“Engagement leads to learning, so any tool that helps engage the learner will help them understand and use the content they are being taught more effectively.”
~ Prof. Karl M.Kapp
Research continually shows that implementing a gamification strategy for corporate learning reinforces knowledge, increases retention, enhances engagement and ultimately improves job performance. The success stories have become more frequent and more widespread.
Have you been interested in gamification for learning, but wonder where to begin? Do you wonder how it compares – and is compatible – with traditional styles of learning? Or, are you curious as to how to “sell” it to leadership, and to your learners?
Learn from the Best! We are honored at Scrimmage to have the opportunity to interview eminent thought-leader and advocate of gamification, Prof. Karl M. Kapp.
Here, he gives us answers to a few common questions that he is asked.
I hesitate to say all companies. I don’t think gamification is a panacea and I have seen it implemented incorrectly in many situations. The question should really be: “In what situation does gamification make sense as an instructional strategy?” As with any type of instruction, sometimes gamification is appropriate, but sometimes it is not. Before I recommend anyone engaging in a gamified learning effort, I encourage him/her to examine desired outcomes, assess how the instruction is being delivered currently and determine whether or not gamification fits with the organizational culture. Having said that, I do think that when one considers it as a design affordance and a method of creating instruction to be engaging, I can’t think of many organizations that would not benefit from more engaging and active instruction such as gamification.
Gamification is a strange word. A good number of people confuse the concept of gamification with the idea of a game. But, actually, gamification is the use of game elements and does not require creating a game. So, one of the things I often say is don’t use the word gamification. Use the word “engagement,” or “activity,” or something that avoids the use of game. Second, I’d say that engagement leads to learning, so any tool that helps engage the learner will help them understand and use the content they are being taught more effectively. You don’t want to spend money on training efforts and not have them be effective. So designing instruction with elements of games to encourage engagement and motivate learners will make the instruction more engaging.
In addition, I try to get people to try gamification who are the most skeptical. When they experience gamification and see for themselves how it works, they often decide to adopt it. Finally, why does training have to “boring”? Why can’t game elements and elements of interactivity be added to increase engagement and allow the learner to have a little more fun as well.
In order to sell gamification to higher ups, you need to start with the business need driving the need for training. In other words, first, match the business need to what the training can provide. For example, if the issue is that sales revenues need to increase, design training to help increase sales; or, perhaps it’s an increase in awareness of product features and functionality that is needed. Take a deep dive analysis to pinpoint the crux of the business need.
Then, once the link between training and business need(s) is established, one should determine if gamification is the best training intervention. Also, look to see if another training delivery method would be more effective, or faster. If not, then determine the value of gamification for this problem. Ask such questions as:Is it the content that is hard to master? Is it the content that is boring? How are the learners currently learning the content? Why does the content or behavior not seem to be practiced by the target audience?
Take all of these factors into account and then build the business case for why gamification would be more motivating, better able to change behavior and a better method than traditional instruction. After these steps and approach, you’ll have a solid case for why gamification is the way to go. Furthermore, it offers the case for managers who need such key behaviors and performance parameters from their employees.
Karl M. Kapp, Ed.D is an Award-Winning Professor of Instructional Technology at Bloomsburg University, along with being a regular consultant for Fortune 500 companies on the use of gamification and game-based strategies for transferring knowledge to employees.
He has authored six books, including the best-selling learning book, The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, and its accompanying how-to book, The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook: Theory into Practice. Karl has been interviewed for, and published articles in Training, ATD’s T&D, Knowledge Management, Distance Learning, PharmaVoice, Forbes Online, Mashable, Huffington Post and many more, as well as appeared on numerous television and radio programs concerning his work with learning, technology and game-based design. To Learn More, please visit Karl’s website.
Kapp Notes website
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SCRIMMAGE is a modern technology firm featuring the latest mobile learning, engagement and collaborationtools serving global businesses from Fortune 100 companies to SMBs. The company works closely with its clients to build a customized, scalable and secure platform for all static and dynamic content, along with a full suite of award-winning learning solutions, including gamification, social collaboration and robust data reporting. Founded in 2010, Scrimmage has enjoyed over 625M platform interactions on aworldwide basis to more than 50 enterprise clients across a spectrum of industries.To Demo the mobile platform, please visit here: http://go.wescrimmage.com/demo