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Level up your corporate e-learning with gamification

We all know how social media gamifies communication by offering immediate, vivid, and quantified evaluations of our conversational success. These game-like features are responsible for much of social media's psychological wallop. Social media is addictive, in part, because it feels so good to watch those likes go up, and in the background we know that the platforms' scoring mechanisms bring with them another very game-like aspect: a clear and unambiguous ranking.
Image source: RODNAE Productions from
Image source: RODNAE Productions from Pexels

We usually don’t emerge from a party with a ranked list of who the best conversationalists were; social media, on the other hand, offers both short-term rankings (likes and shares for each post or tweet) and long-term rankings (follower counts). Most importantly, the rankings are entirely unambiguous. Unlike a conversation at a party, with social media, we know exactly how well each post did, and can instantly compare performance against others. This provides all sorts of pleasures and pains - the thrill of victory when our likes go up and the pain when a measly two or three thumbs up (usually from our family) are the only acknowledgement we get.

This is one of the core principles of gamification, that technology increases motivation and imbue everyday activities with all the fun and excitement of a game. Gamification increases overall participation and can be highly effective in enriching your organisation’s e-learning.

Here are a few things you should know about gamification and how you can use it to level up your e-learning strategy.

Use gamification to boost learning participation

Gamification can provide engaging and immersive learning experiences that encourages employees to apply their learning at work. Throw in rewards, recognition, and public displays of achievement and you have a winning combination that keeps learners engaged from start to completion and substantially reduces drop off rates.

Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied

Gamification versus traditional e-learning

Unlike traditional e-learning, gamification evokes friendly competition, assists employees in celebrating their achievements, drives innovation, and creates and embeds positive behaviour changes.

But perhaps the greatest effect of gamification in e-learning is the increased retention rates and the high probability employees will apply their new skills in the workplace. Gamification uses scientific principles of repeated retrieval and repetition to bring about remarkable changes in behaviour. While games are fun, they can still have a significant impact on learning.

Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied

Diverse gamification applications

Gamification can be used for serious learning and G&G Advocacy has ongoing success using gamification principles for a variety of corporate e-learning solutions, such as professional skills development, product training, soft skills, employee induction and onboarding, compliance and regulations training, technology training, sales, medical compliance and much more. Gamified courses, modules and even bite-sized information packets can and should be designed and implemented to meet specific learning outcomes to assist organisations with meeting their learning objectives and to be a driver for meeting greater business goals.

Don’t feel overwhelmed trying to understand how to retrofit engaging gaming experiences into your existing e-learning programmes. With the right understanding of your learning objectives, by employee profile, and with the right platform, you can introduce gamification by:

  1. Identifying key knowledge checkpoints and assessments, and integrating game mechanics into those points in your e-learning content.
  2. Add new gaming activities, online and offline rewards and recognition.
  3. Use gamified devices so your employees feel validated for achieving milestones and for positive learning behaviour.

Gamification is not difficult to apply to your e-learning, and is well worth the time and investment as it will not only make your e-learning fun and engaging, it will also enhance completion rates, ignite healthy competition, forge learning champions in your organisations, and nurture a growth mindset and a culture of innovation.

About Michael Gullan

Michael Gullan is the founder and CEO of G&G Advocacy. Michael provides strategic consulting to G&G Advocacy's clients at a senior level. Michael is passionate about the science of adult learning in the corporate workplace and has made it his mission to provide innovative and effective e-learning solutions designed to nurture an educated and high-performance workforce in South Africa so we can build a stronger, sustainable economy which creates more jobs and opportunities for society.

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