23 Effective Uses Of Gamification In Learning: Part 1

How To Use Gamification In Learning: Part 1

One of the greatest quotes I’ve read about gamification comes from the book Theory Of Fun And Game Design by Raph Koster:

That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.

Indeed gamification, that is the use of game thinking and mechanics in a non-game context to engage learners in the learning process, has been one of the most effective learning methods for over 15 years now. Gamifying the learning experience increases learners’ levels of goal achievement, engagement, interactivity, and motivation; what more would any eLearning professional ask for? This is why we created the Free eBook: How Gamification Reshapes Learning, where 23 carefully selected gamification experts share their specialized knowledge on gamification, education, and business and offer their insights on the effective uses of gamification in Learning. In this article, which will be presented in 2 parts (check part 2 here), I'll share 23 incredible uses of gamification from this free eBook and, along with the following 23 gamification experts, I will insist: Let the game begin!

  1. Mimicking real life challenges with increasing levels of difficulty.
    "I am currently scoping a simulation for media planners in the television industry, where the learner becomes a media planner with an increasing portfolio of advertising to place in the TV-schedule based on rules and regulations of the company, how it was sold by sales team, as well as the industry standards. The journey and choices you make could have you promoted to specialist, generalist, team leader, or in the worst case scenario fined and fired. By introducing different challenges with increasing levels of difficulty you mimic the learning curve of a new employee and options the employees really have to make. The added bonus of an in-company game is that you can play against your colleagues and even your managers, which adds the psychological driver of peer pressure and team fun with visual scores and leaderboards."
    By An Coppens 
  2. Promoting social interaction and competition.
    "One of my favorite examples is from our own team’s work. Using gamification and the Microsoft Kinect, we developed a tool that enables patients recovering from strokes to practice relearning the skills they’ll use at home. By simulating the actual tasks they will perform in a safe virtual environment, they are able to return more easily to their usual daily routines. All of this is wrapped up in an immersive, engaging platform with a competitive social scoring system where users can earn badges and compare their performance to both to their own past results and to other users’ results."
    By Andrew Hughes 
  3. Improving an existing leadership training program.
    "I always remember a project for a Navy client who asked my team to explore the potential of incorporating gameplay into an existing leadership training program. Our project officially focused on creating a serious game to foster leadership skills of junior officer staff. The produced serious game was based on a collection of “sea stories” illustrating real-life leadership challenges and included a healthy combination of narrative, challenge, meaningful choice, achievement, and other great elements of gameplay. The game was very well received within the Navy and even earned several awards, which made my team extremely happy. However, what mattered most was the fact that, by way of this game, the existing learning process was transformed into a compelling, context-driven, self-reinforcing learning experience that allowed the learners to explore a multi-dimensional slice of reality instead of simply reviewing a case study book."
    By Anya Andrews, Ph.D., PMP 
  4. Adding gamification elements to learning for those with various learning disabilities.
    "I, myself, have Attention Deficit Disorder and along with other people experiencing the same issue have reacted positively to courses with gamification elements. Those of us who suffer from ADD or ADHD can get easily distracted from learning, because it can become a monotonous practice of regurgitating the information learned. By adding engaging elements to educational material, gamification significantly helps in capturing the attention of those that have a hard time focusing on learning in a normal setting. Not only is information retention increased, but adding these elements creates a positive association with learning, which is very difficult for those with attention disorders."
    By Austin L. Meredith 
  5. Using game-based simulations in corporate learning to improve job performance.
    "We provided online game-based negotiation training to a California-based agency that works with businesses to get their state taxes current. At the conclusion of the training, we conducted a group exercise, where each group was given a case study and was asked to create a solution. According to the training team lead, “Several weeks after the training, I received responses from several participants. Each said they selected cases other employees were unable to resolve, and using the techniques taught in the game, they approached the cases from an entirely new perspective. They worked with the business owner to negotiate a solution that allowed the taxpayer to resolve their issues, and the state to clear the account. In all cases, the taxpayer expressed satisfaction with the outcome”."
    By Bryan Austin
  6. Simulating reality in uncertain environments.
    "Experiential Simulations’ Entrepreneurship game Traction has gamification elements such as leaderboards, badges, competition, and feedback. Players experience a start-up environment both post and pre-revenue while maximizing the overall game score. Obtaining badges and other achievements within the game have a random element associated with them. This random element means that the reward isn't predetermined from a given set of actions, which makes the accomplishment more enjoyable. This mixture of randomness mirrors reality in startup environment. The entrepreneurial world is characterized by uncertainly, information deficits and randomness. Real world entrepreneurs tend to be extrinsically and intrinsically motivated. The struggle to succeed -despite many setbacks- typically requires a high degree of intrinsic motivation for an entrepreneur. Thus, Traction helps create this intrinsic motivation through the use of gamification elements."
    By James Bowen, Phd, PMP 
  7. Allowing learners to collect badges by completing certain courses.
    "Badges increase the learner’s overall rank, and unlock other more challenging courses. Now, learners have a clear picture of the path ahead of them and have fun along the way. The second moment of truth happens at the micro level, when learners experience their first learning event. At this level, a reward system provides guidance and engagement similar to the portal (macro) level. A sales course we recently developed had the goal of dispelling misconceptions about a product line: if learners could correctly identify the client’s misconceptions, they would earn a medal and unlock a humorous 3D animated video."
    By John Carlos Lozano
  8. Using game elements in a presentation.
    "First divide the audience into two teams and give them instructions on how to use their cell phones to text answers via an audience response system (I use PollEverywhere.com). Then, ask a question and have audience members respond to the question via a text answer. In real-time the learners can see their teams’ answers as a percentage of respondents for each choice versus the other teams’ answers. This allows learners to feel they are part of a larger social group (their team) and they are challenged to answer the questions. After all the audience responses are collected, reveal the correct answer. Whenever I use this technique, I find a great deal of laughter and fun during the presentation because the elements of games keep it fun as well as educational."
    By Karl M. Kapp
  9. Enabling learning in a forgiving environment, which allows for risk-free mistakes.
    "Recently we created a training course for a client that contained a number of legal terms that employees were struggling to digest. The gamified solution that we provided them with was an island where learners had to explore and complete tasks in order to be able to move to the next part of the game. The legal terms were turned into fun quizzes with visual aids to help learners remember what they had been taught. Finding all the vital information on this island required them to use their own initiative to figure out where to go and what to do next. As they completed the tasks, they were given immediate feedback, which encouraged them to continue to their quest."
    By Kirsty Chadwick
  10. Tapping into intrinsic motivation.
    "The most effective use of gamification in learning is to create an overall context and narrative, and then select the most appropriate game elements to create an immersive experience to take a player on a journey. My advice to learning professionals when working with software vendors, subject matter experts, Instructional Designers, and stakeholders is to take control over their project. This approach requires a systemic rethink and redesign of how we engage and motivate people to learn. A great start is to think of instructors as game masters and our learners as players, so we can begin to challenge traditional assumptions about learning and instruction to create better experiences for our learners."
    By Marigo Raftopoulos 

Want to know more? Read the second part of this article, 23 Effective Uses Of Gamification In Learning: Part 2, for 13 more fantastic uses of gamification in Learning!

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Adobe Flash Fading Away: How It Is Going To Impact The eLearning Industry

How Adobe Flash Fading Away Is Going To Impact The eLearning Industry  

It is common knowledge that Adobe Flash is not supported on iPhones and iPads. While Apple has been a long-standing critic of Flash, recently the software from Adobe found criticism from two more technology companies: Mozilla and Facebook. Recently, Mozilla’s technical team decided to block Adobe Flash from the Firefox browser. And a week before, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer had asked Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash as the software is too vulnerable from a security point of view. In light of these developments, it is widely predicted that the future of Adobe Flash is at risk.

HTML5: The Alternative To Adobe Flash

HTML5 has emerged as a strong alternative for Flash in many areas, including eLearning. The biggest advantage of HTML5 is that is supports multiple devices such as smartphones and tablets. Also, as more and more organizations are moving towards BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), HTML5 is likely to get more popular in the coming years. Here are some of its advantages:

  • Unlike Flash, HTML5 doesn’t require any plugins.
  • HTML5 seamlessly allows inclusion of audio and video files into the code.
  • HTML5 is an open technology (unlike Flash, which is controlled by Adobe) and thus it is more flexible.
  • All new browsers are incorporating HTML5.

The 2014 International Tablet Survey conducted by Harris Poll and sponsored by Dell, surveyed IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) in 10 countries: U.S, U.K., India, Japan, China, Brazil, France, Russia, UAE/Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.

The findings are very interesting and provide an insight in the use of tablet devices in the workplace:

  • Tablets are a standard part of their company’s IT offering or currently under evaluation, and/or they allow employees to use their own tablets.
  • Mobility cited as a key benefit of tablet usage by IT Decision Makers.
  • Tablets have met or exceeded expectations in all countries; as such, IT Decision Makers plan to deploy more tablets.

The report also spoke about how tablet adoption has increased productivity and how it has done so by making it easier to work while traveling, allowing better customer service, providing faster or more convenient access to information while out in the office or in the field, or allowing real-time entry of information to reduce duplicated work.

What Does This Mean For The Future Of eLearning?

HTML5 has several advantages and is fast catching up with Adobe Flash: Especially now, with the high usage of smartphones and tablets both in the corporate world as well as in education.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

On Demand: Complete eLearning Journey; from prototyping to responsive to learning management

As an eLearning designer wouldn’t it be great if you could take charge of your eLearning environment right from storyboarding your ideas to generating responsive eLearning courses to being able to effectively deploy and track your learners’ performance? With Adobe eLearning solutions, you can. Give expression to your ideas using Adobe Captivate Draft, the all-new […]

eLearning In The Cloud And Slow Internet: Who’S To Blame?

Slow Internet: What Is The “Problem”?

During 10 years of providing cloud based learning platforms I’ve often had to explain slow internet and what the “problem” is.

The “problem” is users of an online learning platform being unable to access their learning platform over the internet. There are also variations on the “problem”:

  • “It’s running slow”.
  • “It always slows down at lunchtime”.
  • “The site is running slow for me, but it’s okay for my colleagues”.

Essentially, “the problem” amounts to the same thing. Users of the learning platform are not enjoying their usual acceptable level of performance. When this happens, users will often turn to the learning platform supplier, assuming that because they can’t access the learning platform, it is “not working properly”.

This article explains why that’s not always the case and gives simple tips and checks you can perform.

Consider A Car Journey 

Imagine you’re leaving home to drive to a meeting with one of your suppliers. You walk out of your house and get into your car. But your car won’t start and doesn’t even get you out of your driveway. Is that your supplier’s fault? Your supplier is most probably already waiting at their offices and their services are still available to you; it’s just that you can’t currently get to their services.

Let’s say you did make it out of your driveway, but you hit serious traffic congestion that slows you down. Is that your supplier’s fault? As before, your supplier is probably still at their offices and their services are still available to you; it’s just you can’t get to your supplier in a timely manner, because the route you chose is currently busier than you’d normally expect.

At some point you might actually consider an alternative route. You know it will take a lot longer, but if your supplier can meet you later on, it might just work. If there are no alternative routes, or they’re just as congested and the roads don’t clear, your plans for the meeting might be scuppered until the problems on the roads subside.

Throughout your journey, your supplier and their services were always available to you. The problems and delays were caused by your car, the road infrastructure, other road traffic conditions, or all of these factors; but neither you nor your supplier were to blame.

Consider The Roads That Your Car Uses 

Think of the underlying infrastructure of the internet as similar to a road transport system. You use your driveway to take your car onto the street you live on; the internet uses copper cables (or fiber) to take your web traffic out of your house and along your street.

You (and your neighbors) use the street you live on to take your cars along to a “B” road – the internet uses cables to take your web traffic (and your neighbors’ web traffic) into a connection cabinet at the end of the road.

Your “B” road will take your car (and all other cars from surrounding neighborhoods) up to an “A” road – the internet uses lots of connection cabinets spread around your surrounding neighborhoods to pass your web traffic (and all other web traffic from your surrounding neighborhoods) into your local telephone exchange.

slow internet infrastructure diagram

The further you move up the road traffic chain, the bigger, wider, and faster the roads get (think dual carriageways and motorways). This is similar to the internet with its interconnected telephone exchanges, hubs, and superfast fiber highways.

On your road journey you will encounter crossroads, junctions, and roundabouts where road traffic is merging and coming together – the internet also has interconnection points, ranging from little boxes outside your house to very big boxes where vast amounts of web traffic merges together and is re-directed on to its destination.

Slow Internet Problems And Diagnosis Tips 

Just like on your car journey where things can go wrong, the internet is no different and there are many reasons why things might go wrong. Let’s take a look at a few typical problems, as well as a few tools and tips to help you figure things out for yourself.

1. Check your own access.
If you suspect a problem, first check if your browser and computer are working okay. Verify this by seeing if you can access other websites. Make sure that you clear your browser cache to ensure you’re accessing a live webpage and not a stored version already on your computer.

2. Check your learning platform site.
If you can access other websites then it’s time to see if the learning platform site is down. These websites can help:

These websites send web traffic along a number of different internet routes to check if your online learning platform is accessible via any of those different routes. If the learning platform is accessible by one of those routes, you will be told “It’s probably just not working for you”. If the web traffic cannot reach your learning platform site along any of those routes, then it’ll say “It looks like it’s down for everyone”.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it is definitely your supplier’s fault. It could still be a problem beyond their control, but it’s probably a good time for them to be investigating “the problem” with you.

3. Give it five minutes.
A lot of problems can come and go in an instant (commonly known as “glitches” or “gremlins”). Go and make a cup of coffee and try again when you get back.

4. Why is it slow right now?
Your car journey might suffer from diversions (due to road closures, accidents, etc.) but you can still take a different route to your destination, even though you know the journey will take longer. In the same way internet traffic gets diverted (due to equipment failure, cables being cut by workmen, etc.). If that’s the case, it may take your web traffic longer to reach its destination. Also because there’s a major internet route broken, all of the web traffic that would normally use that route is now also using an alternative route, leading to even more congestion (slow internet).

5. Why is it slow at certain times?
If you’re in an office or academic environment, most people will take a lunch break and go online at the same time. When everyone goes on at once it can clog things up causing things to slow down. You might experience slow internet when you get home in the evening because everyone else in your neighborhood is arriving home at a similar time and they’re all going online too. Their web traffic is using some of the same infrastructure that yours is… Hence the congestion you might be experiencing.

Check what speed you’re able to access the internet using a speed checker website such as these:

These websites will give you a reasonable indication of your connection speed. But you must remember it’s only the speed you’re accessing the internet during the test! Different tests on different days and at different times will likely show hugely different speeds, depending on how much other web traffic is using the same “roads” as you.

Keep a log of dates and time when you experience problems. Share that information with your internal IT teams, because they can restrict other traffic (and websites) or they might be able to give you a guaranteed level of performance at busy times… If you ask nicely!

6. Why is it slow for me but it’s working fine for my colleagues? 
Your colleagues may not necessarily be using the same infrastructure as you (even though you might be in the same office building).

So Who’S Fault Is It When You Have Slow Internet? 

The infrastructure the internet uses is similar to road transport systems in that there is a diverse range of possibilities for failure and disruption to traffic.

“The problem” might be the fault of the online learning platform, your own devices, infrastructure in your office or home, or the infrastructure the internet relies on to work. Therefore, it could be the fault of your supplier, your own equipment’s, or it could be due to something outside of either party's control.

Regardless of where “the problem” is, make sure you work with an online learning platform provider that has a solid service level agreement. You should know where each of your responsibilities lie and what service availability you can expect overall. Make sure your supplier will help you understand slow internet problems and help you explain those problems to your own customers and end users. Most important of all, make sure you choose a supplier who will take responsibility in helping you to identify and manage “the problem” through to resolution, regardless of where the blame lies.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.


COHERE 2015 theme is: " Flexible Learning Designs: Building Community Through Blended, Online, and Multi-Access Learning in the Post Secondary Classroom"

Through panel discussions and presentations we will explore the implications of this theme.  Proposals will be accepted in the following streams:

  • Building Community: Practice that leads to increased sense of trust, respect, and collaboration in blended and multi-access learning environments.
  • Social Justice:  Policy and successful practice that recognizes that face-to-face education promotes privilege in participation, and research that provides evidence that flexible learning designs promote participation from non-traditional student groups.
  • Evidence-based research for multi-access and blended learning designs: From tracing learner interactions to configuration of room and interface designs for collaboration
  • Open: The adoption of open learning practices to enhance post-secondary education through an increased global community of learners and leaders.

Please note: There will be two locations for this conference. We expect a proportion of the presentations to take place in Victoria, BC at the University of Victoria and the rest in Halifax, NS at Dalhousie University. The conference format is intended to profile the tools and technologies that enable mult-access, distributed learning – including videoconference connectivity and web conferencing – to connect the two locations. The program will be structured to reflect, where possible, the difference in time zones between the locations. There will be one keynote delivered in person at each location, and one featured presentation delivered via technology by distance. These will be connected to the other conference site via technology. We will also try to connect concurrent sessions, where possible, between the two locations. With your abstract submission you need to indicate whether or not you would prefer to present in one or the other location, and also indicate whether it would be possible to relocate to the other location to balance participation at each site should that be necessary.

The 2015 Collaboration for Online Higher Education & Research Conference (COHERE 2015) will be held in both Victoria and Halifax, Canada, on October 22-23, 2015.


This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Recorded Training: Author on the mobile… Author for the mobile

Topic: Author on the mobile… Author for the mobile Description: Join Dr. Pooja Jaisingh, Sr. Adobe eLearning Evangelist, as she shows you how to create mobile learning courses using mobile devices alongside Adobe Captivate 9. Learn how to create storyboards using Adobe Captivate Draft, share it for review with colleagues and clients, implement feedback, and then open […]

5 Things You Can Learn From Taylor Swift About eLearning

What Taylor Swift Can Teach You About eLearning

When Taylor Swift sets her mind to something, it happens. Take her recent showdown with Apple over the artist compensation structure of Apple Music streaming service. Her letter to the technology giant caused Apple to change its mind and compensate artists; even during the three-month free trial period when Apple was not being paid. Swift sets a powerful example for getting things done successfully, and there are some surprising insights from her climb to fame that you can apply to your eLearning development.

1. Feedback is critical. 

Taylor Swift is well known for personally responding to fans on social media. She’s constantly saying sweet things to her young admirers. Her comments encourage fans to stay true to themselves and dream big. She even dispenses fashion advice via Tumblr:


Your learners want that kind of feedback from you! Feedback helps online training feel more personal and shows learners what they’re doing right (or wrong). Here are two blogs to get you started on the road to great feedback:

2. Make things fun. 

Fusion writer Kelsey McKinney describes a Taylor Swift concert experience as “part sing-along, part dance party, and part slumber party confessional”. She always has a surprise musical guest, and she constantly puts together outrageous costumes and amazing sets. People -even adults- get excited about Taylor Swift concerts. You want your learners to be that excited about your training, right? Try adding elements of gamification, or fun characters and interactive scenarios. These blogs will give you some more inspiration:

3. Don’t be afraid to try new things. 

From Nashville to New York City, and country to crossover to completely pop, Taylor Swift has taken a lot of leaps of faith in her career. She stepped way out of her comfort zone for “Thug Story”, her comedy collaboration with T-Pain, a hilarious parody of her hit song “Love Story”.

Swift took the risk of stepping away from country music -where she had a legion of fans- and creating an entirely pop album for her most recent release. The result? Swift’s pop album, 1989, sold more than 1.2 million copies in its first week in the US alone. Her success shows that her creative risks have paid off, and you can follow her lead as you design training content. Remain fresh by changing up your eLearning to include new scenarios, for example.
Ready to add in scenarios? Here are two great resources:

If you really want to be on the cutting edge, consider making your content mobile -and tablet-friendly. Sign up to beta test the brand new Responsive Course Design capability in Lectora® Online and easily create multi-device eLearning.

4. Be a social butterfly.

Do you follow Taylor on social media? She’s all over it; from carefully curated Instagram photos to Twitter to Facebook and more. She uses it to connect with fans and as a marketing tool.


Have you tried using social media to add another dimension to your eLearning? Check out this blog by Instructional Designer Jennifer Valley for some more ideas:

5. Get inspired by real life. 

How did Taylor Swift first make headlines? By writing songs based on true stories about people she knew and people she dated. Fans loved scouring the liner notes for clues about which ex each song called out.

Your eLearning can also be super engaging. Just make your eLearning content realistic with relatable scenarios that your learners could encounter in their everyday tasks. Feature case studies of real employees. Taylor Swift plays to her audience and wins their hearts every time. You can too!

Here are a few blogs to help you keep your eLearning realistic and relatable:

Even if you’re not a diehard “Swiftie”, it’s pretty clear that Taylor Swift has a lot to teach all of us; from how to get over a bad breakup to how to make great eLearning content.

Feeling inspired? Download a free 30-day trial of Lectora® Inspire today to put these ideas to work.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Introducing Adobe Captivate Draft: Storyboard and design eLearning on your iPad

One of the greatest new features in Adobe Captivate 9 is the addition of a pre-production workflow for Captivate. In fact with the addition of Adobe Captivate Draft for pre-production design and storyboarding, and the addition of Adobe Captivate Prime (an all new LMS from Adobe) it is now possible to complete your entire eLearning […]

Use Self-Paced Learning To Enhance The Learning Experience Of Employees, Customers And Channel Partners

How Self-Paced Learning Can Enhance The Learning Experience Of Employees, Customers And Channel Partners

  1. Convenience.
    When it comes to corporate eLearning, learners, be it employees or customers, always find it hard to strike a balance between work and training. Sometimes, they find it difficult to attend scheduled training programs due to overlapping work priorities. However, with self-paced learning people can learn anytime and from anywhere, whether they are travelling or at home. The convenience offered by self-paced learning enables more people to attend training programs, and reduces the drop out ratio.
  2. Cost effectiveness.
    Virtual or classroom training involves different costs such as fees for instructors, costs related to venues in the case of classroom training or technology costs in the case of virtual training. On the contrary, self-paced learning does not involve any of these costs and thus it is highly cost effective.
  3. Suited for all types of learning styles/needs.
    Different people have different learning styles. Some people prefer to go through the same learning content multiple times, and thus require more time for completing a course. Whereas some people get done with a course very fast. Likewise, the learning and comprehension capacity of every individual is different. Self-paced learning is suited for all types of learners. Learners who want to finish a course fast don’t have to wait for others; whereas learners who need more time to grasp the content can do it at their own pace.
  4. No scheduling issues.
    Scheduling is one of the major challenges for any learning program, especially courses that involve a large number of people. Self-paced learning takes scheduling related issues, such as rescheduling and cancellations, out of the equation. Learning managers have to simply launch a program and set a deadline for course completion.
  5. Helps in building a solid base.
    Similar to virtual and classroom learning, self-paced learning has assessments and quizzes at the end of each module. Through these assessments, learners can evaluate their understanding of the concepts. If any knowledge gaps exist, learners can review the content again till they have a solid understanding of the content. This kind of flexibility is not available in virtual/classroom learning. Also, in a classroom environment, sometimes students, especially introverts, hesitate to raise their doubts in front of others. However, in self-paced learning, learners can freely ask questions through mediums such as online chat or online messaging.
  6. Improves ownership.
    By its inherent nature, self-paced learning puts the onus of learning on the learners. This way there is greater ownership on learners, which forces them to have more internal motivation as well as better organize their own time.
  7. Greater focus.
    In a classroom environment, there are chances of students getting distracted. In real classrooms, these distractions could be caused by peers and in virtual classrooms these distractions could be due to family members/friends. However, with self-paced learning students generally learn only at a time where there are no distractions, which leads to effective learning.
  8. Good for permanent content.
    All organizations have some training content that’s permanent and that needs to be distributed to a lot of people. Common examples include company policies or standard training manuals. Self-paced learning is good for permanent content, because it eliminates the need of live facilitators and scheduling-related coordination.
  9. Ensures quicker adoption of products.
    In the case of customers and channel partners, self-paced learning ensures faster adoption of new products. As opposed to traditional learning, where you need to schedule a sizeable batch of customers or channel partners to demonstrate new products, self-paced learning helps them get started instantly. In the case of new products, these time savings are immensely valuable because you can get feedback faster and thus make improvements, if any, more quickly.

Concluding, self-paced learning offers numerous advantages to organizations, whether they are providing training to their employees, their customers or their channel partners.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.