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Is there a recipe for product success? One of them lies in the provision of a high level of engagement, which makes users come back to explore the app again and again. And while there are different ways to do this, gamification is probably on the top.
Gamification elements can be applied to products pursuing various goals. Still, one of the most perfect matches is for learning. Here, gamification can significantly increase positive experience, contributing to increased success of users in their way to knowledge, making the learning curve more enjoyable and easier to handle.
Having a team of game developers on board and vast expertise in the development of eLearning solutions for companies pursuing corporate and traditional educational purposes, we at Emerline know what gamification in eLearning is and how to do it right. This post aims at sharing some useful tips that derive from our experience of building big-time apps with gameful designs, so don't miss the chance to learn how to ensure your LMS success and enhance user satisfaction with your educational solutions. Ready? Let's go!
Why Does Gamification Work?
Gamification in eLearning is known for having a great, sometimes surprisingly positive impact on how users overcome challenges associated with the assimilation of new skills and acquisition of necessary knowledge. And it's not a coincidence: the science-based explanation of this phenomenon is endorphins — hormones that release when humans are engaged in activities that stimulate their minds, such as games. Here are some of the discovered impacts of endorphins on the process of learning.
For sure, such impact takes learning up to a new level. Users perceive gamified programs as a much more fun way of learning compared to the traditional step-by-step program. And what's more important, activities associated with having fun tend to be remembered for longer. Also, the competitiveness of gamified learning makes it more productive, creative and focused. It gives students a desired and motivating sense of progress and purpose, which together lead to the increased desire for self-improvement.
Just imagine providing these and other benefits to your learners to create a picture of how gamification can change your learning programs for the better and make you rock the industry your business operates in. Imagined? Now let's formulate some of the competitive benefits you can reap.
Business Benefits of Gamification
Having an LMS system with gamification elements at hand means enjoying a great bunch of benefits that lead to the increase in productivity, take your employees up to the next level, ensure higher rates of satisfaction and retention among them, and offer a number of other good things. Let's take a look at the key ones.
A tandem of LMS and gamification:
Increases the productivity of your employees
Gamification works as an antidote for the decreased motivation among your workers. And it's no secret that increased motivation leads to enhanced levels of productivity. Through the creation of a relaxed, gamified environment, it's possible to encourage employees to conquer new heights and in this way double or even triple their performance rates.
Improves communication processes
According to feedback given by HR specialists, LMS systems featuring gamification elements unite people and strengthen communication between departments.
Engages employees in the accomplishment of mutual goals
Gamification is known to produce greater levels of commitment among employees and contribute to their sense of belonging to a team. All these make them more committed to the achievement of your company's goals.
Allows obtaining specific skills with fun and ease
Whether your goal is to ensure the progress of your employees in leadership, stress management, communication and negotiation, or other processes important to your business growth and success, gamification will speed up their acquisition by making the process of learning more enjoyable.
Strengthens your corporate image
There's no better way to transmit your company's image to employees than to do it through gamification. In a gamified environment, it becomes easier to make organizational goals and difficulties your company faces understandable to your workers.
Tips to Do Gamification Right
So are you ready to reap the benefits of gamification? If you are, consider these 6 steps to ensure that everything is done right.
Step #1: Set Clear Goals
To keep motivation at high levels, make sure that the goals set are clear enough, or allow your users to set them themselves.
Step #2: Encourage Your Learners
Don't skimp on positive feedback. You don't have to wait until the user accomplishes its goal to give a pat on their back with some nice message.
Step #3: Show Progress
Heading to the mark is easier when you see the progress. To increase motivation, remind your users on their way to the set goals.
Step #4: Add Some Fun
If there's a possibility to provide users with the ability to collect points and spend them on some entertaining bonuses, it's a nice idea to include it.
Step #5: Friends Are Always Welcome
Some competition, especially with friends or colleagues, can be considered as an extra means to add some motivation, so don't hesitate to provide such an option to your users.
Step #6: To Learn, Not to Win
Fails are common on the way to success, but they should not make your learners stop on their way. So game overs better be replaced with the next tries.
And These Are Things to Avoid
While previously mentioned steps are definite YES to any gamified LMS, there are also some NOs.
Use gamification elements to motivate your users but not to play tricks with them.
Don't try to impress your users by turning your learning system into a video game. It aims to teach: with some level of entertainment yet not in the Minecraft environment.
No game design
Don't confuse your users. Remember, gamification elements are not equal to game design.
5 Steps to Gamify LMS
Ok, let's assume that after you learned about the beneficial potential of gamification in eLearning, you have a plan to gamify your Learning Management System. Where to start and what steps to expect from its development? Here they are!
Step #1: Analysis and UX Strategy
Any successful project starts from a worthy plan that takes into account the context of learning you are going to provide. Some of the questions to answer are listed below.
This stage also includes the coherent work of a product owner, designers, and project managers, aiming at making the brightest ideas come true in a friendly and easily understandable environment.
Step #2: Design
At the design stage, our team creates a storyboard featuring carefully selected, the most important to the client's business gamification elements and activities.
Step #3: Development and Implementation
Now it is time to integrate gamification design elements into the system, building the connection between them and keeping in mind the agreed UX strategy. Also, at this stage the evaluation of deliverables takes place. When everything is done, it's time for QA specialists to get involved in the project.
Step #4: Quality Assurance
The key goal of this stage is to ensure that everything works as planned. Our QA specialists will test the system and in case of some issues, will notify the development team to make prompt fixes.
Step #5: Evaluation
Development never stops, so after everything is done, it's time for evaluation, testing, analysis, and UX audit. These actions can help you learn if your system brings users the desired level of satisfaction, and if there's a need for some improvements, plan and implement them in the shortest time possible. And it's not just about taking care of your users, but increased profits, retention, engagement, and other metrics important to your success.
Also, Mind These Gamification Trends
Have big plans going beyond the gamification of LMS? There's always a chance to stand out with innovative technologies implemented into your systems. What for? Outstanding experience, modern picture of your business, competitiveness, entertainment, and, for sure, increased profits. And when it comes to eLearning, these four are rocking now.
At Emerline, we have an R&D department that helps businesses determine which innovative tech will be capable of transforming their business most efficiently and cost-effectively. Having access to the most recent development in the field of new, rocking techs, we know how to implement them and help our clients become one of the first to introduce highly demanded and awaited solutions. Whether we are talking about AI and ML, chatbots, blockchain solutions, virtual or augmented realities, all are covered by our extensive expertise and complemented by our teams' hunger and passion for innovation, so the brightest ideas are always welcomed.
Here we go! Still have some questions or doubts if a gamified LMS is the right choice for your business? We are here to answer all of your questions, at any time. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.