Instructional Design

Level Up: 3 Ways Game Mechanics Can Enhance User Motivation

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You’d think that learners would need little incentive to embrace gamification: When compared to other methods, it’s usually more engaging. But, like all training methods, your method is only as effective as your user motivation. Gamifying your course material is one thing, but finding ways to entice your users to actually play is another. Using game mechanics created during development, you can tap into what really motivates your learners for a more effective experience.

Leaderboards and Community

Learners – and humans in general – love to know where they stand when compared to their peers, and that’s even truer when at work. Adding the ability to interact with other users and check scores on a program-wide leaderboard lets learners know where they fall in the pecking order. That way, they can work to improve, or keep playing to maintain a high score. Just remember to allow the leaderboard to reset regularly, or risk losing the interest of those at the bottom.

Badges & Achievements in the Game

Hey, learners love “stuff,” even if it’s completely digital. Badges and achievements built into the game make learners feel as though they’re earning something, and offers a tangible way to show off their progress. Shareable badges give learners a chance to receive recognition and a share that recognition with others via social media channels. Of course, building in the ability to save up badges for actual prizes (gift cards, etc.) doesn’t hurt either.

Leveling Up and Progression

Finally, your learners need the ability to “level up” or otherwise prove that they’ve completed the course material and demonstrated proficiency in the topic. A quiz at the end of a level or a visual reminder of how much of the course has been completed can help keep learners on track to finish and demonstrate material absorption, increasing both completion and retention rates.