What is Gamification?

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Nov 10, 2012 Tgorostiza , (0)

Based on some articles I have recently read from Learning Solutions, Float Mobile and Kaplan, making things that don’t seem to be a game into a game is growing in popularity within the learning world.

Game mechanics, scoring, points, badges, time elements, pattern seeking, item matching, content ratings are quickly working their way into almost every element of life from web site rankings and Thumbs Up/Down to rewards in social games like Farmville and Mobsters.

Gamification, as it is now called can also be called the “new thing” within the training community. As we all know, if there is new technology, processes, tools, methodologies available someone will try and implement it into a new program. While Gamification is somewhat new in our world it has been gaining steam in “micro games” online and more specifically in social networking sites where individuals try and acquire an elite status, receive badges and outdo their competitors.

To add some clarity, Gamification is only somewhat new in regards to the accompaniment of newer social and mobile technologies. Training designers & developers have been creating learning programs for decades with these same very principles entrenched in the instructional methodologies. How about an on-boarding program given by an instructor that asks new hires to perform certain tasks in order to achieve a certain level, or how about automotive sales reps performing walk-around tours that are then graded by their peers? These training programs enable games withing a learning construct, this engaging users in a different way.

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Courtesy: OnPoint Digital

How do we incorporate games today using newer technologies? What about using games to satisfy both the learner’s desire to be engaged and the company’s training professionals desire to have high fidelity and viewership? These questions can be answered by many different approaches and solutions but a couple ideas a learning professional can use and build upon are:

♦ Developing a game within a mobile app that requires a user to view certain content, pass the associated quiz and then be able to move on to a new or different level utilizing prerequisites. Levels and points will be achieved based on predetermined scales and a leader board will be available to show all participants where they stand amongst other game players. This game can communicate back to the LMS to track the training.

♦ Creating a bracket/challenge for sales representatives in retail/automotive

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Courtesy of Growth Engineering

industries. Users would take videos of themselves performing their sales

technique/strategy and this video would be uploaded to colleagues in the same organization so that they could vote or rate their peer. A bracketing system similar to college basketball is used to determine who moves on to the next round. Participants of the challenge are able to communicate with one another through forums and commenting and are motivated by prizes for certain levels of achievement.

While these ideas are not necessarily novel, the way you can use today’s mobile, social and web application technology to implement them just very well be….

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