by Lily Zimmerman, Instructional Designer
Are you considering gamification for your organization’s learning program, but don’t know where to start? Getting started with gamification is easier than you might think.
It does, however, require planning and preparation. In the conclusion to our three-part series about gamification, we’ll walk you through the five basic questions that will help you create an approach that’s engaging and effective for your employees.
A clear-eyed and informed assessment of whether or not gamification is right for your organization is critical for success. Read part one of our series for an overview of gamification and part two to determine if it’s the right strategy for your organization’s learning experience.
1. Is the business process or system to be gamified already in place? Or do you need to create a new system?
What type of system will you use to create the gamification experience? A website? A standalone online learning solution? Will you integrate the gamification within an existing platform, or do you need to build your own functionality? The answers to these questions will help you determine your schedule and budget for implementing a gamified learning experience.
2. Who are your players?
Every great training program—and this is especially important with gamification—starts with understanding your target audience. Your organizational culture and the demographic of your players should drive gamification design. Will they respond better to highly visual 3D experience, or simple elements such as progress bars and likes?
3. What’s your story?
A great storyline is a powerful way to motivate learners. As every parent knows, children learn best when they’re enthralled by the story, and that doesn’t change as we grow up. The story sets the stage upon which the gamification experience plays out—it hooks learners and makes the content engaging. Test different storylines with internal and external stakeholders to ensure your story is engaging, reflects your culture, and resonates with learners.
4. How will the game be played?
Recently, Monopoly replaced three of its game pieces in a bid to reach a new generation. But perhaps it wasn’t the sight of a wheelbarrow and thimble that drove the kids away, but rather that finishing the game takes almost as long as millennials have been alive. Keep your gamification experience fresh and engaging by making the game mechanics and rules simple. Design a system that makes scoring, reaching new levels, and earning achievements easy to follow. Learners will know what they need to do to be successful if their actions are directly linked to their scores. Think carefully about how you want to use leaderboards to track scores and foster competition.
5. How often will users engage in the system and for how long?
Gamification’s power lies in its ability to appeal to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. If long-term engagement is your goal, include elements that give learners a continued sense of purpose. Communities and social learning are two fantastic elements for generating long-term, lasting engagement.
Think about how your gamified learning experience can continually entice learners to come back. Be sure to consider what your system will support and the level of administration and moderation your program can offer.
With the answers to these fives questions, you’re well on your way to designing a gamified learning experience that accomplishes the goals critical to your overall business strategy.
If you would like to discuss these questions, or any other questions you have about gamification, please contact us today. LHT Learning can work with you and your business to develop a strategy and learning experience that engages your employees and achieves your goals.