How gamification can be used to design learning

by Brett Henebery11 May 2017
When watching people playing games – especially video games – it is evident that the motivational and emotional involvement during playing can be immense.

Recognising this, many organisations are using this concept to train their employees more effectively.

Joel Steel – the founder of gamified learning app, QuizJam – told L&D Professional that the concept of gamification borrows a lot of the core psychological and framework principles from traditional training measures, and aim to achieve the same end results.

“Introducing gamified training to an organisation can create an environment of social competition, collaboration and increased involvement with learning and development materials,” he said.

“By providing a greater scope of services to their employees, organisations are showing their team members that they’re invested in their development.”

Using the concepts from the gaming world has now become a compelling way for many organisations to design learning, as Kelly Moore, national learning and development manager at Inland Revenue in New Zealand, points out.

“In particular, it is a way to bring learning out of the formal and into all aspects of work,” she told L&D Professional.

“But this is about more than adding games for fun to formal learning. It is about generating a sense of achievement and competition that helps keep people interested and striving to do more.”

Inland Revenue are also exploring the use of badges and meters to mark progress; the ability to share accomplishments and comments with others as you succeed.

“We are also very interested in how people can learn from each other and helping people to connect with expertise,” she said.

“Our capability uplift communities of practice are going to be an important mechanism. We need to find ways to support and enable these communities to function with both technology and skills.”

Mature-age workers
While younger learners have shown great interest and uptake of gamification as a learning tool, mature-age workers are not as quick to adopt it. However, Steel says this is likely to be only a temporary issue.

“The great thing about technology is that the barriers to entry are coming down each and every day with the adoption of smartphones and tablets,” he said.

Steel sees potential for this app to grow in other sectors, such as communities, brands, education and others.

“We’ve already run some promising early pilot programs with brands such as the West Coast Eagles and Legacy on ANZAC Day,” Steel said.

“There is also an on-going relationship with Ltd which owns the Automotive category of QuizJam, allowing them to engage with its customers on a deeper level through tailored content and direct key messaging/advertising.”

Steel said that QuizJam has also just started a promising relationship with MENSA, and will be working alongside them to boost the level of engagement with their members.

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How gamification helps learners strive to do more
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