Gamification is the new buzzword that training leaders are loving. The world is going crazy over gamifying everything from performance management systems, sales training, compliance training, and new hire training to almost anything that can impact business results.
Applying gamification elements to any intervention and experience can breathe a whole new life of engagement to the intervention.
If you have already downloaded my book – “Training Leader’s Guide to Leverage Gamification Successfully for Organizational Learning”, then you would be familiar with some of the key concepts that you need to design your gaming intervention in the digital learning environment. I also shared with you some of the examples that have really driven tremendous value to the organizations, it’s nothing short of pure magic what gamification can deliver.
Here are some ideas on how to apply gamification to your classroom training sessions to really drive your engagement through the roof!
In this post, I will share with you some of the ideas that are aligned to the concepts of gamification and can be applied to workshop design.
Let’s first go over the gamification elements and then we would try to explore some ideas that we can apply to our
TIP 1: In place of delivering your training program as a one-time event – break it up, and give it some form of a structure. For example, break it up into two parts – the first part can be your training program and the second part could be an assignment that you can give to learners where they can practice the concept they have learnt in the program. So, this way your individual training program can be structured into parts – a learning part and the assignment part.
TIP 2: Overall from a structure point of view, the learning program itself can be structured into various levels. Every piece of content can be divided into three parts template. In the first part, you explain the concept. In the second part, you allow people to share their experiences/insights that they might have, and in the third part, you can crystallize the learning by having everyone share what they have learnt even making it in a form of quiz where you pose the question to individual learners. This way you can apply a structure to the delivery of your content. Such as ‘Concept-Reflection-Application’ or ‘Concept-Clarification-Assessment’.
Rules – The second component of gamification is the rules.
Share the rules at the beginning of a training program about where the facilities are; rules regarding laptops or the phones, etc. You can make it more interesting, real, and more binding by making it fun. So, for example, create interesting rules and associate the rewards, scores, and consequences to it.
TIP 3: Anyone whose phone rings during the session has to deposit some amount of money with the facilitator which would later be given out as a reward to the best-performing team or learner. There could be some kind of a penalty for coming late – money or point deduction from a team’s score. Using a particular word like ‘but’ or ‘that won’t work’ or anything else can have a monetary impact or score deductions.
TIP 4: Create checklists style success path – A ‘how to’ system.
Development of a structure for the game is giving a sense of how to go about winning in the play that you have created. Think of it as helping your learners identify a clear success path probably through checklists that will improve their ability to demonstrate this newly acquired skill that you are teaching. As a facilitator, we all love the idea of giving a how-to guide to our learners which they can remember and refer to often, that can keep them aligned and check if they are not missing out on something important.
These can include checklists for mindsets, checklists for tasks that one needs to follow during a process, a checklist for everything important, etc. Just the inclusion of checklists in the learning experience gives it a stronger sense of success for the learners.
Scores & Badges
We all love to provide an opportunity for our learners to achieve certain scores themselves via the form of quiz either at the end of the workshop or through a formative assessment in between content chunks. It’s important to know how much play the scores have in the learning experience.
TIP 5: Make scores important
You can either put the scores down on a flip chart or on a whiteboard. You could also hand out some colored sheets cut as bookmarks. You can even make motifs on a straw that is usually used for children parties.
Learners who answered your questions correctly get those and also get the priority in answering the next questions and at the end of the workshop have them trade for something of value like a small gift or score bonus for their teams.
TIP 6: Team Competition
It’s a good idea to bring in strong elements of competition in the delivery of your learning experience. Break up your participant in teams, have them create an identity for their team, a battle cry etc. Have some kind of competition where scores can be assigned to other peer groups on their performance, put them up on a flip chart and get a picture of the winning team for promoting the event later. To add complexity, assign marks for rules that you created earlier.
TIP 7: Create a physical leaderboard
You can have some kind of quiz and publish the quiz results in a common place or through a newsletter showing the ranking of individual learners.
Avoid this mistake – If you have a 20 question quiz with four questions of five marks each then the whole exercise would be a waste because they would be too many people with the same scores and the whole idea of ranking will be lost. If you are planning to use a quiz at the end of your training workshop and also plan to use that as a leaderboard to fuel the competition then you need to have a longer quiz with just one or two points for each answer. You can play with scores either by assigning it yourself or by having other teams assigning each other.
- We are familiar with informal quizzes and formal quizzes. These can be pitched as challenges and obstacles.
- Digital quizzes can be developed and administered at different intervals after the workshop.
- On-the-job tasks /assignments are unexplored territories as a real challenge that will develop real world skills – explore structuring an assignment that will get learners to practice what they have learnt and to increase complexity have the managers grade the assignment which can be used as scores.
The game structure is not complete without an ecosystem that supports the act of helping each other. Coaching is an excellent tool that one can use to build continuity in learning for their learners even after the workshop.
TIP 9: In this format, a task is given to learners where they have to perform or produce. They work in pairs, coach each other to get first-hand personalized feedback and get a reality check on how to do it better.
Bonus TIP: Supercharge the recognition of learners who display better than average engagement by handing out foam crowns or any kind of visible insignia – even a cheap pen that the recognized learner can wear!
Gamification knows no rules but only the purpose it pursues i.e. ‘to drive unprecedented engagement’.
Making things fun is not to be disregarded as childish. It’s the key to involving the millennial generation and everyone else for that matter.
The classroom is the play area of trainers and facilitators to change the world – one intervention at a time.
Gamification gives you tools to expand the envelope, try new things in the classroom and to our benefit – test, know, use what works!