How Personalized Gamification Can Increase Learner Engagement

How Personalized Gamification Can Increase Learner Engagement
Summary: Gamification for learning provides highly engaging and immersive learning experiences. In this article, I outline how you can enhance its impact further by using personalized gamification techniques.

Adopting Personalized Gamification To Increase Your Learners' Engagement

From a debatable impact of using gamification for serious learning, this is one technique that has come a long way. It is now accepted as an effective learning strategy to create highly engaging learning experiences.

Over the last 4-5 years, we, at EI Design, have successfully implemented several courses featuring gamification for serious learning across most of the corporate training needs, including:

  1. Induction and onboarding
  2. Soft skills training
  3. Professional skills training
  4. Sales training
  5. Product training
  6. Application simulations training
  7. Compliance training

But this is not all, as we have also used gamification techniques successfully for:

  • The application of learning on the job.
  • The practice for proficiency gain.
  • Behavioral change.

Gamification offers higher engagement (as compared to traditional eLearning), and the learners love this approach as:

  1. These courses are fun, motivating, challenging, and have highly rewarding experiences.
  2. Instant feedback gives them the required cues if they are in line or need to make changes to successfully meet their mandate.
  3. Individual scores keep them motivated and push them to complete all levels. Leaderboards show how they are faring against other team members, and this too helps them in maintaining the focus of winning and successful completion.
  4. This approach allows them a safe practice zone until they reach the required proficiency level.
  5. Multiple challenges (mapping to learning goals) and progressive levels (mapping to proficiency gain) help them gain skills plus a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

L&D teams find value in gamification for learning on account of the following aspects:

  1. It appeals to all learner profiles. This is important as most organizations have a multi-generational workforce today.
  2. It provides higher engagement.
  3. It provides a sticky learning experience (leading to a higher recall and retention).
  4. It can be used for most of the corporate training needs (for formal training, as Performance Support, or to supplement the ILT training). Furthermore, the trainings can be designed to offer experiential and social or collaborative learning experiences.
  5. It can be used in various formats—from the application of learning to triggering behavioral change.

How Can You Enhance The Engagement Of Gamification-Based Learning Further?

One of the NextGen gamification techniques, that is, using personalized gamification can be used effectively to increase learner engagement further.

Personalization Of Training

As we know, “one size does not fit all”, and the same holds good for training. Learners today are an impatient lot. They want to spend time on trainings that are specially designed or curated for them so that they can maximize the gain on the time spent.

Personalization of training is the customization of training so that it is aligned to meet a specific learner’s needs. A highly learner-centric approach, personalized learning makes the training sessions highly relevant to the learners leading to high engagement.

While the concept (personalization of training) has been in existence since the 1960s, its usage in online training is relatively new. In this article, I leverage on some of the techniques that are used to offer personalization in online training and outline how you can adapt them to create personalized gamification and achieve higher learner engagement.

Benefits Of Personalized Training

Through a personalized training approach, you enable learners to:

  1. Select the device they wish to learn on.
  2. Take the learning at their own pace.
  3. Set their own goals.
  4. Set manageable milestones.
  5. Select their own learning path.
  6. Select the kind of interaction levels they feel are relevant to them.
  7. Obtain personalized feedback and use it to assess their progress and plan further.
  8. Use the offered recommendations to enrich their learning path.

Techniques that can be used for creating unique and customized learning experiences through personalization typically include:

  • A Unique Experience To Each learner
    This option could range from an avatar selection to the kind of learning nuggets he or she wants to select (with audio/without audio, or pdf vs video and so on).
  • Control To The Learners
    They can select the learning path that makes sense to them. This could be based on their area of interest, their current proficiency, or what their role demands. The learner should be able to select the learning path based on his or her interest, existing knowledge, the region he or she operates from, or the demands of his or her role.

There are several NextGen gamification techniques that enable you to improve learner engagement. One of them is personalized gamification that enables you to offer highly customized, relevant gamified experiences to your learners.

This is how personalized gamification can add value to creating a higher learner engagement:

  1. Personalized Learning Path
    Personalized gamification can recommend a specific learning path that would be most relevant for the learner, or you can provide the control to the learners to craft their own learning path.
  2. Personalized Performance Indicator
    Personalized gamification can go beyond the simple scores/badges or leaderboards by giving them cues on their performance against learning goals.
  3. Real-Time And Personalized Feedback And Recommendations (Based On Learner Behavior)
    Personalized gamification can offer recommendations to offset gaps or tips on how to build their skills further.
  4. Call To Action
    Personalized gamification can also be used effectively to drive changes through specific call-to-actions that support the learners in achieving their learning mandate.
  5. Learning As A Continuum
    Based on the learner’s area of interest or expertise, personalized gamification can enable him or her to continue the learning connect even after the primary training is over. Gamified nuggets, delivered as challenges (for instance, scenario-based assessments) or learning aids (Performance Support Tools), keep the learner connect live and create a highly engaging learning experience.

To multiply the impact of personalized gamification, you can leverage on the following:

  • Mobile apps for learning: Provide room for a highly personalized learning path
  • Microlearning
  • Innovative and immersive learning strategies

To summarize, while gamification intrinsically provides an approach that offers high learner engagement, it is techniques like personalized gamification that can help you step-up the learner engagement quotient further.

I hope this article provides the required insights on both the edge that gamification for learning provides and how you can enhance its impact further with personalized gamification that will increase learner engagement further.

If you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.

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