7 Game Mechanics To Look For In Your New Gamification LMS

7 Game Mechanics To Look For In Your New Gamification LMS
Summary: You’re already sold on gamification, and you’re willing to incorporate it into your online training strategy. What must-have LMS features will help you realize your vision? In this article, I highlight the top 7 game mechanics to look for in your new gamification LMS.

The Best Game Mechanics Your New Gamification LMS Should Have

Videogames range from Atari to Call of Duty; from retro 8-bit structures to text-based treasure quests. And when you gamify your LMS, you bring some of these elements into your corporate space. They won’t be as complex or detailed as they would be in commercial games. The principles are the same though, even if the execution varies. So, what are some game mechanics you should load into your gamification LMS toolkit to motivate and inspire employee training participants?

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1. Badges

In the real world, we love wearing brightly colored badges and buttons to show our status. It might be a membership badge for your favorite association, or a memento from your favorite book, movie, comic, or TV series. So, your gamification LMS badges may represent completed stages or pay homage to the employees’ department. Ensure your LMS can create and share them. It helps to have a library of customizable badge templates, so you can design and tweak them as needed. For example, provide themed badges that align with users’ interests.

2. Levels

Some of the most popular board games in the world don’t need any skill or strategy. It’s all a matter of luck, and the excitement is in the adrenal rush you get from advancing. You soar to higher rows or fall back to the bottom, spiking your emotions each time. In training situations, practice makes perfect, but learners will soon get bored if they have to repeat the same scenario. If your LMS has the ability to program levels, employee training participants can re-apply the same skill-set at a more advanced stage. This offers repeated, gradually enhanced exposure without boredom.

3. Points

Even the most complex videogame in the world has some kind of points system. It can be an especially helpful assessment tool in a corporate setting. It allows you to gauge all employees on a uniform scale. It also provides a universal evaluation tool for the various departments. For example, an accountant might be trained on invoicing and quotations. The receptionist may be trained on phone etiquette, and the delivery team may practice maps and popular routes. Points based on their individual courses help HR track everyone’s progress on the same platform.

4. Leaderboards

While the points system is helpful for instructors, administrators, and higher-ups, the ordinary staff member needs a measure too. They may be unable to gauge themselves against their office desk-mate, or colleagues in the field office. After all, their job descriptions and task-lists are too diverse. But leaderboards allow them to size each other up at a glance. It motivates them to do better, and it can show them the ‘experts’ in a given category, so they know who to ask for help.

5. Progress Bars

At a group level, leaderboards and points systems are good measures. But usually, adults are largely competing against themselves. When you’re slogging through a report or plowing through a training module, your cubicle-mate can’t help. At that point, your biggest barrier is in your head. Progress bars can show how much of the course or unit is left. There’s primal satisfaction in watching those bars move. Plus, it can help you plan how much time to set aside for your lesson. It’s especially helpful for rushed micro-modules squeezed into your day. Instead of the traditional bar, spice things up by incorporating maps and other themed trackers.

6. Hidden Resources

Gamers love discovering cheat codes, shortcuts, and Easter eggs. It’s why we all rush to see deleted scenes or directors’ cuts. In a corporate setting, check that your gamified LMS has the capacity for hidden treasures. The simpler the better. You want the kind of WYSIWYG tool that lets you drag-and-drop a secret formula into your online training activity. It makes things more fun for your employee training participants and can be a great way to unearth unknown skills among your staff. For example, a clue couched in a riddle may help you spot a budding cryptologist. And while corporate espionage is frowned upon, this code breaker could be a good addition to your strategy team.

7. Redemption Tools

eLearning gamification may seem like… well… fun and games, but to take it out of the fantasy realm and into the corporate space, you have to translate it. All those points, levels, and in-game treasures need to be swapped for offline loot. This could be time away from the office, just as an example. Employee training participants could accumulate hours that stack up into days or weeks of paid vacation time. Maybe it could be branded merchandise or annual bonuses. If you’re worried about it getting too materialistic, have the cash awards added to their pension. Another great option is to offer training based rewards. For example, employees are able to unlock exclusive LMS content to upskill.

It’s easy to dismiss gamification as child’s play. But in reality, it can bring some very grown-up benefits to your organization. The trick is to find the right mechanics and to implement them correctly. So, what are some elements you can’t do without? Shareable badges invite engagement, while continuously added levels keep employee training participants coming back. Leaderboards appease our competitive spirits as we strive to gain more points. Progress bars show us how far we have to go, and the urge to find hidden treasure spurs us on. Finally, make sure your LMS has an intuitive built-in platform to convert all those points and victories into tangible rewards. You don’t want to have to spend more money programming that module.

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