Gamification can be a powerful element of any elearning strategy. Games that are designed to improve the productivity and skills of learners are a good investment of organizational resources. However, adding games for games’ sake is definitely a no-no. A gamification strategy must be clear; every game should serve its own purpose of learning.
Here are a few tips for designing relevant, engaging and motivating games:
By that we mean, do not make the game design too complex. Each and every learner must feel comfortable with the game. Simple games like Snake, Candy Crush, Cut the Rope, etc. have been popular because their interface looks clean and simple. This doesn’t mean that you dilute the purpose of your game. Do it in a way that the game gets complex only after players get thoroughly comfortable with the initial stages.
Use Rewards to Motivate
To motivate, not differentiate. Instead of monetary rewards, design your reward strategy to give away virtual points or badges. In fact, the points could be made exchangeable to promote a collaborative spirit. Whatever rewards you attach, be sure to step into the shoes of players and think whether or not theywill be able to create a healthy competition among employees. You want your workplace to be fun, not a battleground.
Make it Relevant
Employees should not be wasting their time when they play a game. It should add to their skill sets- like speed, agility, decision making, leadership, efficiency etc. The idea is to make them do (by playing a game) what you’d in fact teach through training. That is because some skills cannot be taught by lecturing, they need practice, and games do just that.
Make it Social
Games are one of the best ways to encourage social learning. Online games like World of Warcraft allow learners to form teams and play together.Players can watch one another’s games, learn and collaborate which ultimately encourages them to develop team spirit.
Successfully applied gamification can have a positive impact on effecting behavioral changes. For example, employees may be able to ‘learn’ to adhere to deadlines by regularly playing a mission-based game. Gamification also works well in introducing the company culture, tasks and work environment to new hires, as well as in setting their expectations.