From marketing to microlearning, we’re always getting requests for blogs and questions about trends and best practices in corporate learning. Luckily, we’ve also been cultivating our own library of articles, opinions, and expertise, all while keeping track of the trends. As 2016 winds to a close, we wanted to take stock of some of the most requested corporate learning blog topics for the year (and show you where to find the answers to all of your burning blog-based questions).
Category Archives: Gamification
You can barely go online–let alone leave your house–without meeting a barrage of Pokemon Go players hunting for a Jigglypuff or looking for tips to level up. As of last month, the game boasts 21,000,000 active users and cranked up Nintendo’s stock price 120 percent, with the price of Nintendo-related paraphernalia going up 200 percent in the wake of its July release.
Corporate Gamification – Where it all began
The word “gamification” has received a lot of hype over the last few years, and as designers and developers we continue seeing the term misused and misunderstood in the media and in conversation. Gamification deserves a much better fate than becoming a watered down buzzword with no substance, and we will explain why.
Millennials seem to be the talk of the town, and they should be as they are quickly taking over the majority of today’s workforce. Companies worldwide are looking for new ways to connect with, engage, and train these up-and-coming, tech forward leaders, and it can get a bit foggy with all of the different training delivery methods out there. We chose the top two delivery methods we get asked about most often to discuss in this article: Microlearning and Gamification.
One question we often get asked when it comes to redesigning eLearning Solutions for our clients that are curious to add gamification to their learning strategy is “What are the levels of gamification I can choose from?”
Elizabeth Gilbert’s most famous work–Eat, Pray, Love–reads something like a fantasy trip: Time for self-reflection; and of course, pizza. But in her newest book, Big Magic, Gilbert explores a topic more widespread (and closer to home): The idea of creativity.
Just like eLearning can’t take place without a deep understanding of learner motivation, gamification in employee training won’t work without an understanding of what drives and motivates employees. Just adding points or badges to a learning module is not gamification. Each game mechanic taps into different motivators, so to apply the right ones, you have to understand what motivators you are trying to activate, and how they align to the goal of the learning experience. You can find an in-depth look at how different game mechanics appeal to different key motivators in our eBook here. Read More
When you hear the term “growth hack,” what do you think of? Similar to growth marketing, it’s one of those buzzwords that marketing pros throw around, especially when speed and size are of the essence. But more than just a flashy hashtag, #growthhacking has real applications when it comes to helping your learners see the need for more training.
Running through an arena and fighting for your life is one thing, but does competition work as well in the office as it does in the movie theater? If you’ve ever seen The Hunger Games movies, you know that competition can be a huge motivator–especially when life is at stake. But if the stakes are much, much lower, can you still capitalize on competition as a way to engage learners and increase takeaway?
It’s called the “Fear of Missing Out,” or FOMO. It’s that feeling you get when you haven’t checked into Facebook or you RSVP to that event, even if you don’t really want to go. It’s what keeps you scrolling through pictures on Instagram or checking Twitter every five minutes. It’s the sense that if you don’t check in almost constantly, you’re missing out on something amazing.
Of course, we know that not every status update is a gem and every picture posted isn’t Picasso, but it’s not the actual content that keeps us glued; it’s the delivery method. Social media sites use specific updating tactics and strategies that keep you checking in often. It’s bad news for your data plan, but if you can harness the strategy for eLearning, it’s good news for your training strategy.
The Power of Notifications
One of the ways Facebook, iMessage, and Instagram keep you checking and rechecking is that they offer clear notifications for when something changes on your feed. New picture posted? Notification. Someone tagged you? Notification. These notifications keep the app or site fresh in your mind, so it’s hard to navigate away.
Notifications can become a powerful tool in mobile learning. By letting users know when another person has signed in and completed a module, or how long it’s been since their last session, you trigger that fear of missing out and engineer a response to check in and interact with the module again.
Letting Learners Lead
Think about the last time you downloaded a game onto your phone. Chances are that the game gave you a few quick tips to get going, but then you’re left on your own to figure out the game play strategy, controls, and capabilities.
Now, contrast that to eLearning. Do you force users through the same experience? Do your learners have time to test, experiment, and try the module out for themselves? As it turns out, a comprehensive user experience may not be as addictive as one that encourages learners to try for themselves. That’s they kind of experience that keeps learners wanting to come back and master different levels, achieve goals, and find out how to use the module.
A little bit of anticipation–or even anxiety–is a surefire way to build FOMO. That’s because when people fear that their friends are doing something cool or that everyone’s talking about the latest trending topic, they want to hop online and get involved.
It’s OK to build a little bit of suspense into your learning modules, especially when they contain game-like elements. Don’t show all of your cards at once: Instead, let learners build their learning experiences by trying new things, making mistakes, and moving onto new chapters and sections as they go. Instead of flat learning trajectory, learners experience one that is multidimensional and tailored to their specific learning styles.
Giving Instant Feedback
When you send a text message and get one in return, it floods your brain with dopamine. It’s the satisfaction of instant gratification, and it’s hard to get more instant than instant messaging. We love our smartphones and computers because they move quickly. From posting pictures to sending comments, liking, and searching, FOMO occurs when you lose access to your quick source of constant information.
When building eLearning modules, remember that instant feedback is a powerful tool to keep users on the right track and motivated to learn. Instead of floundering and wondering how they’re doing, they know exactly where they excel and where improvement is needed.
Whether or not FOMO is a good thing in social media is up to you; but in eLearning, FOMO is a definite motivator. By building in the anticipation and fear that everyone else is getting to experience something awesome, it’s possible to design true learning addicts from even the most casual learners.