Things to Bear in Mind to Improve Gamification in Learning
Gamification as defined by Wikipedia is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in various non-game contexts like learning, marketing, customer management and employee productivity. This article shall focus only on the learning domain and discuss various ways to use gamification to successfully impart education and train the employees of an organization.
Training the employees of a company or organization to make them understand its timely objectives and introducing them to the ways it operates is very essential to increase productivity and achieve desired results. Gamification has been extensively used in this regard, while proving to be a game changer for many and a sheer loss of time and investment to a few. To explain these varied results, we must first understand the objectives of including gamification in the learning modules of these companies to educate and train their employees.
It is seen and proven that using gaming techniques, learning can be made more engaging and fun when compared to the traditional teaching methods. Gamification includes insightful learning modules that are backed by loads of innovative ideas, interactivity, engagement, rewards and a social interface. These learning modules kindle a sense of competitiveness in the learner’s mind and keep him hooked. While the learner is performing his best, competing with his colleagues, having fun, receiving rewards and sharing his success; he is also constantly learning, competing again and encouraging others to do the same.
So what exactly can go wrong that many companies fail to utilize the many advantages gamification has to offer? The answer is a lack of better objectives and/or successful execution. A lot of them are unaware of the plethora of opportunities and new avenues gamification can open up for them and hence plan too little or plan in the wrong direction. On the other hand, a few, though aware of the multifaceted advantages of gamification, fail in its execution. Be it providing learning modules on a regular basis or failing to bring in innovation, they miserably fail to catch up either due to lack of resources or financial constraints. So here is a list of things to bear in mind while introducing and designing game based learning modules to ensure their long lasting success and positive influence on the workforce.
• Placing your employees in a competitive arena and asking them to rat race with each other, fighting for medals and rewards is not the objective of gamification. Though a healthy competition should exist, the focus should be more on building an efficient team rather than creating and feeding narcissistic and self-absorbed employees.
• To make this happen there should be enough room for interaction between themselves. Providing them with a social platform to share their success and secrets to success helps in building a team that is a pool of diverse talent from inside, but a singular and distinct strength on the outside!
• In addition, the rewards should be more insightful and have an emotional value for the employees rather than being just being a bunch of lousy medals and trophies which eventually lose their material value and seem pointless to compete for.
• The very objective of gamification is to bring in new ideas, attract the learner and keep him obsessed with learning. Thus a crisis for new ideas and innovation should never originate or exist. Newer and improved learning modules, newer technology, newer concepts, simplification, interactivity and engagement should always be the prime focus while designing these learning materials.