Engagement. One of the biggest buzzwords around. Everybody wants it, craves it, strives to “boost” it. How could eLearning escape this trend? Thankfully, in the case of online training, there’s one invaluable tool that can actually help you achieve this. But let’s get to the basics and we’ll talk all about it as we go along.
One of the biggest challenges in eLearning is keeping your learners motivated and engaged throughout the process.
“Throughout”, by the way, is the keyword here: everybody can have people engaged for the first few lessons of a course. Having them engaged for the whole course, though, is a whole other matter. Attention wanes, work and other more pressuring matters get in the way, lessons get more challenging and difficult to follow, learners get impatient. Generally speaking, life works against engagement and your courses.
Some learners even see learning as a chore from day one—especially when it comes to mandatory courses and compliance training that they just have to complete because of state or company policy or to meet certain KPIs.
Keeping the course content appealing and presenting it in an interactive and interesting manner (e.g., using multimedia, interactive elements, and well-written content) is a great start to keeping learners engaged.
But to really take learning engagement to the next level, you might need to bring in the big guns we mentioned earlier. That’s right, we’re talking about…
Gamification in TalentLMS
Now, with some run-of-the-mill LMS, your mileage may vary, but if you are using TalentLMS, gamification couldn’t be easier.
A tried and tested gamified learning platform, TalentLMS offers a complete gamification engine that supports the best and most well-known reward systems, including points, badges, levels, and rewards (in the form of discounts) that you can customize to your own needs.
Let’s have a look at the TalentLMS gamification features one by one:
Points can be awarded when learners perform various actions in their gamified learning management system. It can be an action as simple as logging in or attending ILTs, or more “impressive” tasks, like successfully completing units and courses, scoring high on tests and assignments, acquiring certificates, or contributing to online discussions.
You can choose which actions will give out points and customize the number of points awarded for each action. To pump up the… joy, when a learner wins points, a “Congratulations!” message pops up and their score is automatically updated.
Your favorite gamified learning platform also features badges to further increase the sense of accomplishment and pride in learners. Badges are awarded in a similar way to points, given out when a user has reached a milestone for a specific action (e.g., in 4, 8, 16 logins or 8, 16 passed tests, etc.). Learners can also earn badges for accomplishments, like scoring high on a quiz or logging in for 10 consecutive days.
TalentLMS’ gamification engine ensures that the difficulty in acquiring badges increases incrementally as the learner advances in his training. Again, a “Congratulations!” message is displayed with every new badge earned.
Levels work similarly to course availability rules, where courses will become available based on whether the prerequisite ones have been completed. TalentLMS lets learners unlock a level of courses when they gather a specific amount of points, badges, or course completions.
Courses that belong to levels higher than the user’s show up as “Restricted” in the learner’s dashboard and are not accessible until the required goals have been met.
For example, you could set up TalentLMS so that each level unlocks once the learner has acquired 3,000 points.
According to the point setup shown below, the learner would have to successfully pass 4 tests, acquire 2 certificates, and have contributed to at least 5 discussions in order to collect the required points to move on to the next level.
Leaderboards are the most competitive feature in a gamified training platform. A leaderboard is a public display of a learner’s progress against their “competitors,” aka other learners. TalentLMS offers five options for ranking users (i.e., Levels, Points, Badges, Courses, Certifications) based on their current performance.
Rewards are a performance award that comes in the form of a discount—as such it makes sense for eLearning portals that sell courses.
It’s a more tangible form of reward given to users for their continued engagement and loyalty to the program. Admins can choose to offer a reward-based discount when learners reach a predetermined amount of points, badges, or levels.
Managing points, badges, and levels
Here’s a quick walkthrough of how to set up gamification elements in TalentLMS:
At any point in time, you can choose to reset the points, badges, or levels for users across your portal, learners from a specific branch, or even for a single user.
You could also add a deadline by which learners must acquire a certain amount of points, badges, or levels. This will create a sense of urgency to meet the goals and can dramatically increase motivation levels.
You can combine this with external incentives, as well, such as a day off from work, a prize, or some monetary rewards.
Developing a successful gamification strategy
With a powerful gamified learning platform, you can rest assured you’ll meet any goals you may have. That said, the first step in implementing a gamification scheme would be identifying these goals.
If you are applying gamification at work (which is a trend employees seem to really enjoy, so take note), then there are some additional considerations.
Here are some examples of training-related goals when deploying gamification in the workplace:
- Motivate employees to participate in company events
- Enhance participation in non-essential training courses
- Decrease completion time for compliance training
- Boost employee performance and adherence to deadlines
- Promote good practices, such as recycling
- Promote the adoption and mastery of new workplace tools
- Boost employee morale
And here are a few examples of goals that target course completion and engagement:
- Motivate users to complete more training courses
- Increase the frequency of logging into the eLearning portal
- Acquire higher grades on tests and assignments
- Promote participation in discussions
- Motivate users to attend ILT sessions
- Motivate users to complete more surveys
Implementing a gamification strategy
Whatever your goal is, the next step would be designing an implementation strategy. You would need to decide whether you’ll use one specific reward system or a combination of them.
Let’s say you have introduced a new data analysis tool and you need to train employees on how to use it. You want them to complete their training as soon as possible, so you’ll be adding gamification elements to boost their motivation.
In this case, you could offer 100 points upon registration in the new course and extra points for participating in discussions and ILT sessions. You can also reward with a “know-it-all” badge anyone who scores over 90% in quizzes and with a day off the first person to complete the course with a total of 900 points or higher.
To further promote competition you can also enable the leaderboard for points and badges, allowing each user to see how they score against other learners.
Sometimes, the best way to get some serious engagement is to add a little gaming element. It works with everybody, from little kids to senior enterprise employees.
Setting up gamification in TalentLMS is easy. With our user-friendly customizable gamification learning platform, you can add as many or as few gaming and competition elements to your training program as you wish. This, along with the rest of our powerful LMS features will help you meet your particular goals and use cases.
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Originally published on: 07 Nov 2016 | Tags: Gamification