The ability and desire to learn new skills is a fundamental requirement of any job. While it may be a requirement for employees to go through different training modules before or after they’re hired, this doesn’t have to be a dull experience. There are things you can do as an employer to make your learning more fun and engaging for your employees. Utilizing gamification in your LMS can ensure that the employees get the most out of their learning experience and that they aren’t bored throughout the process.
What Is an LMS?
LMS stands for learning management system. LMS software is used to administer, document, track, report, automate, and deliver online educational courses, training programs, and other learning and development programs. These have been used by businesses – big and small – to train their employees in new skills. Depending on the system, your LMS may offer pre-built courses, allow you to design your own training materials, and incorporate features like gamification, collaboration, awards, competitions, and more to inspire employees to enjoy learning.
What Is Gamification?
Gamification is exactly what it sounds like – it’s the strategic use of different features, styles, and other techniques to make the experience feel similar to playing a video game. This strategy keeps the user’s attention and can make any experience feel more fun and engaging.
This is similar to when teachers would incorporate games like Jeopardy to make reviewing for a test more engaging. Using this technique not only makes for a more enjoyable learning experience but also proves to help individuals retain information more effectively. It’s easier to remember what you learned when you were having fun than what you learned when you were bored.
Tips for Incorporating Gamification Into Your LMS
This begs the question, “How do I incorporate gamification into my LMS?” It’s important to understand that gamification is a process and cannot and should not happen overnight. Your LMS may make the process easier for you with apps and plugins that you can download. These tips can also help you to make the most of your LMS’ gamification features.
Start off Slow
You can begin your gamification journey by downloading small plugins that can track your employees’ progress in a fun way. You can make leaderboards, incorporate a point system based on quiz grades, or make other small changes. These might not exactly be games, but they are a good way to start making training and learning more fun for your employees.
Download Available Plugins
There are many LMS systems that have plugins within the system that can gamify your LMS. One of the most common eLearning systems, Moodle, has built-in level-up, point tracking, and leaderboard plugins available for download. It’s up to you to decide which LMS works for your needs and wants. These features are often already available in your LMS, however, so you can take advantage of them to gamify your system.
Learn What Motivates Your Employees
During this time, you can also think about your employees, do some surveys, and figure out what other gamification features and properties would help your employees to learn better. You can also find different plugins and software online that are compatible with your LMS and fit within your budget. Not all of these features are going to suit your employees, so it’s important to know what will actually increase engagement and won’t just be an annoyance.
Align Gamification to Company Goals
Any new features you utilize in your LMS don’t just need to align with what will suit your employees. They’ll also need to align with your organization’s goals. How you’re determining success from the training should match those goals.
Acknowledge Employee Achievements
If you use a leaderboard or point system, you can keep employees updated with events, monthly leaderboards, and different themes. This will make continuous learning more desirable as the employees are working towards something. Plus, they’ll know that their hard work is seen and appreciated by their managers and the company.
Include Visual Aids
We know that information presented in graphs, pictures, and short videos is more likely to be retained compared to blocks of text. When you’re designing your LMS courses and deciding what should be included, be sure you leave spaces for visual aids. Even if they’re small, adding them will make the experience much more enjoyable.
Incorporate Social Media
I think many people tend to shy away from social media, either thinking it’s too scary or just a hassle. The reality of it is that using your social media correctly can increase engagement and make learning much more fun. Having mini quizzes, polls, or social media scavenger hunts can be a fun learning experience.
Challenges and Rewards
With the challenges, there needs to be rewards. Your employees are working hard, getting to the top of the leaderboards, leveling up their avatars. The question on their mind is, besides the endless knowledge they’ve gained, what is the end goal? Having tangible rewards like coupons, gift cards, or raffles at the end of the month could be acceptable rewards for their hard work.
Benefits of Gamification in Your LMS
Gamification creates a whole and effective learning experience for your employees. It creates a sense of friendly competition, motivates the learners, and is overall a fun experience. Why should you gamify your LMS?
We mentioned briefly that using gaming characteristics in your learning improves retention rates. Your employees will be more likely to not only memorize the information but be able to apply their new knowledge to the workspace.
Different gamification elements like leveling up, points, upgrades, or leaderboards can show the learner’s progress. This not only encourages the learner to engage in more modules and work harder but also gives the employees a sense of friendly competition. Having a prize at the end of the month for the highest employees on the leaderboard is also a gaming element highly favored by employees.
The employees will feel more in control of their learning. It won’t feel as redundant as simple learning and it will allow them to track their own progress as they go. This way, they can push themselves to complete more than they would if they didn’t have a goal.
Gamification allows employees to think more outside of the box than previously. They’ll be able to take their newfound knowledge and put it into brainstorming new ideas for the company. The learners will feel more motivated and excited to make new changes within the company.
There is a difference between reading three chapters in a textbook and using an e-book that has different gamification elements. Reading text and watching videos continuously becomes monotonous. Whereas taking quizzes, playing minigames, tracking your progress, and leveling up is much more fun.