Yes, You Should Absolutely Post Results In eLearning Gamification
Martha and the Vandellas released a single in 1965, out of Motown, titled Nowhere to Run. It's a song that makes you sing along, and it sits at number 358 on Rolling Stones' list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. And it is a song that illustrates one of the best reasons to publicly share individual results achieved in your eLearning program.
Do not miss it! In the end of this article, there's a link to a registration page for the webinar where we will talk about classroom gamification, leaderboards, and multiple scoring.
I think about leaderboards when I listen to Nowhere to Run. Why is this?
Well, outstanding, effective training, whether it takes place in a small theater in a large corporation or on the individual screens of employees, requires, above all else, that the learners be engaged.
And we know that workers are not easily engaged: Gallup did some global research in 2014 that revealed a startling (if not hair-raising) statistic – only 13% of employees are "highly engaged" while at work, while 26 percent are actively engaged.
I have previously written about how gamification can draw employees in, sparking a desire to learn and to practice what they learn in Gamification in eLearning: Getting It Right, and I now want to show that publicly showing the results of the games in gamification will boost the engagement of your target audience. Because when our colleagues and other stakeholders can review our achievements, we sit up a little straighter in our chairs and pay attention.
There is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.
But What If An Employee Really Isn't Down With Results That Go Up?
Old-school training techniques that use shame and its best friend fear to motivate employees are counter to what we try to achieve when using strategies like branching scenarios and gamification in eLearning.
The overriding trend in eLearning is to insert a whole lot of fun into the training process, so that everyone loves tolerates Monday.
Successful eLearning programs empower employees with knowledge, skills, and experience: As American psychologist Sherry Campbell stresses in her article in Entrepreneur, titled Move Away From Shame-Based Management to Inspire Productivity, shaming employees results in "only trying to survive the current threat hanging over their heads".
So, now that we have established that empowering employees in the workplace, increasing their confidence and their sense of being a solid contributor is our goal, let's return to how sharing individual outcomes in eLearning strategies, like branching scenarios, will boost their effectiveness.
3 Reasons To Post Individual Results In Gamified eLearning Strategies
The first is that the segment of your workforce that is most disengaged, the employees that would wear an invisibility cloak to work if it were possible, quickly understand that the competitive or gaming component of training means that they must engage – and that they should probably make an effort to land somewhere in the middle of the pack, when it comes to ratings.
Yes, this initially sounds like an uninspiring outcome, but you do have some disengaged workers in your organization - as Gallup has let us know, maybe up to 61 percent of them. A robust eLearning system, like ones that use branching scenarios, uses diverse techniques simultaneously to engage the unengaged, including giving them the chance to publicly compare themselves to their colleagues.
The second is that by publicly showing how your employees compete in the training program that you are offering them, you spark their competitive spirit and, let's face it; we human beings love to compete.
Let's think about the Fitbit for a moment: Friends and work colleagues share their walking stats, how many steps they take each day, with each other, because it motivates them. If your friend Meredith is constantly at the top of your Fitbit leadership board, wouldn't you walk a little further to replace her in that position of glory? Sure you would - and it will feel great when you do.
The third is that an organization or company can identify its up-and-coming leaders by allowing them the opportunity to excel during eLearning exercises: If a new employee shows an aptitude for the business you are in, cheerfully chases public recognition for her strengths and participates fully in eLearning exercises, it is likely that she is a keen employee who wants to learn and progress in your organization.
Yes, there are more reasons to get public about eLearning results and introduce playful competition, like the fact that your workers are more likely to bring energy to a task if they know that there is an award at its completion. Or that when you quantify results as in a game, we are more likely to push ourselves more than we would otherwise, in an effort to knock the top guy from his lead.
But I want to move on from why you should be public about outcomes in eLearning to how to be.
Let's Begin With Points
In eLearning gamification, points are important because they are showing participants how well they are doing, and how much effort they must put into their performance to improve: points = consequences.
Let's pause to remember that successful eLearning strategies use powerful tools like branching scenarios, where each learner, or group of learners, makes decisions that are not black-and-white or binary. It is important to assign the proper number of points to each decision so that they accurately reflect the probable outcomes of that decision.
The point values that are assigned to each decision or choice in an eLearning program can be imagined as the scaffolding on which the rest of the system of quantification hangs on.
To learn more about branching scenarios in eLearning, check the article Branching Scenarios: What You Need To Know.
And Now Let's Move On To Ranks
Ranking team member's performance in eLearning programs is useful in various ways. While assigning points to a learners actions and decisions provides them with some information, like how much they can improve, and allows them to compete against themselves, motivating them to improve their current performance as compared to past performances, you need ranking to let a learner how they are doing in comparison to their peers.
Using ranking in your eLearning program provides an important context for a learner to understand their performance: If you know that your score is at the top of the heap, you know that you have performed very well among your peers, and the converse is also true.
Also, ranking can be used to bring teams together, uniting them in the quest for improvement in their performance as they learn. Team A is always interested in beating Team B; it is part of who we are as human beings.
And Finally Let's Turn Our Attention To Leaderboards
Leaderboards bring together points and rankings in a beautifully public way, where all team members can keep track of who is doing well in the learning program, while striving to do better so that they can see their name rise through the ranks of their peers.
And motivation is not the only useful outcome of using leaderboards.
Leaderboards roll with new information, they allow an organization or company to show the results of a particular learning project and to show an accumulative or overall ranking, that serves as a standard part of an organization's training culture.
Multiple scoring is a genius move as it allows trainers to assign different kinds of points for different kinds of actions, bringing a useful flexibility into the eLearning strategy as a whole. Say, you wanted to encourage behavior X; you could reward learners who exhibit said behavior on the leaderboard. Multiple scoring allows for a more holistic approach to how learners are ranked, allowing the inclusion of wildly diverse tasks into the mix.
This is why we are introducing the multiple scoring feature in BranchTrack. You are not just getting more scoring types, now you can train your learners better by demonstrating how scenarios are, in fact, full of trade-offs and not just right-or-wrong decisions.
Join our webinar, where we will talk about points, scores, ranks, and leaderboards. It's free and will require just 45 minutes of your precious time.
Let's revisit my main points. The public publication of statistics as part of eLearning strategies is likely to result in positive outcomes like:
- The engagement of a higher percentage of the target learning group.
- Publishing individual rankings does not equal shaming learners.
- Human beings like to compete, it motivates us.
- Human beings like to be publicly rewarding for excellence.
- Leadership boards give learners important information about their performance.
- Smart organizations use their leaderboards as a highly prolific motivational tool.
- Multiple scoring opens the door to including hard-to-quantify actions in leaderboards.
Did you know that 75% of the global workforce will consist of millennials by the year 2025? (Yikes, that is in only 8 years.)
And did you also know that millennials respond extraordinarily well to games and individual recognition?
Hail gamification and the positive outcomes it promises, as we are all about to find out what it really means to train groups predominantly made of our friends the millennials and to welcome generation Z.
Finally, if the webinar will not answer all of your questions related to this articles topic or if you have any question related to BranchTrack, branching scenarios, eLearning - feel free to get in touch with us here.