Create a Gamified E-learning Template

gamified e-learning template

Many of us are challenged to convert our linear content into something more interactive and engaging. I was digging through some old workshop files and stumbled upon one I built a while back but never ended up sharing it outside of the workshop. In the workshop activity, the objective was to not build completely from scratch. We started with an existing template that was shared in the community, and then we explored a few ways we could add some gamified elements to create something that is a bit more effective and engaging.

Here’s a breakdown of some ideas from the workshop activity.

From Linear Content to a Gamified Experience

We started with a nice clean template designed to meet the team. It’s interactive, in the sense that you click to learn about each team member. This is great for an exploratory interaction where you need to collect information.

Original Template Example

original meet team pre-gamified template gamify

See original template in action.

In our activity, we used the template as a mechanism to interview team members and collect information to make the right decisions. We also added some other elements to gamify it a bit.

Gamified Template Example

gamified template

Click here to view the gamified example.

Gamified Learning Challenge

The assumption is that there is some sort of challenge and the learner has to determine what to do. But first they need to collect information. They do this by interviewing the team members.

  • Each team member has something to say. Some of it is relevant, some not. That’s part of the learning experience. The learner will have to determine what’s what and whether the information is useful.

gamified e-learning interview

  • Each team member is assigned a point value. Some are low points and some higher.
  • You can only collect a specific number of points before you’re asked to stop. Thus, who you ask is important. You don’t want to waste time or opportunity. Another part of the learning experience.

gamified e-learning escorted out

  • The information you collect is added to a notebook and you’ll be able to review it later to make a more informed decision. Thus, the more information you have the better.

gamified e-learning notebook gamify

Gamified Template Modifications

Here’s what I added to the template to go from the original meet the team structure to the gamified interaction.

  • There were ten possible interviews. We added a progress meter to track how many were interviewed. We used a number variable and added 1 for each interview.
  • Created a disabled state for each character so you can interview only once.
  • Collected information by clicking the star. This is tracked with a T/F variable that we use in the notebook to determine whether to display the interview content or not.
  • Added a notebook that shows which answers are collected. The notes have hidden states and the T/F variable is used to show the information that is collected.
  • Each character gets a point value. Too many points collected and you’re cut off. Used a number variable to track total points. Each interview adds X points to the variable. Once it exceeds 12 points, the interviews are stopped.
  • Here’s a video tutorial where I walk through some of what I did to modify the template.

Gamified Learning Opportunities

There are a number of ways to create gamified learning experiences. Of course, this mock up isn’t complete, but here are a few things that I added to the template to increase engagement:

  • Put the content into a relevant context. Instead of just sharing information, frame everything around an event where the learner would use the information in real life.
  • Challenge the learner to make a decision. For the demo, it’s assumed something happened and the person needs to make a decision. To do so, they need to have all of the information. The more information, the better…maybe. Some of it could be false or irrelevant.
  • Create a means to explore and collect information. They can choose who to interview and what information is relevant and add it to the notebook for use later in the course.
  • Add risk and pressure. Choosing the wrong people means they collect less information and may not be able to complete the task. This is all part of the learning process: knowing what’s important and what’s not, and where to get the resources or correct information. Again, the demo isn’t completely developed, but you can see how this is important to decision-making opportunities.
  • The person gets to demonstrate their understanding of a given topic through the decision-making process and how they use resources. The decisions made produce consequences which create opportunities to add feedback and additional instruction.

I love doing this activity in the workshops. It forces us to work with the constraint of existing templates and find a few simple things we could do to make it a more meaningful and engaging learning experience.

Take the Gamified Template Challenge

Find a template (or a slide with content) that is mostly static or linear content. Convert that linear content into a decision-making interaction. What do you need to do? How do you do this at the speed of business where you don’t have the luxury of working from scratch or building the most complex gamified experience?


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Microlearning and Gamification, a Healthy Mix for Ages

Microlearning and gamification can be combined with great results. In this blog, I will share few cases where we combined microlearning and gamification using the right strategy to create better learning experiences.

Overview

In my previous article on microlearning, Creating an Effective Learning Experience Through Microlearning Strategy I had noted, “Microlearning has emerged as an important way to improve learners’ recall and understanding of crucial concepts and use them as learning aids during the moment-of-need”. Microlearning strategy is extremely effective to teach one objective with videos, animation and activities.

With this as backdrop, let me state an idea that I found working well recently, which is using a gamification strategy in a microlearning format.

Why Gamification with Microlearning?

Well, to start with games are increasingly becoming popular when it comes to learning new concepts or skills. Gamifications strategy works well as games have the immersive quality that compels a learner to pay better attention. So, when we combine microlearning which anyways is a short nugget with gamification elements, we create great interest in the learners to learn the concepts and perform the activity and remember the concept as well.

In a gamification strategy, the idea is not to bore the learners with lot of concepts or theories. The aim is to make the learner perform an activity and score points. When we add a leaderboard element, the game becomes even more competitive.

Many fun arcade games such as maze games or Mario type of games are of short duration. So, if we can weave a game in a microlearning format, meaning having short activities that can be completed fast and also enable scoring options, then we have a ready winner.

Thus, we need to focus on the goals that we would accomplish with the microlearning and gamification strategy. Some of the goals include but not limited to the following:

  1. Improve retention of concept learnt
  2. Act as just-in-time learning aids in the field or at workplace
  3. Act as a positive reinforcement
  4. Provide extra information over and above the main learning content
  5. Provide tips to do a job or task in a better manner

Having seen the guidelines, lets next look at couple of case studies.

Case study 1: Microlearning nuggets, learning journey and gamification

The customer needed a series of microlearning courses about food safety and hygiene for their staff. After analyzing the requirements, we suggested to have microlearning with gamification strategy to be implemented for the course. For this, we created a learning journey along with avatar selection and points for activities within each microlearning nugget. This made the learning impactful, meaningful, engaging and memorable.

Microlearning with Gamification strategy usage example

Microlearning with Gamification strategy usage example

Microlearning with Gamification strategy usage example

Case study 2: Food and Nutrition microlearning course

The requirement was to create a course on the various types of food sources, the nutrition value and the associated concepts. We created a series of microlearning courses on each element. For example, a course on carbohydrates, one on fats, a course on proteins and so on. Then we combined microlearning and gamification strategy to improve the engagement level. Each course had activities that has gamification elements which enhanced the overall experience for the learners.

Food and Nutrition microlearning course

Benefits of the Microlearning and Gamification Strategy

By combining the power of microlearning and gamification strategy, the customers could reap several benefits such as:

  1. Increased engagement levels for the learners
  2. Better completion rates
  3. Better application of concepts learnt to job/tasks at hand
  4. Better ROI for the organization
  5. Met the business and training goals

Conclusion

To conclude, the right mix of microlearning and gamification elements helps in creating the right engagement for the learners and helps organization reap several benefits.

We have implemented microlearning strategies using unique activity-based nuggets, game-based nuggets and importantly being device agnostic. Learners get the same experience, whether on a PC, a tablet, or a smartphone.

Our ID strategists and creative designers will work with you to plan, strategize, develop, and deploy learning solutions using the right gamification strategy and game-based eLearning strategies.

 

The post Microlearning and Gamification, a Healthy Mix for Ages appeared first on eLearning.

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5 Eternal eLearning Trends That Have Stood the Test of Time

eLearning has had, and continues to have trends come and go during its relatively short lifetime, with certain trends disappearing into oblivion, while some trends sticking for good, and being followed to this day. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 timeless eLearning trends that stuck, and have become more of eLearning essentials than trends. Let’s go.

  1. Gamification

Gamification tops the list of eternal eLearning trends because it is a sure-shot way to build learner engagement. Gamified eLearning courses have evolved to include more elements in them than simply game dynamics and rules like leaderboards, points, rewards and achievements. Although all these points are what makes gamification so great as a learner engagement and motivation tool, the gamified courses of today utilize augmentations, animations and compelling storylines. Gamification has not only stood the test of time as an eLearning trend, it has improved with it. Which is why gamification is the way to go, and one of the most beneficial trends in eLearning ever.

  1. Personalized Learning

Corporate organizations have now understood that each individual learner/employee is different, and have different professional and personal goals, according to which they should be provided training through eLearning. They should have the freedom to choose their own learning paths, which makes their learning more focused and targeted. By giving the learners the power to choose what modules to complete and which to skip, personalized learning empowers its users. Personalized learning also appeals more to learners, as everyone wants something that is designed based on their personal choices. Personalized learning is thus a trend that stuck, and is being used more and more by corporate organizations that wish to improve their employee learning and development.

  1. mLearning

Talking about learner autonomy and freedom, nothing gives learners more freedom than mLearning. After all, employees have a lot on their plate, even without having to take out the time during office hours to complete eLearning courses. When they’re forced to complete courses during office hours, it leads to a backlog of actual work, as well as discontent. When employees feel resentment towards eLearning courses, and treat them only as a tiring convention that must be done, no learning can take place. mLearning allows employees to complete their eLearning courses on their smartphones, whenever they want to, wherever they want to. This solves all the above mentioned problems. This is the reason mLearning has transformed from an eLearning trend to an absolute necessity in the modern world, as a smartphone is something that every modern-day employee has, and regularly engages with.

  1. APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)

It was SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) that started the trend of APIs within eLearning by allowing training and course content to be shared with other SCORM compliant systems. SCORM was succeeded by xAPI, also known as Tin Can API as well as Experience API. Basically these programs have built-in instructions for applications to talk to each other, so that the content is compatible and platform-independent. xAPI or Tin Can was considered an improvement over SCORM because it enables learners to collect data online and offline, while helping track learner progress and use content through a multitude of software suites, in addition to certain other features. APIs too have become an essential nowadays, but it wasn’t long before they were considered just a new-fangled trend.

  1. Flash to HTML5 Conversion

Flash is dead. This is a brutal truth. But, Flash didn’t die all of a sudden. It wasn’t long before Flash was the gold standard of eLearning courses, but that was before eLearning professionals realized the magic of HTML5. HTML5 allowed audio, video, 2D/3D graphics and animation to play without a plug-in. In addition, it gave hardware access, offline storage, and supported cloud-based applications. But the clincher was the fact that any eLearning course made on it was automatically responsive! This hastened Flash’s imminent doom. So what about all those Flash courses that were created? Would those become useless? Fortunately, no. It was found that Flash courses could be converted to HTML5 courses, and thus began the trend of Flash to HTML5 conversion, which is a big thing, even today.

You never know which eLearning trend might be here to stay, so never knock one until you’ve tried it.

The post 5 Eternal eLearning Trends That Have Stood the Test of Time appeared first on eLearning.

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Gamification Mechanics – What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Gamification is one of the most popular trends in eLearning. Gamification increases learner engagement, makes eLearning fun and interactive, improves learner’s knowledge absorption and retention and enhances the learning experience for learners from all age groups. eLearning professionals, L&D (Learning and Development) professionals, as well as learners that have experience with gamified eLearning courses would have heard the term “gamification mechanics” a lot of times in passing. But what does this term mean and why is it important? In this article we’ll discuss the same.

Gamification mechanics, also called game mechanics or verbs of gamification are actually the elements that are used in an eLearning course to gamify it. These include the actions, control mechanisms and processes that are usually found in games, which help put the learner in the middle of the action as well as restrict them in certain ways in order to create a challenge. The term “mechanics” refers to how anything (in this case a game or gamified eLearning course) operates. Different publications list different number of gamification mechanics, but there are 7 key gamification mechanics which are recognized globally and used the most often. These include:

  1. Points
  2. Badges/Achievements
  3. Levels
  4. Progress bars
  5. Leaderboards
  6. Rewards
  7. Learner Interaction

Let us discuss these gamification mechanics in detail:

  1. Points

Well, it wouldn’t be a game without a scoring system, would it? In case of gamified eLearning, learners should earn points by progressing through a course or by unlocking achievements. Points should also be tied to either a reward, badge or an achievement itself. Points are also often used to level up (by collecting a certain number of points), to appear on leaderboards or as currency in the game to buy badges, rewards and other in-game items.

  1. Badges/Achievements

Badges are usually awarded when the gamer/learner achieves something, and are thus, usually linked with achievements. Badges are usually displayed alongside a learner’s username, in leaderboards or any other places in the LMS (learning management system) where usernames are displayed. Badges boost learner ego, and let learners boast about them in front of colleagues.

  1. Levels

Most games have levels. A ‘level up’ occurs usually when a gamer/learner gains a certain number of points, completes a task, unlocks an achievement or reaches a specific stage in the game or course. Leveling up also usually means that the course or game is about to get harder. It also means the introduction or unlocking of new opportunities, new skills, new learning material or new modules or courses.

  1. Progress Bars

Progress bars give the learner a visual indication of how much of the course they have completed, and how much of the course is still left. Progress bars should be visually appealing, and should move smoothly with animations after every progress.

  1. Leaderboards

Leaderboards are one of the most important gamification mechanics, as they propagate healthy competition. They are basically tables with the names of top 10 (or top 20) highest scorers in the game/course. Leaderboards are used to display learners with the most points, most badges, most progress, highest level. Top scorers gain the opportunity to boast in front of their colleagues, but could also gain a badge or an achievement.

  1. Rewards

Rewards could be anything from points, badges, levels, appearances on leaderboards, the advancement of a progress bar to even branded merchandise which are offered when the learner either accumulates a certain number of points, reaches a particular level, progresses to a certain stage in the course, or passes an assessment or evaluation.

  1. Learner Interactions

Interacting with other team members is something that has become a prominent feature in a number of games recently. Interacting with other players/learners can be a really powerful motivator, whether they are cooperating, competing, discussing new skills and new ideas, or just showing off their accomplishments. There should be a chat option in the game/course, and learners should also be encouraged to discuss courses on office’s social media groups or personal groups.

In order to integrate all of the above mentioned game mechanics in your eLearning course, you require a powerful LMS. That is something that should be kept in mind when going for gamified eLearning courses.

 

The post Gamification Mechanics – What Are They and Why Are They Important? appeared first on eLearning.