How To Use Gamification To Enhance Compliance Training – Featuring 4 Examples

Gamification is used extensively to create sticky learning experiences, and compliance trainings too can use it to influence user behavior and create higher conformance. In this article, I share 4 examples of gamification for compliance training.

4 Ways You Can Use Gamification To Enhance Compliance Training

To meet the mandates of the government or regulators, compliance trainings continue to be a significant part of any corporate training.

Over the last 25 years, the compliance trainings have been offered in the online format. During these years, the learning strategies to craft online trainings have undergone a sea change.

Yet, till recent times, the compliance trainings have not embraced many of the new learning strategies that can help the compliance mandate (understand the significance, impact non-conformance, and trigger the required behavioral change).

What Can Be Done?

Since our inception in 2002, at EI Design, our focus on designing compliance trainings with approaches that are engaging (and often “out of the box”) has helped us create a large compliance practice. Till date, one out of six courses on the floor is for compliance training.

At the core of our compliance practice are a series of measures including:

  1. A set of approaches that can help organizations see the required behavioral change (we call this our 4-tiered online compliance strategy).
  2. The usage of several engaging learning strategies including gamification, scenario-based learning, story-based learning, and so on.

In this article, I outline:

  1. Our unique 4-tiered online compliance strategy.
  2. 4 examples of how you can adopt gamification in compliance training.

When adopted in conjunction, you will see more engaged learners, higher retention of information, and over a period of time, you will see the required behavioral change that your compliance mandate requires.

Why Do You Need To Relook At The Approach To Offer Compliance Training?

Unlike other trainings that help learners improve their skills or acquire a new skill, the compliance trainings are “mandatory” programs. The learners have no intrinsic motivation to take them up.

On top of this, most compliance trainings tend to be boring. A majority of them follow traditional approaches (read “bland and not engaging enough”) with a heavy dosage of prescriptive dos and don’ts that do not go well with adult learners.

Furthermore, the information is not provided in a format that learners can internalize easily and push them to do the right thing (particularly, when they are in a dilemma situation).

My belief is that for creating effective compliance trainings, we need to take an integrated approach that factors for:

  1. Creating awareness (to offset the lack of intrinsic motivation).
  2. Using better learning strategies that engage learners and push them to think and analyze the consequences of certain actions (to engage the learners and ensure a sticky learning experience is created).
  3. Retaining a connection with the learners (even after they have completed the required training) through learning aids (Performance Support Tools or PSTs) that offer reinforcement and related updates. Over a period of time, this would lead to the required behavioral change.

At EI Design, we have translated this approach to the following 4-tiered online compliance strategy that you can use.

Our 4-Tiered Online Compliance Strategy

Tier 1: Measures to be adopted prior to the compliance training roll-out through awareness campaigns

Tier 2: Opt for mobile learning and immersive learning strategies including gamification to design compliance trainings

Tier 3: Measures to induce the required behavioral change (triggers for the behavioral change)

For the longer-term goal of the required behavioral change, we have seen initial success with the use of Performance Support intervention.

We use learning aids (Performance Support Tools or PSTs) that provide the required support to reinforce the primary learning and aid in triggering the right action (in a dilemma situation). Here too, we use interesting and high-impact video-based formats, as well as interactive PDFs and interactive infographics.

Tier 4: Continue to connect with the learners (post the roll-out of the compliance training)

We need to eventually see the learners undergo the desired behavioral change to sustain the required compliance. One measure is to create communities of practice that focus on your various compliance training programs. Through this, you can continue to interact with learners after they have successfully completed the mandated training.

Using Strategies Like Gamification In Compliance Training, What Tangible Gains Will You See?

Gamification is used extensively for various corporate training needs. Over the last few years, it has shown its ability to create a sticky learning experience. When applied right, gamification in compliance trainings can create:

  • High engagement
  • High recall and higher retention
  • Correct application (doing the right thing)

Strategies like gamification for compliance training provide several gains for both learners and business as shown here:

Gains From The Learner Perspective

  1. High engagement
  2. An immersive experience that encourages the learners to take the course with interest and enjoy the learning journey

Gains From The Business Perspective

  1. Instills the spirit of ’why comply’
  2. Leads to the required behavioral change

We use several immersive and sticky learning strategies that push learners to analyze and act correctly (in line with the compliance mandate). These include:

  1. Partial gamification
  2. Gamification
  3. Microlearning
  4. Personalization
  5. Scenario-based learning
  6. Story-based learning
  7. Interactive video-based approach

Now, I pick 4 examples from our vast repository of solutions featuring gamification in compliance training.

Examples Featuring Gamification In Compliance Training

Example 1 – Gamification In Compliance Training: Graduate As A Compliance Auditor

A gamified compliance course where the learner is part of a fictitious team and is assigned tasks (content exploration) that are associated with challenges (decision-making).

Use of relatable context and characters with a fully gamified assessment enhances learnability and promotes sticky learning. The scoreboard and levels achieved during the training ensure constant learner motivation.

Gamification In Compliance Training: Graduate As A Compliance Auditor

Gamification In Compliance Training: Graduate As A Compliance Auditor

Gamification In Compliance Training: Graduate As A Compliance Auditor

Example 2 – Gamification In Compliance Training: Win The Access Code Game

A gamified learning journey where the learner is immersed into the content by choosing an avatar and traveling from one location to another in an office space.

The learner, on successfully attempting an activity at the end of each location, was provided with an access card to move to the next location.

Gamification In Compliance Training: Win The Access Code Game

Gamification In Compliance Training: Win The Access Code Game

Gamification In Compliance Training: Win The Access Code Game

Example 3 – Gamification In Compliance Training: The Island Migration Game

A gamified compliance course involving fictitious islands that a learner needs to cross to reach a destination. On each island, the learner has an option to take a tour (content exploration) or take a challenge (quiz questions).

This increases the engagement quotient, as learners have greater control over their own course of learning. A gating criterion with required accuracy ensures adherence to the overall compliance mandate.

Gamification In Compliance Training: The Island Migration Game

Gamification In Compliance Training: The Island Migration Game

Gamification In Compliance Training: The Island Migration Game

Example 4 – Gamification In Compliance Training: Compliance—Code Of Conduct Game

We converted this course on Code of Conduct into an immersive game-based learning experience where learners had to explore a city and find the key to the code document.

At each stage of the course, they were challenged using real-life situations, and they had to make decisions that would have a bearing on their points and the level of expertise achieved in the topics.

Gamification In Compliance Training: Compliance—Code Of Conduct Game

Gamification In Compliance Training: Compliance—Code Of Conduct Game

I hope this article gives you compelling reasons to adopt gamification for your compliance trainings and the featured examples show you the possibilities. Furthermore, I hope our 4-tiered online compliance strategy can add further value to your current approach.


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Will Gamification Work for Everyone?

Gamification is one of the hottest topics in eLearning today. In short, Gamification involves adding elements to eLearning similar to what you would find in an online game. For example, participants are given “avatars” and compete with each other for points, badges, or access to higher levels of the “game.”

Gamification’s benefits are reported to include rapid feedback and higher levels of engagement and excitement. For as long as I’ve been involved in learning, educators have searched for ways to move beyond passive learning (e.g., classroom lecture) to more active learning, and Gamification seems to move learning in that direction.

While recently reviewing opinions on goals and competition, I began to wonder if there were situations where Gamification was not the best technique to use and could actually interfere with learning. This blog post looks at how learning objectives, individual differences and group culture could impact the effectiveness of Gamification.

Learning Objectives

Having played digital games when I was younger, I personally think that the competitive nature of Gamification sounds fun. However, could the competitive nature of Gamification interfere with the achievement of your learning objectives?

Much has been written on the impact of competitive and cooperative goals on outcomes, and I’ve included some of the foundational articles I’ve read below. In general, they all seem to agree that competitive goals can lead to less information sharing and higher negative attitudes toward others.

If you’ve seen the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross”, based on the Pulitzer winning play by David Mamet, you’ve seen a good illustration of how a group of ruthless salesmen do anything but share information and certainly develop “negative attitudes” toward each other.

If the objective of your instruction is to increase cooperation, as in encouraging participative decision making, techniques that increase competition among participants may not be the best choice.

Individual Differences

We all have a friend or acquaintance that can turn a walk in the park into a cut throat competition. If you don’t know such a person, it could be you. The point is that people have different attitudes and reactions to competition.

One of the more interesting ways people react to competition, especially if they are continuously given information they are not doing well, involves whether they believe their abilities are fixed or malleable. Learners who believe they can change their abilities tend to remain motivated even when doing poorly. In contrast, those that believe their abilities are fixed tend to disengage when they don’t do well, even if they are capable of successfully completing a task.

Since effective instruction involves high levels of engagement and motivation, being mindful of individual differences could make Gamification more effective. For example, Gamification could be used as a course or module ice breaker, instead of being used to track all lessons.

Group Culture

Its been my experience that some organizations seem to thrive on competition, particularly those involved in sales. In fact, one direct sales organization I worked with pretty much had Gamification elements incorporated in their daily work routine, including a digital leader board that tracked sales progress on an almost continuous basis.

Other organizations and departments seem to thrive more on cooperation and information sharing, especially if their work involves innovation and problem solving. For example, one organization had a new product development team whose meetings were driven by sharing ideas in order to reach a common goal.

I could see a direct sales team totally enjoying an eLearning experience driven by intense competition. A group of research engineers, on the other hand, not so much. For situations where the culture is more cooperative, Gamification could be used as an ice breaker for training or modified into a team based experience where learners cooperate as a team against a deadline, such as “saving the planet.”


Gamification holds promise for adding excitement to eLearning efforts. However, time will tell if it works well for every learner and every situation. In the mean time, learning professional might well consider learning objectives, the learners attitude toward their own abilities and the cultural context when using Gamification techniques. Some individuals and groups may well thrive in the Gamification environment, while others may require more encouragement or have difficulties learning if they focus too much on competition.


Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 261-271.

Deutsch, M. (2006). Cooperation and competition. In M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E. C. Marcus (Eds.), The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and practice (23–42). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Farrell, J.N. (2017). A Model of Gainsharing: Culture, Outcomes and Employee Reactions (March 12, 2017). Social Science Research Network.

Tjosvold, D., Wong, A.S.H., & Chen, N.Y.F. (2014). Constructively managing conflicts in organizations. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1, 545-568.

Dweck, C.S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040-1048.


Luis Molinero – Freepik | Man Doing a Bad Signal Over White Background

Freepik |  Smiling Worker Showing a Positive Gesture

Freepik |  Two Mimes Fighting

Jcomp – Freepik | Young Business Woman Stressed from Work Sitting Staircase

Freepk | Team Watching Phone in Office

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A Case Study On Gamification In Corporate eLearning

Successful corporate eLearning is all about engagement. Games, when used in eLearning, make online training fun, entertaining and engaging for learners. In this article, I will discuss a case study on a gamification solution that we delivered, which resulted in better learner engagement.

A Case Study On Gamification: Taking Corporate eLearning To The Next Level!

A well-crafted game can help learners remember the content thanks to its engagement quotient, and transform online training courses to enjoyable online training experiences. Regardless of your performance goals, employee needs, or online training objectives, games are a great addition to any corporate eLearning strategy.

In my previous article on 5 key benefits of enterprise gamification, I have discussed various aspects and benefits of gamification. In this article, I will be discussing a case study on gamification in corporate eLearning.

Risk Management Course Overview

Our customer, an IT major, wanted us to develop a course on risk management with a different strategy than a regular corporate eLearning solution.

Instructional Design Strategy

The main requirement of the customer was to create an engaging and interesting course. Though we initially bounced a few ideas on the best possible strategy, we agreed on implementing a gamification strategy for the course. We developed a few mockups with a scenario and gamification elements to demonstrate the flow of the strategy.

For this game, we chose the single player option, wherein the learner fills in their name and becomes the player. As the learner becomes one with the character in the game, the experience becomes more personal. Which is a truly great way to learn and retain information. The feedback for activities is personalized for each learner.

Different interactivities were built to make the gaming experience more immersive. Thus, learners tend to learn better in an experiential manner.

Game Design

The course begins with an intense situation, wherein a company’s Vice President is in a pensive mood, as the company has faced a risk-related incident twice in a very short span. While browsing through a news website, he finds out about the launch of a new risk management application by another company. He finds that quite promising and contacts the company’s risk management team to help his organization. Upon receiving the information from the prospect, the team immediately meets and makes plans to implement the tool to see if it can help in auditing and containing risks.

After the scenario, the learner is informed about the mission and the various levels that they need to clear to accomplish it, through a case study. Each level takes the story forward along with a perfect blend of visuals, interactions, and reading material. These are then followed by a series of activities for the learner to apply what they have learned. Each activity is timed, and the learner will earn points for answering the questions correctly. The learner receives a badge for completing each level.

Unlike other game-based eLearning, this course has the “just right” amount of interactions that give the learner an engaging learning experience. This way, we took corporate eLearning to a higher level.

Here are a few screenshots of the game:

A Case Study On Gamification In Corporate eLearningA Case Study On Gamification In Corporate eLearning


A Case Study On Gamification In Corporate eLearning


Development Approach

Once the course structure was finalized, we went about creating a storyboard and proof of concept for the customer. This included the learning approach (game-based eLearning), mockups of the User Interface, design, and concept guidelines. A small working prototype of the game was created after the mockups were approved. This was submitted to the customer for review. We basically provided the functional insight into the course that was being developed. After a number of iterations and discussions with SMEs, a final storyboard and design were decided upon.

Following the storyboarding, the game was designed and developed using the agreed authoring tools as per the standard corporate eLearning practice. We dedicated resources and experts who have a great deal of experience in developing game-based eLearning solutions to develop the content.

Once the game was developed, we took a step forward in “pilot-testing” the course to a few users. The main purpose of the pilot test was to analyze how engaging the course would be on a large scale. Most of the participants in the test found the course to be compelling and engaging. After robust testing, the course was rolled out organization-wide.

The gamification approach was used for the first time in the organization, and it increased the completion rate from an average of 32% to 67%. The customer also found that the training helped learners with better retention of the concepts and better application on the job. This was a great benefit as compared to the benefit that a standard corporate eLearning approach would have accrued.


The game-based eLearning approach was an interesting way of reaching out to such a dynamic group of learners. Not only did it achieve better adoption, it also provided a good learning experience that suited the needs of learners, as well as aligned well with the organization goal of creating impactful training.

Suggested further reading:

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5 Key Benefits Of Enterprise Gamification

Gamification has several key benefits for organizations looking to enhance their current trainings as well as develop a better application of the Subject Matter. In this article, I will briefly present 5 key benefits of enterprise gamification.

What Are The Main Benefits Of Enterprise Gamification?

In my last articles on gamification and game-based learning, I spoke about the difference between them, and how GBL can be made effective through avatars and immersive stories. In this article, I have dug a little deeper into the benefits of enterprise gamification. World-class gymnast, Dan Milman, wrote in his 1980 book The Peaceful Warrior that “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not fighting the old, but on building the new”. You might be thinking, what does this have to do with gamification? Well, until recently, most organizations used gamification as a tool to motivate employees through competition.

Enterprise Gamification

Today’s enterprise gamification takes a broader and more modern view of human motivation. Understanding that goes beyond points, badges, and leaderboards. Gamification isn’t a magic potion that makes work mesmerizing. There’s more to gamification…

Research shows that using game mechanics which carry a meaning and a sense of mastery and autonomy can create super-engagement. For example, today, car insurance companies use enterprise gamification to stop over speeding habits. Big brands offer customer rewards to increase sales. Even health services use enterprise gamification to encourage healthy eating.

Benefits Of Gamification

Let’s have a look at a few key benefits of gamification:

1. Engaging Brain-Chemistry

Enterprise gamification isn’t all fun and entertainment. In fact, there is a sound science behind it. Dozens of neurochemicals are involved when a person plays a game. One of them being Dopamine. Dopamine is a “happy chemical” hormone which is triggered when a person is happy. Dopamine keeps a person motivated. In the world of games, winning a prize, earning points, and climbing levels produce a dopamine hit that creates a good mood vibe. This, in turn, reduces the stress on employees. This nutshell is the first benefit of gamification.

2. Instant Feedback Cycles

The millennial employees do not have the patience to wait for a quarterly feedback. They want feedback now when it’s relevant. Gamification features like unlockable achievements give employees instant feedback whenever they do something positive. Badges can also be assigned to specific pieces of content, like assessments. Instantly receiving a shiny new badge keeps the employee motivated to learn.

Also, integrating gamification into enterprise tracking applications, gamification not only provides immediate performance feedback but also guides them as to what to do next. Thus, this is second benefit of gamification.

3. Tracking Simplified For Managers

If the tracking and reporting are automated and tied to into enterprise applications, periodic performance updates of the employees can be tracked on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The managers can see an individual as well as team-based feedback and aptly judge the performance of the employees. It can act as a single source of truth for employee performance tracking needs. This is the third benefit of gamification.

4. Giving A Sense Of Mastery To The Learner

Enterprise Gamification gives a sense of advancement to the employees. Employees get to learn something new by feeling in-charge of the whole training. This, in turn, results in executing the tasks effortlessly and thereby performing the best at what they know. Doing well and a sense of autonomy are what underlines improved ROI. This is the fourth benefit of gamification.

5. Gamification Is Used To Develop Specific Skills

Thanks to gamification, as companies can now focus on developing specific skills on their team. Gamifying training programs will be useful to make employees improve those essential aspects to progress in several areas: leadership, stress management, communication skills, negotiation skills, etc. This is the fifth benefit of gamification.

Having said this, let’s now have a look at a case study.

A Case Study On Risk Management

he course begins with a situation wherein the company VP is in a pensive as the company faced the risk-related incident. He sees on the news that a new Risk Management Application has been launched and contacts the company which has launched it. The team gets together to resolve the issue.

The enterprise gamification solution has 3 levels or stages. The learner must complete all the 3 levels to complete the course. Each level has reading material and a series of activities for the learner to apply what he/she has learned. Each activity is timed, and the learner will earn points for answering the questions correctly. Once the learner completes the level, they’ll be awarded a badge.

This perfect blend of activities, interactions, and content is what makes the course compelling for the learners.

Here’s a screenshot of the course:

5 Key Benefits Of Enterprise Gamification


Using gamification right makes learning engaging and fun. While your eLearning game is exciting and entertaining, what matters, in the end, is the organization objectives. Everything in your eLearning game should be geared toward achieving the objectives and goals of the organization.

Suggested further reading:

  1. Demystifying Gamification vs Game based eLearning
  2. Game-Based eLearning: Making GBL Effective Through Avatars and Immersive Stories 

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Video on Gamification in eLearning – 6 Killer Examples

Gamification in eLearning, that is, using gaming principles and elements, increases learner engagement. Here are 6 killer examples of Gamification that can be used in corporate training and enhance business effectively.

Using gaming principles and elements in eLearning has proven to create an engaging and sticky learning experience. These 6 killer examples of Gamification in eLearning promises to engage learners in a better way and gain better returns in business.


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Game-Based eLearning: Making GBL Effective Through Avatars And Immersive Stories

Good games have strong, avatar-based play and compelling storylines that keep players on tenterhooks throughout the experience. In my experience, I have found avatars and immersive stories work very well in eLearning games. In this article, I will share my understanding of this gamification solution.

How Do Avatars Work To Make Game-Based eLearning More Effective?

Most games these days have avatars, so you may ask—why talk about something that is so commonplace? My answer to this is that avatars are not exactly being used effectively, and there is a lot more to avatars than avatar selection and making it run around in the game. Let me explain.

Avatars In The Movies And Games

In the movie Avatar, directed by James Cameron, you may remember that the protagonist, Jake Sully, is excited to be in a new environment and with his new-found legs. When his consciousness gets transferred to his avatar body, Jake Sully starts running out and exploring the environment around him. On the new planet, he eats fresh fruits and finds the total experience enriching. When he comes to know of his mission, he is not perturbed and takes it up heroically. He learns a new language, falls in love with the local girl, Neytiri, and ends up fighting for their cause. In the end, he accomplishes the mission by fighting the evil overlords.

This movie is so like what an ideal game should be, full of challenges and opportunities to learn new things.

This movie is so like what an ideal game should be, full of challenges and opportunities to learn new things.

So, when we think of a gamification solution, are we incorporating the elements of immersive environments, interesting challenges, suitable rewards, and so on?

An avatar-based game will work only when the avatar has a front view (a camera view wherein the player can explore the environment) and not just a third person view. Of course, this is strictly my opinion based on the experience of building many game-based interventions.

Immersive Stories

Continuing with the movie Avatar, what we found was that it was a huge hit with the audiences—not just because of its grand scale, the VFX, the pre-release hype, and marketing. It was a blockbuster thanks to its strong core, i.e. a strong story which most directors miss these days. At the heart of any movie lies the story, and if the story or the plot is weak the audiences will reject it straight away.

Similarly, a gamification solution can be made interesting and effective if it is backed by a strong storyline. Many learning games that I have seen do not have any stories, yet they work to some extent. However, my experience has shown me that stories, when added to games, make for a compelling experience and learners enjoy game-based learning.

The great part about stories is the emotional connection. As learning strategists, we should remember to appeal not only to the brain but also the heart of the learners. Only when learners get emotionally connected to a game, they retain the learning better.

Some Design Ideas

Course 1

In this game, learners start the game by selecting an avatar of their choice. After selecting the avatar, we introduce the mission in the form of a story, wherein the learner must travel around the world and gather crucial information pertaining to the mission. The information is provided by different people along the path. As the learner travels around the path, there are challenges thrown, which the learner needs to solve. The learner is awarded points and rewards for solving the challenges correctly.

The game tests the learners on various levels and at the same time is fun, as it has an interesting story weaved around it. There is competition within the game, as the learner needs a competitive spark to move forward. The gamification solution in this context helped learners make the right decisions.


Course 2

In this game, the avatar is lost on an island. The inspiration for this game came from the Lara Croft Series of games. Lara Croft games engaged gamers on a very personal level. Also, for the first time, they introduce the central character as a girl who is charismatic, intelligent, and a warrior. I found the game Tomb Raider interesting and got inspired to create a game on an island. As learning games need to meet certain objectives and be more realistic, the challenges were tied into the context of real challenges that learners face in their day-to-day life, such as problem-solving, analyzing data or information, and making sound judgments. In the game, learners can navigate using maps and other objects. The story is neatly interwoven into the game, and the avatar meets various interesting characters during the game, which makes the game fun.



The success of any gamification solution depends on how well it is laid out and whether it achieves the core objectives that are set out at the beginning. The objectives need to be tied to the business goal of performance improvement and positive online training ROI. Ultimately, GBL should be useful, and not just a fun ride.

At Tesseract Learning, our gamification experts constantly look for ways to build immersive courses using avatars and compelling stories.



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Gamification And Microlearning: A Dynamite Combination

Smartphones have changed the way we learn, and the learning strategies that leverage it for training have become popular. In this article, I outline how you can combine gamification and microlearning to influence employee performance.

Gamification And Microlearning Is A Dynamite Combination

We, at EI Design, have been offering learning and performance support solutions for over 16 years. Over these years,

  • We have seen the transformation of traditional eLearning to mobile learning.
  • The wider use of mobile learning has helped adoption of techniques like microlearning based training for both formal and informal training.
  • Around the same time, the usage of gamification for corporate training has been on an upswing. It is being successfully used to create engaging and high-impact training for most of the corporate training needs.

Now, the combination of these two high-impact learning strategies (gamification and microlearning for corporate training) is being used to influence employee performance and create a positive ROI. In this article, I outline the value of each of these techniques and the enhanced power of the combination.

How Are We Learning Today?

Till a few years ago, when online training was predominantly available on desktops or laptops, the bulk of the learning would happen at the workplace (that is, during work hours).

With the wider adoption of mobile learning and increase in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy providing the flexibility to learners to use their smartphones for learning, there have been 2 significant changes:

  1. Increase in learning on the go (for instance, during commute).
  2. Increase in learning in the evenings (post work hours) and over weekends.

With the momentum of “learning on the go,” there is a clear need to offer learning in shorter bites. This is where microlearning based training fits in.

There are 2 other interesting aspects in the way we learn today:

  • Pulling training assets or job aids at the moment of need.
  • Picking up learning when notified.

Microlearning based training facilitates both of these aspects as well.

What Is Microlearning Based Training, And What Value Does It Offer?

In contrast to macrolearning or traditional eLearning, microlearning based training offers learning through focused, short bites. However, it is not eLearning-lite. Instead, each learning bite is designed to meet a specific learning outcome.

Value of Microlearning based training: It successfully addresses the concerns of dwindling attention spans. It can also be used to successfully offset the forgetting curve.

More specifically, its value lies in its flexibility to offer:

Formal learning: Here, a series of microlearning nuggets are offered as part of a learning path (or learning journey).

Performance Support Intervention: Here, the microlearning nuggets are designed to offer support to the learners at the moment of their need. These learning aids or job aids are available to the learners within their workflow (on their smartphones), facilitating easy retrieval and application. These nuggets can address learner’s wide-ranging needs to:

  • Learn more.
  • Learn something new.
  • Solve a problem.
  • Address a specific challenge.
  • Apply and remember.
  • Practice in order to gain mastery.

What Is Gamification And What Value Does It Offer For Corporate Training?

Gamification uses the principles of gaming and associated elements to create an engaging and a sticky learning experience. Its power lies in its flexibility to be applied to most of the corporate training needs.

  • Typically, gamification based online courses will have a story/narrative that establishes the learning journey. This journey will have associated challenges, rewards, feedback, and a controlled environment to learn and practice.
  • They will have analytics to show the individual’s progress or how they are faring against the competition.

At EI Design, we began our gamification practice in 2012, and we have seen its acceptance soar in the last six years.

Our focus has been on using gamification for serious learning, that is, aligning it to clear learning goals that L&D teams want to see as the final accomplishment.

The key elements of game mechanics that are part of our gamification practice include:

  1. Challenges (learning goals)
  2. Levels (learning path)
  3. Instant feedback (to aid progress)
  4. Scores (accomplishment and gratification)
  5. Badges (for significant achievements)
  6. Leaderboards (for analytics)
  7. Competition (to assess where you stand against others)
  8. Collaboration (when multiple teams play)

Value of Gamification based training: If you polled employees on what aspects motivate them, the two aspects you are most likely hear would be rewards and recognition.

It stands to reason that what motivates employees should also be a part of the learning strategy. This is exactly where the usage of gamification for learning would fit in. It provides value through:

  • Higher engagement (fun while learning) leading to better recall and retention.
  • Instant feedback to checkpoint and help improve performance.
  • A safe environment to practice and obtain the required mastery.
  • Facilitating behavioral change through repeated retrieval and spaced repetition.

Today, the usage of gamification in corporate training is an important part of learning strategies for organizations as it has successfully demonstrated its ability to influence employee behavior.

How Can You Combine The Power Of Gamification And Microlearning To Generate High-Impact Training That Will Deliver The Required Results?

As I have highlighted, the usage of microlearning can be done for both formal training and Performance Support Intervention. You can use gamification to further enhance both of these as shown here:

  1. You can leverage on gamified learning paths that can support the learning journey that features multiple nuggets. These can have levels, challenges, awards, leaderboards and so on.
  2. You can have gamified assessments as part of the Formal training.
  3. You could also offer gamified assessments as Performance Support Tools that are stand-alone nuggets that can be pushed as challenges after the training is completed.
  4. This is not all—you can offer gamified nuggets in various Microlearning formats that enable learners to:
    a. Practice and improve proficiency
    b. Apply learning
    c. Solve a problem
    d. Learn something new

I hope this article helps you see the value gamification and microlearning based approaches can bring to address your corporate training needs. More specifically, it should provide you with insights on how you can leverage on the combination of gamification and microlearning to amplify your gains.


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Gamification In Learning: Featuring Gains Through A Serious Game Concept

Wikipedia defines Gamification as “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems”. While Gamification has been applied in several domains, our focus has been on its application in learning. Research certainly confirms the advantages of learning through Gamification. Let me share a case study that compares the gains in learning achieved through serious game concept vs a traditional eLearning approach.

Gamification In Learning

Wikipedia defines Gamification as “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems”. As per Wikipedia, “Gamification techniques strive to leverage people’s natural desires for socializing, learning, mastery, competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism or closure. Gamification strategies include use of rewards for players who accomplish desired tasks or competition to engage players. Types of rewards include points, achievement badges or levels, the filling of a progress bar or providing the user with virtual currency. Making the rewards for accomplishing tasks visible to other players or providing leader boards are further ways of encouraging players to compete”.

While Gamification has been applied in several domains, our focus has been on its application in learning. The games that we design are therefore geared to meet definite learning outcomes and our Gamification strategies broadly map to:

  1. Tasks or concepts that are overlaid on the learning content but are not related to the content
  2. Contextual tasks or concepts that are overlaid on the learning content
  3. Partial gamification (notably in inline checks and end of course assessments)

Research certainly confirms the advantages of learning through Gamification. Let me share a case study that compares the gains in learning achieved through serious game concept vs a traditional eLearning approach.


We had to design a quick online training for Project Managers who were being groomed to handle Account Management practices. The course on Account Management Fundamentals outlined the basics of account management and more specifically, what they must do to move their organization up the value chain.

The learners needed to understand two aspects:

  1. Their organization’s view that was to scale the newly acquired/existing customer to an Account and then to a Key Account
  2. The need to work on changing the customer view and scale their organization from a service vendor to a strategic partner (This journey was mapped to four levels/quadrants and it represented the challenges that the learners must face to accomplish the required mandate.)

First approach (traditional eLearning based)

The first solution was in a traditional eLearning format. To get the online training quickly off the ground, we used the Articulate Presenter based approach to present the basics of Account Management. This is what the first version of the course looked like.

Serious Game Concept 1

Gains and challenges

The initial mandate was to quickly train the Project Managers on the essentials of Account Management and this was met.

However, the feedback from the learners was that they need specific cues on how to accomplish each step to move up the value chain.

Second approach (serious game based)

We reworked with the revised learning mandate and now chose a Gamification approach.

  1. The key objective for the learner was to understand how to meet the organizational mandate to graduate from Level 1 association with customers (as a service vendor) and move up progressively to Level 2 (as a service provider), Level 3 (as a value provider) and finally to Level 4 (as a strategic partner).
  2. These four levels were mapped to four challenges/quadrants as shown in the first screenshot.
  3. The entire learning was driven through interactive scenario based questions (based on real life situations) that the learners had to attempt at each level/quadrant in the game. Based on their responses that enable them to clear a given quadrant, they would be provided access to move to the next one.
  4. The approach was designed for scalability wherein the questions could be easily updated. We also provided a randomized pooling of questions to ensure that on every return, the learner encountered some new challenges.
  5. The second screenshot presents the rules of the game.Learners had the option to refer to the learning content at anytime in the game as a lifeline.
  6. On successful completion of all four quadrants, the learners had gone through typical situations they are likely to face in real life, practice them in a safe environment and realize their goal of becoming a true Account Manager.

Serious Game Concept 2


This approach met the mandate and the serious game concept enabled the learners to handle the real life challenges in an engaging and immersive format. The ongoing updation of the question bank and their randomization kept them intrigued and also enabled them to continuously hone their skills.


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Infographic on Gamification in eLearning—6 Examples

Gamification is the integration of gaming elements in eLearning to create a highly effective and immersive learning experience. Here’s an infographic illustrating 6 examples of Gamification in eLearning to engage learners in a better way.

The power of Gamification in eLearning that is aligned to learning outcomes is clearly evident in these 6 examples. When used adequately, Gamification can boost learners to apply their learning on the job, challenging them with real-life situations.


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How Can You Combine Mobile Learning And Gamification To Create High Impact Training?

Mobile learning and gamification are 2 leading trends that are used extensively in online training. In this article, I share insights on you how you can amplify their impact by combining their powers.

Combine Mobile Learning And Gamification For High Impact Training

Whether your organization uses predominantly online training or a blended approach, you would be aware of the impact of using mobile learning in your learning strategy.

  • Increasingly, mobile learning is getting established as a “must have” from a “good to have” part of the training delivery.
  • In fact, it is now steadily moving from its first avatar of the mobile-friendly or adaptive format (which offers multi-device support wherein the online course runs from desktops/laptops to tablets/smartphones) to the mobile first or fully responsive format (which offers learning designs that are optimized for smartphones, although they too offer a multi-device support).

Similarly, the usage of gamification for serious learning is on a steady increase.

  • Unlike traditional eLearning techniques, gamification provides a learning environment that is fun to go through, is challenging, and does not appear to be preachy or prescriptive to the learner.
  • It is being used successfully across various corporate training needs.

Here are a few statistics on the adoption, usage, and impact of mobile learning and gamification:

  • According to the T+D Magazine, mobile learning is an emerging trend that will reshape the workplace.
  • According to Ambient Insight 2012–2017 Worldwide Mobile Learning Market Report, 74% of learners use mobile devices for eLearning.
  • According to Gartner Research, 79% of the participants (both corporate learners and university students) said that they would be more productive and motivated if their learning environment was more like a game.
  • According to Gartner Research, gamification shows a 60% increase in learner engagement and 43% enhancement of employee productivity.

In this article, I outline how you can use the combination of mobile learning and gamification to accrue several gains. I also outline the related aspects that can help you maximize the impact by implementing certain best practices and watch out for the pitfalls.

What Are The Benefits Of Using The Combination Of Mobile Learning And Gamification?

As I have highlighted, mobile learning and gamification continue to be 2 leading trends that have changed the face of online training delivery. When used in combination, you can see their gains multiply. I summarize the top 5 benefits here:

  1. Combined power motivates the learners and provides higher engagement
    This is the foremost gain of using the combination of mobile learning and gamification. Mobile learning provides learning on the go and control to the learners on how they want to learn (at what pace, where, and on the device of their choice). On similar lines, unlike traditional eLearning strategies, the gamification-based learning designs enable learners to explore, face challenges, and get a sense of achievement and recognition. On account of these factors, gamification-based strategies (in contrast to the traditional online training approaches) show higher learner motivation and engagement.
  2. Combined power can be used to move up the cognition levels—from knowledge acquisition to its application
    This is the second key benefit that enables organizations to see the application of acquired learning on the job. Offering practice sessions, additional challenges, and just-in-time learning aids that are gamified and available within learners’ work-flows (that is, on their smartphones) increase the probability of their usage at the moment of need.
  3. Combined power can be used to provide nudges to mastery
    You can use gamified strategies to push learners to challenges and provide formative feedback, remediation, or additional practice sessions to help them move up from baseline proficiency to mastery. Offering these in mobile learning-based formats significantly increases the rates of practice and learning. These assets can be pushed well after the main training is done and continue to connect learners through the learning journey.
  4. Combined power can be used to promote “learning as a continuum”
    Through gamification-based learning strategies and its delivery through mobile learning, you can continuously offer learning assets (instead of discrete trainings that happen on a few days in the year). Through this approach, you can create a more desirable learning culture.
  5. Improved ROI
    The moment you have more engaged learners that are motivated to take training that is interesting, challenging, and available on demand, you are building a strong foundation to meet your goal of positive ROI. Coupled with a push for application of the acquired knowledge, practice for skill enhancement, and continuous improvement, you will see that the combined approach of mobile learning and gamification will create a positive impact on your ROI.

What Are The Best Practices That You Can Adopt As You Use The Combination Of Mobile Learning And Gamification?

While I have highlighted the gains of the combined power, it is equally important to be mindful of the fact that the mobile learning-based delivery of gamification-based training will succeed if you factor for:

  1. Short nuggets with definite objectives
    Offer micro gamified assets that meet a specific learning outcome. Provide the program overview so that the learners understand the bigger picture and then offer a learning path that has multiple such assets.
  2. Provision for challenges, competition, and social recognition
    Use scores, leaderboards, and badges effectively so that they not only encourage each learner to participate but also provide social recognition.
  3. Continue the journey through practice sessions and new challenges
    Mobile learning enables you to reach out to the learners even after they complete the training. You can push further nuggets that enable them to hone their skills or look at new challenges.

Are There Any Pitfalls That You Should Watch Out For As You Use The Combination Of Mobile Learning And Gamification?

Like in any technique, the key is to use it optimally; otherwise, the intended impact is taken away. As an extension of the best practices, here are a few aspects that you should be mindful of:

  1. Have clarity on the degree of the gamification that enables you to meet the required learning outcome and the desired impact.
  2. Plan adequately for practice and ensure that the learners have good reasons to come back and complete the planned tasks.
  3. Ensure that the challenges should not be too easy and should be designed to push the learners to think and apply.
  4. Watch out for the fact that while gamification is designed to learn and have fun, it should not be frivolous. The focus on meeting the learning outcome is paramount.

I hope this article provides insights on why you should adopt the combination of gamification and mobile learning to create high impact training. This would lead to higher learner engagement and an improved ROI.


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