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Continued professional development at the workplace has evolved exponentially. Handing out bulky manuals and seminars is already a thing of the past. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, eLearning has taken over the Learning and Development sector of the corporate world. Whether it's sales training, compliance training, or safety training, eLearning platforms offer many courses.

Organizations today are well-versed with the employee expectations of state-of-the-art training solutions and strive to stay up to speed with the latest market trends. Gamification in eLearning has been globally accepted as an effective way to engage and motivate employees.

What is Gamification in eLearning?

Gamification in eLearning essentially refers to the practice of introducing game-based tools and elements in the training modules to make the learning experience more engaging and effective for the employees. In simple words, it is learning material that includes point systems, badges, and levels as one progresses through the course.

Efforts are also being made to introduce augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) gamification elements to the eLearning modules for a more immersive and interactive training experience.

Gamification tools that make eLearning more effective

When it comes to gamification in eLearning, it may not always mean designing a full-fledged video game and expecting the employees to learn while they play. Instead, it is about introducing certain gamification tools that make eLearning more effective. Some tools which may be incorporated into eLearning modules are listed below.

Avatars

Avatars enable employees to represent themselves in a virtual environment. They make the eLearning experience more fun, relaxing, and exciting. A relaxed brain would enable the employees to retain newly taught information for a longer duration, thereby increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the eLearning course.

Simulations

Simulations are another way to increase the participation of employees in eLearning. These utilize AR and VR technologies to give the learners a real-life training experience in a virtual environment. The concept of introducing simulations in eLearning is fairly new, however, experts have already identified its potential benefits, including the provision of a safe environment for employees to learn and get a hands-on experience of operating new products and equipment.

Rewards

Offering rewards - in the form of badges and medals to unlock new levels as the learner progresses in the course - is another way to enhance the eLearning experience of employees and make it more effective. Rewards create a sense of achievement among the learners and consequently increase their motivation and participation levels.

Task-oriented

Task-oriented approach assigns a real-life problem to the learners. They are expected to understand a concept, and then promptly apply it to the problem presented to them. For example, it could be training to operate new machinery, or developing a new client management system. The learners try to progress towards solving or performing each task using gamification tools.

Competitions

Healthy competition in the workplace keeps the employees motivated to keep growing and improving their skills. Gamifying eLearning courses also allows users to compete against their coworkers, or themselves, keeping the training entertaining and exciting. Tools such as ‘leaderboards’ in such eLearning courses can help the learners in keeping a track of their performances against their peers. This is particularly helpful to keep the employees who are involved in sales engaged and driven.

Examples of Gamification in eLearning

While gamification may be used in any aspect or sector, here are a few examples of how gaming elements and tools may be used in various eLearning programs for better recall, retention, participation, and real-life applications on the job.

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Experiential Induction and Onboarding

All new employees have to undertake onboarding and induction training. Gamified onboarding and induction training include using immersive and interactive virtual tours as a means to orient new employees with the organization’s goals, policies, and history.

Compliance Training

Compliance training includes courses on laws, regulations, guidelines, and other compliances. It is one of the most tedious training, with bare minimum scope of making it interesting and engaging for the employees.

Gaming techniques such as safety challenges and team-based virtual competitions related to various compliance requirements for the organization and their clientele make the eLearning experience more effective and efficient.

Skills Enhancement Training

To progress within an organization and in the highly competitive world, the employees need to undertake regular skills enhancement training. Gamified eLearning for enhancement of hard and soft skills may include using avatars to explain and demonstrate the concepts and provide a safe, real-life virtual environment and platforms for the learners to practice and win badges or scores, compete with peers, etc.

Sales Training

Sales and marketing are among the vital pillars of all corporate organizations. The business may experience negligible growth opportunities without efficient sales and marketing. Considering the ever-growing competition, globally and regionally, regular innovation in sales training is the need of the hour.

Game mechanics in sales training efficiently generate a sense of urgency and competition, thus giving the learners a real-life, target-driven sales experience. In gamified sales training, the learner is not a mere observer but a player, and thus the training experience demonstrates higher stakes and personal capabilities and accomplishments.

How do you measure the effectiveness of Gamification in eLearning?

Gamification in eLearning has successfully managed to engage and entertain the learners while providing a safe, relaxed learning environment to ensure maximum retention of information.

Learning and Development teams can easily witness the effectiveness of gamification in eLearning by looking at employee participation. Organizations are also tapping the potential of tracking online learner performance offered by gamification tools in Learning Management Systems (LMS).

Many platforms enable monitoring of learner progress and completion time of training modules. It also helps in understanding the success and challenges of gamified training courses.

For example, suppose the data reveals that more than 60% of the learners are struggling to progress beyond the third level or unlock a particular badge. The L&D team can easily make the necessary changes in the eLearning strategy. It may include the introduction of ‘Hints’ in the training module or providing additional resources that may help the learners to progress.

Conclusion

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Gamification tools are a great way to make eLearning more fun, engaging, and effective for employees. Being a fairly new concept, gamification may seem daunting at first, but once organizations begin to understand its components and operations, they can see its value and potential.