Why do companies invest in creating eLearning?
Let us look at some possible answers below:
- To train employees to work better
- To train customers and channel or sales partners
- To train employees in office etiquette and organizational culture
- Mandatory health and safety programs
- To offer cultural sensitization to employees of a diverse workforce
- To solve organizational and process oriented problems in the company.
Let us revisit a key challenge that L&D leaders have to tackle. Yes, it is indeed “Learner Engagement”. In earlier blog posts too, we have written about learner engagement or rather the lack of learner engagement. Here, we will list down some points to help improve learner engagement in eLearning.
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Key Aspects to Improve Learner Engagement
Here are some considerations that will help you improve learner engagement and retention of learning when you develop your training content.
- Use narratives, story-telling, and characters to enhance your training content
- Incorporate real-life work-scenarios that actually demonstrate how employees can solve challenges
- Get subject-matter experts to speak on the topic, record videos, and integrate within your training
- Make assessments neither too easy nor too hard, as both extremes hamper the learning experience
- Gamify the training content by incorporating games or game-based activities to support the training content. It could also be used as a method to reinforce critical topics
- Microlearning as a strategy works very well to enhance learner engagement. Bite-sized content that addresses a single learning objective, delivered in multi-format.
The above are only some of the most popular methods that are prevalently used by trainers. In this blog post, we will specifically address the strategy of gamification.
Gamification is lucrative for many reasons:
- Increases motivation
- Fosters collaboration
- Aspires better performance
- Makes learning fun and trendy, among others
Gamification strategy, when accurately deployed works as an effective problem-solving tool for organizations. Gamified training modules have the potential to address the topic through an alternate dimension, providing a new perspective, and improves critical thinking skills for the learner. When the learner is placed to handle such real-life situations or elicit decision-making to progress in the game or game-based activity, learner engagement is immediately addressed to improve manifold. It boosts the learner’s confidence to excel in such situations before stepping into the real world. It is for these precise dual capabilities that gamification offers, i.e., increased engagement and problem-solving, we will now dwell deeper into the strategy of gamification in this blog.
Further, successive LinkedIn Workplace Learning Reports have one thing in common. It reveals – through employee surveys and feedback, that employees prefer to stick to organizations that offer them an opportunity to learn new skills and grow. And, gamified eLearning provides this opportunity. Learn new topics, improve knowledge and skill, and master the same.
In the next section, we will focus on how organizations can use gamification effectively in their training content to offer a superior learning experience.
Deploying Gamification in Training Content
If you are developing your learning content in-house, you will be able to clearly understand the challenges that your employees (target/learner audience) are facing, and develop appropriate content. Some steps and best practices to consider when creating gamified learning are:
- Identify the primary challenges and define the problems
- Create training content that offers solutions for these challenges
- Make the learning interactive with quizzes and appropriate games
- Incentivize learning and completion of programs with badges and digital tokens
- You can also integrate monetary rewards or redeemable gift vouchers to employees who successfully complete the training programs
- Bring a social element by allowing learners to challenge each other to complete tasks, and create a digital leaderboard that showcases the progress of the learners
- Go beyond “Tetris” and simple “Arcade-type” games to create powerful, visually-appealing, and aesthetic games that add value to the training program
- Incorporate spaced learning within the training program that offers reminders and learning capsules to help improve retention of learning
- Offer your employees the convenience of learning at their pace instead of forcing learning at specified hours. Give them adequate time to dwell in the module and complete the training, instead of imposing completion
- Listen to employee / learner feedback, and enhance or update your training content as required.
Using Gamification as a Problem-Solving Tool
Create active and real-world scenarios in your training program. The games that are incorporated within your training program should enable the learners to solve these problems and challenges based on the knowledge that they have acquired from the program. When deployed accurately, gamification provides the ideal platform to practice and assess learning, and becomes a vital measurement tool to check effectiveness. It gives your employees and the organization a competitive edge in the market.
Some scenarios that can be used to build games and solve challenges in a training program are:
- A simulation where the sales executive or customer care executive is talking to a client and helping them with their queries.
- A simulation that guides employees on best practices to adhere to in the case of a fire or a natural disaster.
- An office etiquette-based game that requires the learner to use the right terminology to address different people or write clear emails.
- A culture-sensitization-based game that requires people from different countries to learn about the common customs in other countries.
- A game based on a sport like archery or darts where the learner has to aim at the right answer to a question from a target-board that has multiple options. This can be programmed in multiple ways to present a different order of answer-options each time the learner accesses the activity.
- A game or activity that helps employees manage their time effectively, and get more things done during their working hours. This can be really helpful in the current hybrid work model caused by the pandemic. The lines between work and family-time are blurring, and time-management is a skill that is definitely underrated.
- Games to help employees learn common phrases in foreign languages to help them interact at a basic level with people from other countries.
- Games in training programs designed for the HR team, that will help them select the right candidate from a large pool of applicants.
- Games in training for stock-broking or financial firms where simulation of the trading charts are created, and the trainees have to select the best stocks/performers.
- Games designed to mimic the office set-up to demonstrate organizational rules.
- Using Virtual Reality and game-based learning to create 360 degree product tours. This works really well in programs designed to train maintenance engineers.
- Using Virtual Reality to create a simulation of a building or a property and familiarize employees with different areas of the property. Deploy a game-based learning approach to train personnel in the hospitality and tourism industries.
The list given above is by no means exhaustive. You can build on it and develop training programs with different levels of gamification that can help boost learner engagement, and improve retention of learning. Remember, the games should be an organic part of the training program, and not stand out separately as a mere addition. The games should serve a definite purpose, add value to the total content of your training program, offer learners the chance to try out something new, and improve their knowledge or skills. It should provide the learner an opportunity to practice, and increase confidence to face the real world.
Are you looking to create a new gamified eLearning program for your employees? Or are you looking to enhance your existing training content through gamification, to make it engaging and effective?
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to view the specific gamification solutions that we at Origin Learning have created and deployed for our global clients. Discover gamification solutions that work best for your organization, and provide your employees a memorable learning experience.