Gamification And Microlearning: 3 Examples To Use And Succeed
Classroom training is not the same as it was, say, 20 years ago. We know instructors today make use of multiple online learning tools such as videos, infographics, and online assessments to make learning engaging for their millennial learners. Online learning , too, has benefited immensely from the smartphone revolution, making on-the-go learning possible. So what about implementing gamified learning combined with microlearning?
In other words, old and traditional training methods are always giving way to newer, modern formats that adapt to the changing needs of the learner and offer training in a much more engaging way.
Microlearning and gamification are signaling a turning point in the online learning paradigm, catering to modern learning needs with relative ease . Organizations are using a combination of these two strategies to:
- Address the modern learner’s low attention span
- Strike a balance between fun and serious gamified learning
- Offer Just-In-Time learning resources for performance support
- Appeal to the millennials’ desire for instant gratification
- Provide for peer learning and collaboration
In this article, let’s look at the 3 types of training where gamified learning is making a difference.
1. Onboarding Training
In an ideal world, onboarding programs help new employees smoothly transition into their new roles. However, here’s what actually happens in most organizations using traditional onboarding methods:
Day 1: Orientation begins, where a lot of information is dumped on the new recruits.
Week 1: New hires meet the team and start job-shadowing.
Week 2: HR assigns tasks, expecting them to « catch on » soon.
Week 3: The new hire begins to fail and has no clue where to seek help.
Week 4: The employee is not productive, feels frustrated, and decides to leave the organization.
There are 4 reasons why this happens.
- Dull and unexciting content that fails to keep new hires motivated
- Lack of role clarity and challenges with expectations/results
- Copious amounts of information leading to cognitive overload
- No post-onboarding support
All of these factors cause a lot of stress and anxiety for new employees, resulting in higher dropout rates and a reduced ROI.
Here’s how to use gamified learning to help new employees successfully navigate the ups and downs of onboarding.
Just to set the tone and break the ice, arrange a virtual classroom session to tell new hires what to expect during their first day and throughout the orientation, and what is expected of them. Provide a « raise hand » option in the virtual platform for them to seek immediate in-context feedback while the instructor is explaining something .
During The Onboarding
Instead of forcing new hires to sit through a 2-hour eLearning course or go through a bunch of documents, leverage the combination of face-to-face interaction and microlearning. Use a mix of short virtual classroom sessions and gamified learning modules, with every session/module advertised as a mission or a goal to be achieved. You can spice things up a bit by adding milestones within these levels.
Divide the activities into levels.
Level 1: About the company
- Sub-level 1: Company history and vision
- Sub-level 2: Products and services
- Sub Level 3: Procedures to follow
- Sub-level 4: Company culture
- Sub-level 5: Social initiatives and policies
Level 2: Departments and their heads
Level 3: Job role and expectations
Use a variety of microlearning formats at each level —whiteboard animations, explainer or animated videos, and scenario-based modules to turn the boring content into something fun and engaging.
Create a game-based course that tasks employees with searching for people in specific departments, meeting salespersons, and getting to know the products, services, procedures to follow, etc.
Host game-based assessments—on the LMS—at the completion of each level to assess the new hire’s acquired knowledge. Rewarding their progress and achievements is essential, so use the LMS to track their gamified learning progress and recognize their accomplishments with points and badges.
You can also display their scores against their names—again, on the LMS—for other employees to see to foster healthy competition.
- Upload FAQs, handbooks, training material, and a directory of managers and staff in the form of easy-to-access PDFs and infographics on the LMS.
- Create an online discussion forum where the new employees can interact with their peers and get answers for any queries they may have.
- Reinforce training post-onboarding through short, gamified nuggets and game-based assessments on their mobile devices that capture the summary of the training.
2. Sales And Product Training With Gamified Learning
Top sales reps tend to be naturally curious learners, but there are two main reasons why they tend to put gamified learning on the backburner:
- Traditional sales training methods usually require them to spend long hours in training, taking valuable time out of their already busy work schedule.
- A lack of engaging content and opportunities for practice could be another turn-off.
The benefits of gamification in sales training are numerous. The most obvious are increased engagement and motivation, but there are other ways in which gamified learning can be a game-changer for sales and product training. Let’s see how.
Not all sales reps need to start training from scratch. To assess their selling skills and product knowledge, conduct a pre-training assessment. Send one, or several, short point-based online quizzes to check what and how much they know before the training.
During The Training
Depending on the pre-training assessment scores, create a curriculum of gamified learning courses covering different learning objectives (Remember: each microlearning course covers a single objective). These individual micro courses help the sales reps pick only the content they aren’t familiar with, allowing them to skip content they already know.
These gamified courses contain a combination of:
- Scenarios mimicking the sales reps’ work environment, including customer interactions, to help them connect the training to their jobs.
- Simulation-based sessions where sales reps put their existing and newly acquired selling skills to practice.
- Product demos (either real or animated with a voiceover) by experts that visually demonstrate the workings of a specific product.
- Game-based assessments on product knowledge that allow them to evaluate themselves and receive instant feedback in an engaging way.
Note that all of these interactive sessions are short and can be accessed on the go on their mobile phones, so sales reps don’t have to worry about spending too much time on training.
If you wish to teach them a sales language that your organization uses or how to collaborate and work in/as a team, you can take advantage of virtual classrooms and level up the experience with gamified learning. First, divide the learners into small groups. Encourage them to work in breakout rooms (sub-rooms within the virtual room assigned to different groups for group activities) to prepare their sales strategy.
Once the strategies are finalized, they will have to present them using application sharing. Each team is awarded points based on their efforts, and the winning team gets the prize.
To help prevent sales reps from becoming victims of the forgetting curve οffer micro scenario-based games that involve the sales reps interacting with different types of virtual customers or buyer personas. Send periodic assessments to their mobile devices to test their product knowledge.
Provide interactive PDFs and infographics with a summary of the products and their details, which they can use as performance support tools in moments of need.
These assessment scores allow the manager to see the performance of individual sales reps and the team as a whole . You can identify the top performers and make them available as go-to resources for other sales reps on the team. That is excellent for team building and collaboration.
3. Compliance And Regulatory Training With Gamified Learning
Compliance training isn’t as straightforward and engaging as other types of training. It usually contains dry, prescriptive content that learners often find difficult to engage with. This leaves training managers in a tough spot since regulations require them to repeat compliance training every quarter or two.
There are a couple of simple ways in which you can use gamified learning to put the fun back in compliance training. Let’s see how.
During The Training
Compliance training makes sense only when its content is situated in a context. So, make the learning experience real with scenarios and case studies from the real world. For instance, let’s consider fire and safety training under compliance training.
Instead of simply sharing the dos and don’ts, consider gamifying the content with a scenario-based approach. Perhaps include the scene of a fire, and then explain what happens when employees don’t follow the safety procedures. The key here is to motivate and get the learner to participate in the gamified learning process.
Give learners ample opportunities, too, to operate the fire extinguishers, and reward the proper and correct actions with points. It’s important to note here that when it comes to compliance training, you must penalize the incorrect choices learners make during the training sessions. You must immediately alert the learner and guide them with proper feedback to help reinforce the learning.
Another interesting way of offering compliance training is by structuring the entire course around a journey the learner must embark on:
- The learner chooses an avatar and travels from one location to another, completing specific tasks at each location.
- At the end of each location is a quiz, and the learner can only proceed to the next location if/when they complete the gamified learning and passes the quiz.
- The completion of the journey is acknowledged by way of a completion certificate, which they can display on their profiles for others to see.
- After the learning is completed, create a quick summary document to help learners recall what they have learned in training.
- Gamified assessments, PDFs, infographics, etc., also come in handy to refresh their gamified learning until the next compliance training session.
Parting Thoughts: Gamified Learning
As you can see from these examples, the powerful combination of gamification and microlearning has the potential to turn the most boring training into something learners will enjoy. And it’s also worth noting that microlearning (aka bite-sized learning) and gamification are the much-preferred formats of the current generation of millennial learners, and you will be doing them a huge favor by integrating these two learning strategies in your training .
For best practices on using microlearning and more, grab your copy of our eBook The Perfect Balance Between Microlearning And Gamification. Also, join the webinar The Ultimate Guide To Implementing Microlearning to find out how microlearning can boost learner engagement!