Let’s Start the Game: 5 Ways to Design Interesting Gamification Courses

5 Benefits of Games in Soft Skills & Behavioral Training

Let's Start the Game: 5 Ways to Design Interesting Gamification Courses

Why do people play games again and again? What causes them to play one round after the other? How can we replicate the same enthusiasm in learning? As a training manager, you must be eager to know what makes gamification work and incorporate those elements in your upcoming learning projects.

Let’s check five ways of designing interesting gamified learning courses. So, let’s begin the game..!

1. Tap the Desire to Win

Healthy competition, abiding by rules, the urge to win, accepting failure/defeat gracefully, and ethics – all these are part of games. These are natural human urges and when incorporated in your courses, learners will be interested to learn.

Points, collectibles, certificates, badges, virtual raffle tickets, course currency are some elements you can think of to be incorporated in online courses to tap the desire to win.

Incorporating these cues will help you design meaningful games for learning. People have a natural desire to win: you can use this factor to trigger healthy competition.

Gamify your pre-course knowledge check. This shows your learners’ rating or rank against others in your peer group. This sets the stage for the competition in the beginning of the game.

For the final mastery quiz design, you can record high scores and share them on the leaderboard. This principle works best to spark competition, especially among sales teams.

2. Scenario-based Games with Context

Design learning using scenarios with an engaging narrative. Scenarios are not only good for role play activities but can also become best stories too. Make your learners heroes/lead roles, craft the storyline, create characters and episodes with tension, intriguing climax, and resolution makes your learning game a hot favorite to your learners. For example,handling the objections of a difficult prospect in the sales pitch is a rewarding experience. Recognizing the learners’ efforts in the form of rewards or badges boosts their morale and encourages them further to learn and apply in their daily work. You can also map scenarios in levels. When learners answer each scenario correctly, they move on to scenarios of increasing complexity, i.e. the next level.

3. Make Learners Experience the Outcomes

Learners should be able to make choices, real choices, and have real consequences to get the real feel of the game. The choice you give will make a real difference in simulations and scenario games than standard multiple choice questions in a normal eLearning course.

The choices learners make will put forth certain actions and they have an outcome. The outcome of your decisions in the game-based learning should get a direct and instant score. This shows you are winning or losing, losing/gaining powers, lives and proceed in the course or retrace steps.

You should have decisive moments in your learning game with simulations or scenarios, where learners have to restart the game all over again based on their decisions. It’s ok to be tough and challenging sometimes so that learners want more and play again.

4. Raise the Bar

If learners need to play, replay, and show improvement that’s transferrable to regular work. You need to heighten the challenge in line with the learner’s performance. Design increasingly harder levels – but don’t go for dramatic changes; this may shoot up failures and demotivate many learners.

For example, simple questions in the first level, slightly difficult questions in the second level, and complex questions in the next levels is systematic improvement. Learners can anticipate and prepare for higher difficulty this way.

You can also use diffused assessment approach, in this, the scores in formative assessments decide the final quiz configuration. Those who do well in formative assessments, offering an easy path to completion and those who make mistakes in each unit will have a complex quiz in the end.

5. Rewards and Recognition at Each Level

Don’t reserve all rewards and recognition to the end, this can test learners’ patience and you may lose the opportunities to motivate. This may increase dropout rates at times.

Rewards at each level encourage learners to take up the next level with greater vigor, unlocking the hidden levels increases enthusiasm. If there is a facility /option of sharing on social media about learners’ recognition and rewards, that works well to showcase the accolades among peers.

This can be done by including various bonus points, badges, bonus scores and gaming options such as lifelines, time limit features, etc. This support motivates learners and helps them to get prizes.

So, it’s your turn to unlock the potential of gamification..! Use these five principles and start designing interesting learning games..!!

Game-Based Learning for Increased Learner Engagement