Instructional Design

Gamification on a Shoestring Budget

Picture it: You’ve just been tasked with gamifying a mandated sensitivity training. Your mind drifts back to that hilarious scene from NCIS during a sexual harassment training where Tony asks the instructor if you must ask permission before head slapping a co-worker.

You understand immediately why sensitivity training has moved from the classroom to the computer, and you realize the importance of gamifying this subject. How can you possibly do this on budget, especially since your team doesn’t know the first things about gamification and your organization does not have an in-house programmer? Regardless, it’s game on!

Have a Laser Focus

You need to keep your audience awake to learn what they can and cannot do. Breaking sexual harassment laws puts an organization on collision with litigation, so it’s essential that your training engages enough to educate. On a shoestring, your team can set up trivia questions to break up the mind-numbing module, along with a simple, final self-test game that loops back to the pertinent information when the student misses an answer and repeats the question later. “Gamify” sparingly and when the learners least expect it.

Leverage Your Authoring Tool

You don’t need a programmer to gamify your content. Authoring tools such as Articulate include gamification tools developed for the instructional designer. Remember, gamification simply adds game-like elements, not a real game, to the eLearning module.

Know when to Hire a Consultant

Effective managers can take a lesson from Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek. Outsource bits and pieces of what you can’t do. That’s a very smart use of consulting services, and it allows you to complete assignments that are beyond your team’s current skill level. Task the consultant with creating a template for future gamification, and the consult becomes an investment. Game over…you won.