Instructional designers have one overarching goal: to create training that is engaging, interesting, and keeps learners coming back for more. Every decision they make is driven by the desire to create compelling content. And in the past few years, the training industry has been whispering about the latest buzzword: gamification.
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In many cases, gamification has proven to be a remarkably effective way to create training that appeals to learners. In fact, tactics like leaderboards and points systems can drive friendly competition and keep students motivated to complete the program.
While this may turn out to be the most effective training solution for your audience, don’t worry if your courses utilize other incentives to improve completion rates. Before implementing gamification in your customer training program, ask yourself whether it’s actually the right choice for your business needs.
Some companies are seeking out training challenges solely for the purpose of developing gamified lessons in an effort to be trendy. Instead, organizations should be taking their own training goals into account to determine whether or not a gamification solution makes sense. For some types of training content, gamification won't be the best approach. For example, leaderboards will only really work when learners are required to continually come back to training. So if your training course is more of a short-term learning experience, features like bite-sized videos or downloadable documents may be a better option.
It can be tempting to get carried away with the latest fads in the ever-evolving training industry, but try to stay on track with the core purpose of your training and the company vision. If your course becomes a jumble of trends, it can lose its cohesion and purpose.
That being said, it’s always a good idea to add some incentives to your training course to keep your learners interested, and gamification is easily one of the most popular ways to do so. For those of you who opt to move forward with this tactic, the key to solving the gamification dilemma is careful consideration of your audience and your business objectives.