Instructional Design

Gamification: When it Works – and When it Doesn’t

is often hotly debated in the corporate learning arena. While some believe it’s the future of training and education, others prefer the more traditional approach of workshops and instructors. For the most part, game-based learning works – it’s a way to get employees excited about new concepts and information.

Game-based learning works…

  • If you require high learner engagement from your courses (and higher info retention).
  • If employees tend to learn better by doing, rather than just listening.
  • If you want to predict outcomes in a simulated manner before testing your strategy in a real-life setting.
  • If you don’t have the capital to pay for pricey courses and instructors.
  • If employees require individualized feedback based on gamification performance.
  • If employees require the extra motivation gleaned through competition.
  • If you had a set amount of information that lends itself well to a gaming atmosphere.
  • If a number of employees require the same training at different times, therefore rendering a one-time course ireelevant.

Of course, by the same token, there are times when game-based learning doesn’t really make sense for a business. These include:

  • When there is so much information to be absorbed that it cannot be learned through gameplay alone, according to Training Magazine.
  • When the content is inappropriate for gaming, such as sexual harassment courses or other sensitive subjects.
  • When the “gamers” don’t understand or cannot utilize the gaming platform effectively.

In the end, using gamification as training strategy can be effective – when it’s applied in the right setting. If employees would benefit from something more interactive than your garden-variety workshop, clicking, swiping and toggling through a corporate workshop could be a better way.