With so many students participating (more or less) in remote learning this year, technology-delivered instruction has increased exponentially, but what hasn’t increased exponentially is student engagement.  It is asking too much of most students to stay focused and active during a standard-length class period online.  It didn’t always work that well in a regular classroom, for that matter, but it is incredibly challenging these days.  Many adults are faced with the same challenge as they struggle to sustain their focus during online meetings and trainings. While we talk about educational programs and students in this article, the same principles apply in workforce training.

Gamifying instruction is one of the ways that educators/trainers and the developers of educational programs try to capture the attention and active participation of students.  Gamification is powerful and helps engage students, but it doesn’t always further instructional objectives.  There is a critical difference between adding gamification to an educational program and truly gamifying it.