Gamification: An Effective Strategy to Enhance Learning Outcomes

Gamification is a great prospect to consider when searching for an approach to enhance the learning outcomes of a training program. It could be the most straightforward strategy to boost learner satisfaction and engagement. What is gamification, and how can it be leveraged for developing a forward-looking eLearning content strategy?  This must be on the top of the mind of any Learning & Development (L&D) or HR leader in today’s time.

Harbinger Interactive Learning had the privilege of hosting some of the world’s highly accomplished learning and development leaders for an engaging Interactive Learning Power Hour – an industry expert’s roundtable discussion. These experts had an in-depth and intriguing discussion on the various aspects of gamification – starting from the need, to the context, to the benefits as also from challenges to strategies. This session included Chris Bryant (CEO, Bryant Group Experience), Cleon Wellington (Director, Professional Education Midmark Corp), Smita Kanakula (Architect – User Experience, Harbinger Systems), and Anurag Biswas (Instructional Designer, Harbinger Interactive Learning). The discussion was led and facilitated by Dr. Vikas Joshi (CEO, Harbinger Group).

Check out this video to hear the whole discussion.

When people hear the word “gamification,” they immediately think of a computer game. They are right on the basic idea, but this is not quite what gamification in content development entails.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the addition of game mechanics to a user interface through the use of marketing or instructional content. It is a method of repurposing information that takes advantage of game motivations. Gamification, according to Dr. Joshi is the application of gaming aspects to a process that is otherwise mundane. The core purpose of gamification is to increase involvement and improve outcomes.

Gamification has gained a lot of traction as a result of the Internet and other new technologies.  And, learning & development leaders (L&D) have taken notice. Everyone is probably more familiar with gamification than they realize. Even if it isn’t immediately acknowledged, it is already a common practice. And here is why it should matter to any company whose primary goal is to improve employee satisfaction and engagement.

Why Should It Matter?

Some people find Gamification challenging and a tedious task to perform. But, according to Cleon, gamification is not at all complicated and it is going to be the next big thing in content production. It is more about the attitude of how to put the gamification elements together. The complete thought process compiled to create the gamified content is what makes gamification interesting and worth considering. Gamification is exciting and engaging not only for content designers but also for learners.

On their first game, Midmark received overwhelmingly positive feedback from their internal teams. Ninety one percent (91%) of them not only found the game beneficial to their learning but, most importantly, enjoyed participating. The drive to compete and beat one’s previous score is what motivates learners to keep going, said Cleon. Self-directed learning is at par, he added.

The motivational aspect of gamification is supported by numbers from a 2021 market share analysis report.

gamification_motivation_percentage_for_students_employees-statistics

Chris Bryant, on the other hand, considers gamification and the data that supports it to be critical. Gamification extends beyond the standard eLearning training model. It converts a commendable number of learners towards training by making it fun and engaging. It includes surprises, feedback, and numerous constituent opportunities for learners to try new things. Gamification, when done correctly, reduces the stigma associated with training. It shifts employee’s mindset from ‘I have to’ to ‘I want to’.  “It is undeniably the way of the future”, he continued, “and there is no way we are turning our back.”

Thus, there are numerous benefits of introducing gamification in the workplace. This is the reason why more and more businesses are turning to gamified content development as it boosts employees’ intrinsic motivation, increases learner’s engagement and competitiveness, influences behavioral change, incorporates the spirit of competition, sense of achievement, and leads to better employee retention.

Gamification Strategies

If you are not aware of how gamifying content works or what aspects need to be considered while creating gamified content, it is recommended that you listen to the recording of the Power Hour. The panelists discuss in detail how it is just a matter of coming up with the correct idea and getting it in front of your target audience. Start with the quick spots that are depicted in the diagram below, say the experts.

Gamification_strategies

While some of the games you may see are animated, it needn’t be as complicated or fancy everytime.  One can apply simple strategies and frameworks as a starting point. The beautiful thing about gamification is that it provides the creators varied approaches that can be adopted. Scores, Leaderboards, Quizzes, Badges, Levelling, Challenges, Progress bar, Rewards, Timer are some of the specialized and widely used gamification elements. Nike, Starbucks, Duolingo, Fitbit are some of the well-known brands that have made gamification an intrinsic part of their offerings.

Gamification isn’t just a fancy buzz word. It’s a glue that binds multiple aspects within an organization. The benefits of gamification in corporate training and learning cannot be overlooked.

What are your thoughts on gamification as an approach for content planning? Please comment below or drop us a note at info@harbingerlearning.com to discuss more.

gamification_power_hour_harbinger_learning

Gamification: Things to Consider as Part of Your Content Development Strategy

Role of Training in Catering Leadership Development

In a previous blog, we explored the exponential growth in the catering industry and the reasons supporting this growth.  A growing industry needs to support their leaders with targeted training to help them in meeting customer expectations and deliver outstanding service. In the catering industry, catering managers are the flag-bearers of the restaurant brand and it is critical to align them with the brand culture and values. This would help in establishing the brand with their crew and eventually with the customers. To achieve this, it is important to groom and train catering managers in certain skillsets and processes. Let’s look at them below:

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are a key attribute of successful catering managers. Catering industry has a high level of employee turnover and catering managers have to deal with new employees all the time.  It is essential that managers break the ice with employees and get them onboard and ready to perform quickly. Catering managers should be trained in skills like verbal and non-verbal communication, influencing and negotiation skills, and more.

Customer Centricity

Catering managers face customers on an everyday basis and customer centricity becomes a critical skill for restaurant survival and performance.  A manager trained on skills like understanding customer needs, customer behavior, effective communication, and empathy, would work towards building a customer-centric culture. Such a manager and their crew would be able to handle catering events better and deliver exceptional customer delight.

Catering Specific Processes

A catering event is a high-pressure situation with a lot of moving parts. Lack of processes can lead to chaos and bad customer experience.   Catering managers should be able to estimate the right number of crew members to an event.  They also need to keep a close watch on the budget and perform a detailed risk management analysis to make an event successful.

Considering all the above requirements, it is ideal that catering managers are trained to plan activities smartly, follow specific processes, and most importantly, they should be able to take quick decisions. Considering the nature of this industry, a blended learning approach would suit the best. Use of classroom training to deliver key topics, supported by online learning modules supporting micro-learning, gamification, and scenario-based learning can deliver the desired results.

Are you a part of the catering industry? What type of training do you prefer? Feel free to share your thoughts through comments below. If you would like to discuss any training needs or use cases with our experts, drop a note to info@harbingerlearning.com.

Harbinger’s specialization in Video & Simulation in Medical Education

Harbinger has been seriously involved in applying videos and simulation in medical education for sometime.

Medical education is a field that has long remained at the cutting edge of technology – both in terms of adopting technology as well as teaching technology. With the advent of e-learning technology, medical education has changed radically and rapidly. One of the newest techniques in e-learning is simulation, and medical education is definitely not lagging behind in the use of this technique to improve efficacy. However, the use of videos and simulation in medical education is quite different from the way it is used in other fields.

For one thing, with medical education, the stakes are much, much higher. Human lives are directly at risk. True, something going wrong with a mechanical product does put human lives at risk, but in the medical field, human mistakes can have lifelong effects on people, not to mention the direct risk of death of the patient. As such, medical education is serious business and simulation has begun making inroads in this field only through bluntly proving its benefits.

Medical students have long had a tradition of learning by watching and assisting star surgeons in the field. Many say that an internship is the most effective and important education that a medical student receives. However, the number of medical students has increased dramatically along with the number of operations being performed. As such, it becomes difficult for many students to watch a star surgeon in action. This is where videos have become indispensible.
Videos of surgeons performing operations allow these valuable lessons to be viewed by hundreds of students world-wide, regardless of time and place. No longer do they need to wait for a procedure to be performed, or pray that they get a chance to view their idolized surgeon at work. Videos are also being successfully used in patient education and continuing education in the medical industry, and are one of the first successful applications of e-learning technology to this field.

Simulation allowed interactivity and opened up the dimension that was missing in videos. With videos, students could watch and learn, but were entirely at the mercy of the camera angle and quality of the video. With simulation, it became possible for the student to interact and even attempt performing the procedure themselves, resulting in superior understanding and retention of the content. They could make mistakes and learn without having to face the risk and consequences that would be associated with making a mistake during a real procedure. That’s not to say that videos are no longer useful – the best results have been observed by using an effective combination of videos and simulation techniques. An example would be having the student watch a star surgeon perform a procedure and then attempt it themselves to reinforce the learning.

In medical education, practice makes perfect, and the blended method of videos and simulation is one of the best reinforcements of this adage. Many institutions are successfully using simulation in their teaching methodology, and it has found widespread appreciation in basic education such as first aid training.

To learn more about how Harbinger could help you, write to info@harbingerknowledge.com.