I thought I was too old and mature to be playing games. But I was recently proved wrong - we're never too old. In this article we’ll take a look at one of the best examples of gamification out there and discuss how it can make the difference within your learning solutions.
My chiropractor reckons I've got a dodgy posture. So I bought one of those wearable wristbands - the reason being? It has a silent, vibrating alarm that you can set to go off up to 8 times a day.
So my plan was to remind myself to stand up straighter whenever I felt my wrist vibrate.
And so far it has worked. I am standing up straighter. (Or maybe I just think I am - for the purpose of this article, that's pretty much irrelevant).
But I've since learned that my special device does far more than just that. I've downloaded the FitBit app and it tells me how far I've walked each day, how many floors I've climbed and how many minutes I've been active.
Then a friend request popped up. My mate had also been given a FitBit for Christmas and he challenged me to a 'Workweek Hustle'.
Not only that, but 3 other mates were also invited to join the challenge. Suddenly I felt the urge to walk home instead of getting the bus!
I found myself looking at my Fitbit app on a Thursday evening and trying to figure out how I could get an additional 10km onto my weekly total before the Friday deadline.
I was running up the stairs instead of taking the elevator!
And then I realised - I’d just experienced the perfect example of gamification.
How does this relate to L&D?
We're entering an age where our learners are overwhelmed with websites, content and other tools to help them progress. And so we need to think outside the box when it comes to creating stickiness with our content.
Using gamification is an excellent way to engage with your audience and ensure they keep coming back for more.
I recently presented an elearning solution to a large client in the travel sector. Their brief was to increase usage of a eLearning within their customer base, which they hoped would in turn increase sales.
So we really focused on highlighting gamification as an idea that they hadn't previously considered to help encourage participation.
We are starting to see more gamified learning experiences within the content, but the platforms upon which this content is hosted are now providing some really impressive elements of gamification too.
Gamification in the LMS
When I look at industry-leading LMS, it’s incredible how similar the features are to the dashboard on my fitness app.
If we look at the dashboard in this image, we can see badges, leader boards and competitions. It’s surprising how similar the features are.
But that makes sense right?
These tried and trusted methods of engaging your audience are nothing new. I remember being 13 years old and reading an adventure book in bed. When I reached the end of the chapter, it asked me to choose between entering the red door or the blue door. Which ever I chose resulted in a consequence and so my decision was important! It made me more excited to read the book and find out if I'd been making correct choices.
Gamification is a buzzword at the moment because it is effective – and as my Fitbit story showed, it’s important not to underestimate the power of gamification even with the most savvy of audiences.
If you're looking to upgrade your LMS, or just increase participation of your learning content, consider introducing some form of gamification. It may be exactly what you need.
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