BenchPrep Team September 16th, 2020
Gamification Is The Secret Sauce to Explosive Learner Engagement
That’s how many people go to work unengaged every day, according to Gallup.
You know them. They’re the ones doing the minimum. The ones ready to jump at the next offer. You know . . . the ones not driving your business’s competitive edge.
Wouldn’t it be great if your training program helped keep them engaged at work?
It can. You just need a little secret sauce called gamification.
What is Gamification?
We tend to think of gamification as fancy technology, but advertisers have been using it for decades. Ever collect McDonald’s stickers for your free coffee? That’s a gamified experience.
Elearning technology gamifies learning experiences in both simple and complex ways. Here are some examples:
- Display a leaderboard with top scorers.
- Let your learner earn digital badges.
- Unlock special content by achieving milestones.
- Track streaks for certain behaviors like logging in daily.
- Add learning games like matching or timed flashcards.
- Give your learner a life line. They lose or gain health for accuracy.
Check out our blog post, The 6 Best Gamification Tools to Engage Your Learners, for more ideas!
Do Adults Really Want to Play Games?
The research is in. Adults do want to play games!
- 90% of respondents believe a fun work environment is motivating.
- Gamification improved engagement by 48%.
- 97% of trainees completed gamified training sessions.
That’s what makes gamification the secret sauce for explosive learner engagement. Secretly, adults just want to have fun.
If you’re unsure how to gamify your program, you need a learning management system (LMS) with baked-in gamification tools. With BenchPrep Ascend, you can automatically enable the games center to keep your learners engaged.
How Learner Engagement Also Solves Learner Retention
Learner retention is the holy grail among eLearning professionals. Everyone wants to prove how much knowledge their learners have retained.
Unfortunately, human memory makes retention difficult to achieve. Humans forget most of what they learn in a matter of weeks. It’s called the forgetting curve.
What if all it took was a few leaderboards and badges to combat this effect?
All learners need to do to stay at the top of their game is a study for a few minutes a day. Spaced repetition is the key to long term knowledge retention.
But, learners find daily practice difficult. What learner wants to study a few minutes every day?
Games to the Rescue
Gamification gives learners the motivation they need to practice daily.
Games make use of the Zeigarnik effect. Psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik, discovered participants remembered more if they were interrupted during their assigned task. Our brains seem to hold onto a task if it’s left undone. Psychologically, we want to complete it.
Traditional class schedules operate exactly opposite to the Zeigarnik effect. They focus on the completion of assignments, exams, and courses. This practice actually encourages our brains to forget the information we learned.
Games motivate learners because they feel compelled to complete the task. It might be a challenge or unlocking a level. The game motivates learners to log on. And once they do, they’re almost guaranteed to improve their knowledge retention. Multiple study sessions or spaced repetition improved learner retention by 170%.
What’s Holding You Back?
Gamification often scares eLearning professionals. They think games are too complex and time consuming to design.
Luckily, learning technology has advanced enough that you don’t need to be a game designer to take advantage of gamification. You design the course linearly, then the platform takes care of the rest.
BenchPrep’s platform has two options to painlessly gamify your content:
- Use the leaderboards, and badges to motivate your learners.
- Activate our games center. The platform automatically turns boring information into matching games, timed quizzes, and more!
Gamification is only one method to engage your learners, but there are many ways to engage learners and result in real impact with your learning programs. Download our on-demand webinar to learn an approach to planning, creating, and evaluating learning experiences that starts with clearly defined outcomes and focuses on maximizing relevancy and engagement for learners.