It sounds like a no-brainer: Getting learners excited about training and development by throwing in a game-based element. But just because you offer something other than Powerpoint doesn’t automatically mean gamification will be a success. Just like any other training method, learners can lose motivation and you could end up shelving your efforts. Want to avoid a total game over scenario? Nix these three common mistakes out of your design.

Long-Term Competition

When it comes to gamification, you want to drum up a lot of interest from your learners, so you might plan an organization-wide competition. The problem? If you create a competition that is too large in scope, you’re bound to motivate those at the top of the leaderboard, but you’ll probably lose those who are consistently on the bottom, without any chances to move up. Instead, plan on short-term competitions in a variety of applications, and create a leaderboard that resets after a week or so to give everyone a fair chance.

Unclear Goals and Rewards

Hey, planning game-based training is awesome – unless, of course, your learners don’t really understand the purpose. Without clear game goals, like target scores and outcomes, learners could lose interest. And, without clear rewards, such as badges and prizes, learners could lose motivation. Both goals and rewards should be an integral part of the planning and development stage of the game.  

Missing the Point of Gamification

There is such a thing as “trying too hard” when it comes to gamification, especially if you’re so focused on the aspect of fun that you miss the point of training. The truth of the matter is that you could create the world’s most exciting game, but if learners perceive that it has little to do with their training, they might ditch it for something more conventional. Respect your learners’ time and remember that while edutainment is important, subject matter should still be on point.