Gamification in Learning and Development – A Missing Link for Engagement?

11/02/2016 week saw the annual Learning Technologies conference in London. Now in its 16th year, how much has changed in what is being discussed there? One constant is the conferences aim to showcase the latest technology used to support learning in the workplace.

With questions being asked regarding social learning and user engagement, how can learning professionals utilise the various tools available to support these? There is no doubt that we are facing an engagement crisis that will continue to increase if companies don’t adapt to the expectations of the learner.

We can observe that:

  • The average attention span is under 10 minutes
  • We delete 90% of all apps downloaded
  • Only 13% of workers are fully engaged by their jobs
  • Kids spend way more time playing than studying

Gamification is all about applying game-design thinking to non-game applications, and is growing in popularity in the L&D space. The aim of gamification in learning and development is really to stimulate both enjoyment and engagement through the learning experience by capturing the interest of learners and inspiring them to continue learning. In addition, the new technologies and games on the rise in the L&D sphere, give the multi-generational workforce immediate feedback.

Gamification done well provides opportunities for the learner to collaborate and connect with others and solve problems as well as receive immediate feedback on performance. Like good game-design, the ability to provide increasingly challenging ‘levels’ (rather than simply earning points with no true end in sight), is how gamification will transform the way organisations apply technology to transform learning & development.

However, despite the enormous potential gamification can have on corporate learning & development, it cannot be seen as the future dominant mode of learning delivery. Gamification, like any alternative learning channel (eg. eLearning or blended learning), is not always the most appropriate nor effective strategy to motivate every learner in every learning situation.

It is therefore in the best interests of any organisation embarking on technology-driven learning, to consider incorporating gamification to complement its more conventional L&D strategy.

Please get in touch and find out how we can help you with incorporating gamification into your L&D strategy.