How Gamification Is Changing the Training Landscape Around the World
While the eLearning industry is very different from conventional training and education, there are many similarities. One of those is the difficulty of truly getting students to invest in the learning experience. A host of different techniques has been developed to help combat this, but one of the most promising is gamification. It offers a great many advantages, and it’s actually changing the training landscape around the world.
Gamification Is Not New
First and foremost, understand that gamification is not new. It’s been around for many years, although it might have been known by other names. Consider how the US Armed Forces have used video games for decades to help hone military members’ eye-hand coordination. However, while it’s not new, there is a new focus being put on it.
It’s All About Engagement
One of the single, largest advantages of gamification in the eLearning industry is engagement – more and more companies are turning to gamification to help ensure that their employees are focused and aligned with company goals. For example, Marriott International created a game to help vet and train prospective housekeeping staff. Uber does something similar with a driver training and vetting app during the application and hiring process.
It’s not all about vetting and hiring the right people, though. Delta has taken things to the next level with gamification by converting a significant amount of their ongoing training to games. These programs are embedded in a mobile app called Ready, Set, Jet and take the form of mini-games that allow employees to explore their job, how their job impacts other positions within the company, as well as the customer experience. As a result, they’ve found that their employees complete four times more ongoing training than they did prior to gamification. Even the US Navy has gotten on board with this form of gamification, by having a game developed that helps them train junior officers and groom them for advancement through game play.
Ongoing Professional Training
More and more businesses are finding they need to invest in ongoing training for their staff due to legal or industry compliance issues. Gamification is playing a role here, as well. For instance, The True Office game was developed for financial businesses in the UK. It puts employees in different situations and then lets them take various actions. Those actions explain the risks of non-compliance and illegal or unethical actions in a way that helps build employee understanding and knowledge.
Key Components in Successful Gamification Platforms
Of course, not all gamification efforts are successful. Those that aren’t generally fail in a few specific areas. Most notably, they lack the techniques that most employees prefer. According to Raconteur, 30% of employees prefer progressing to different levels during the game, as this provides a real sense of both progress and achievement.
Point/scoring systems cam in second with 27% of employees preferring these, and real-time performance feedback came in third with 26% of employees appreciating this. Progress bars were important to 25% of o employees, and 24% said activity feeds were important.
The Big Picture
When everything is said and done, gamification is here to stay, and it’s becoming more and more important for the learning and training sector, particularly eLearning. Employers, government agencies and others who fail to get on board with this emerging trend will find that they experience less employee engagement, reduced employee retention, and even lower customer satisfaction ratings as more of the competition instates gamification programs within their training.
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