Gamification for effective elearning courses

• 3 min read

gamification_imgIn this blog post we will give some practical advice on how to start using gamification in your elearning projects.

In the our previous blog post on “Social learning widgets for effective online courses” we learned:

  • how to create an effective social learning environment using Docebo’s social widgets
  • how to build direct links between content and social learning activities
  • how to promote virtual behaviours within a social elearning strategy

Start by defining a gamification strategy

Taking this one step further brings us to gamification in elearning to reach a higher level of satisfaction amongst users. Gamification is a broad concept that embraces very different teaching strategies, some of them related to individuals (relationship between man and machine) and some of them related to groups (digital learning communities). A deep gamification approach to training people requires a specific process with incremental complexity (i.e. in steps or stages) implemented in order to achieve both effective training and a high level of satisfaction.

Our suggested approach is to define a “starting strategy” to implement your first gamification based training program. We suggest first working on the learning environment rather than on learning materials. The reasons are familiar to anyone involved in creating elearning courses: you can obtain good results with a minimum of effort, you can reuse your learning objects and you can run multiple projects at the same time.

Let’s focus on two key pillars of any gamification approach: competition and rewards. Both are necessary in any gamification strategy but defining when and how depends on your specific training and business goals. It’s not by chance that I have used the words “satisfaction” and “business goals” together. In fact gamification is not only a training approach but also a higher-level people development strategy. Through the acquisition of badges for example people can be rewarded for accomplishing learning tasks, but what they have gained can be used as a basis for other forms of recognition within the corporation (career, money, leadership, responsibilities, etc.).

Badges and points for your first gamification based projects

Managing badges is a good starting strategy for a gamification approach because it’s a second level design that a trainer (or an HR manager) can start implementing even on an existing course or learning plan. It’s important anyway that within these courses or plans some good social learning activities be included.

A badge is always issued only to a single user but is something that is visible to the entire class. So even though you may not have planned to create a competition between users, you create one indirectly since users will see the status achieved by others and will be motivated to reach similar levels.

In this second level design process, any trainer can use his/her own terminology to describe the badges and to define the activities to be rewarded. This means that a single activity, let’s say “user has added a new comment to the discussion” can be qualified both as a social learning activity accomplishment, but also as an acquired skill as “facilitator”. This is why HR managers like the badging and point issuing approach to human resource training – it clearly functions as a basis for talent management.

Docebo offers a new app for gamification

Docebo has developed an app that allows any trainer to build his/her own badges and points management system. When using the app you will be able to create your own “badges” that best fit your business goals. You can use the gamification features in any courses you have in your LMS. And at any time you can customize the badge description and issuing system to meet your specific goals.

Gamification to refresh old projects or courses

In the end, why not use a gamification app on your existing elearning courses to bring them to life? Perhaps you have some courses that are not going as well as you had expected. You can easily and quickly build a better environment by using Docebo’s social features and the gamification app!

If you’d like to test-drive the new gamification app and start “gamifying” your courses, sign up for a free 14-day trial!