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January 20, 2020

eLearning Best Practices, Part 1: Gamify Your LMS

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You may claim you're not competitive, but nature disagrees. The social comparison theory posits that people have a drive to move upward and close any gaps between themselves and others, explains a study published by Perspectives on Psychological Science. We all like a bit of sport, so tap into that innate competitiveness for your learning and development initiatives.

Overall, LinkedIn reports the gamification market has an estimated worth hovering between $3 billion and $12 billion. As a top behavioristic motivator, integrating gaming elements into your eLearning best practices boosts retention, engagement and enjoyment among learners.

Understanding the importance of gamification

Gamification is more than merely layering game techniques over your learning platform. Instead, for gamification to be effective, it must tie gaming effects to impactful metrics.

For example, if points or badges are tied to mastering a specific skill, or jumping to the next level of learning, then gamification proves valuable to the learner and the organization. Just racking up points doesn't prove anything. By measuring learning outcomes, however, gamification not only excites and interests learners, but it proves worthy by measuring layers of learning for each participant.

Gamification should enrich your current learning management system, not detract from it. Remember, the goal of incorporating gamification into your LMS is to increase loyalty, participation and engagement. You can do this by allowing learners to opt in or out of gaming techniques through the use of badges, points and leaderboards, to name a few.

Including games in your LMS

Check out these three successful gamification methods to use in your LMS.

1. Badges

Badges should be eye-catching and personalized. You can add your branding to badges, giving a shout-out to the learner's workplace or the skill mastered. Badges are one way to reward top achievers while letting participants show off their learning bling on their company's social platforms.

2. Points

By creating a point system within your LMS, not only are you borrowing a gaming technique with which most people are familiar, but you're also creating an LMS platform that tracks learning capabilities. To be effective, however, if you choose to award points for L&D, you need to do so consistently, with the points tied to specific criteria. Awarding points just here and there does little to motivate the learner and gives the organization inconsistent feedback on LMS goals.

3. Leaderboards

Another way to achieve learner engagement is to incorporate leaderboards into your LMS. Leaderboards are effective, especially for learners who embrace their innate competitiveness. With leaderboards, learners can gauge their progress against other participants in their workplace or geographic region. With just a glance, learners can measure how they stack up against others, giving them additional motivation to learn and be the best of the bunch.

Partnering with experts in gamification & LMS

eLearning fast tracks business success. Why not amplify that with a little fun? By enriching your LMS with eLearning best practices like gamification techniques, you'll provide your learners with instant feedback, a sense of achievement, community, competition and collaboration, heightening the learning experience.