and daily tasks. Avoid the temptation to make the game business centric – it really is about them, and not your company or organization.

Must Engage the Learner

While everyone will have his or her own specific preferences, there are a few “golden rules” to follow when it comes to making a game engaging for the learner. Most adult learners engaged in continuing education find that a game is more engaging if it offers sequential levels of achievement. This allows them to feel like they’re making progress and advancing. Others feel that having earnable rewards is important – it could be “coins” that can be spent in the game, or it could be a more tangible reward in the real world. The point is that you need to ensure that the game is as engaging for as many people as possible.

Mini-Games Work Best

While some companies have seen success with larger-scale single games, most find that a series of interrelated mini-games is the best option, particularly for training that has to cover a wide range of different topics, from legal compliance to ethics. Each mini-game is like an episode, and should tie in familiar design elements and characters into a new game. Note that this is not the same as having different levels or boards. Each mini-game can stand on its own, whereas levels or boards are completely depending on each other.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

It’s all well and good to design a game that can only be played one way. However, that won’t offer the right amount of engagement and might actually make your employees disengage from the game completely. It’s better to create a game that can be completed in many different ways depending on the input of the employee. Not only does this offer a unique, player-specific outcome, but it offers the personalization that today’s corporate leaners expect. Finally, it offers better information retention because the outcome of the game is based strictly on what the player does, rather than an overarching script.

Pay Attention to Game Play

While you should ensure that players are challenged by different boards and hurdles they have to overcome, you need to pay attention to game play. Specifically, this applies to the controls that an employee uses to play the game – the UI, if you will. Make sure that the controls are as simple to use as possible, and create a version that can be played on a desktop, and another that can be played on mobile devices.

By following these gamification best practices, you will be able to develop games that offer outstanding corporate learning, engage your employees and help foster better information retention for professional continuing education.

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