Go Play By Yourself. Why Gamification in L&D Hasn’t Taken Off… Yet

Go Play By Yourself. Why Gamification in L&D Hasn’t Taken Off… Yet

The idea of having fun with learning isn’t a new one. At Video Arts we invented the funny training video in 1972 so we get that. And playing games is a fun thing to do. So how come as an L&D community we’ve managed to take all the fun out of gamification? To the extent that last year only 11% of learning professionals were using gamification as part of their L&D programmes (source: Video Arts Learning Index).

We asked our friends at Netex (they’re on a mission to get people hooked on gamification in L&D) what we all need to be thinking about to make our organisations gamification winners:

  • It’s not that hard to do. Contrary to popular myth, it does not demand you immediately go out and replace your existing and legacy learning. There is gamification technology that can wrap around your existing systems.
  • Decide what gamification means to you. Gamification doesn’t mean you have to turn all your online learning into a video game. Think about what’s going to turn on your audience; it could be badges, leader-boards, points or challenges.
  • How competitive do you want to get? Some learning interventions will work well with an element of competition between people but it depends on the content and the environment. Competition with your own personal best achievements can be just as effective (ask anyone on Strava or FitnessPal).
  • Set realistic goals. You might want to give your time management course the same gameplay experience as Call of Duty, but does it warrant the multi-million pound production budget?
  • It’s worth it. Gamification techniques can boost course completion rates, increase learning retention and generally improve employee attitude and enthusiasm for learning.

And it seems to be working. Our latest research suggests L&D leaders are playing along with 32% now using gamification as part of their development strategy.

Thanks to our friends at Netex for their input.


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