Why Instructional Designers Should Add Games To ELearning Courses

Eplaymobil-199903_150Learning gamification is the use of various game mechanics and gaming elements in a non-game context. When used in the workforce, gamification provides a quicker success rate than traditional training methods. Its elements include simple but effective specs like earning points, badges and a leaderboard as achievements (think Foursquare or Duolingo).

Forbes’ recently interviewed Adam Penenberg, the author of Play at Work: How Games Inspire Breakthrough Thinking. Penenberg provided insight on how effective eLearning gamification has become in the corporate logistics. In addition, according to the Entertainment Software Association, it is estimated that for 70% of major employers games are quickly becoming the standard way companies enhance the training process for employees.

Luxury hotel chain, Marriott, which launched their own eLearning game back in 2011 is using Facebook to offer their gaming application called “My Marriot Hotel” to recruit employees as that game allows players to run a hotel kitchen. It may seem like an innocent game, but the company launched it in hopes that gamers would love the game so much that they would want to apply to the real-hotel and fill one of the many job openings available across the globe.

As part of the game, individuals can create their own hotel restaurant, purchase supplies for the kitchen, manage orders from the chefs, and even hire staff. Players are motivated by a point system – players gain points if the customers are satisfied, and lose them if they provide poor service. While the game offers invaluable knowledge to the struggles of running a successful hotel, and providing high quality customer service, it also offers the Marriott a way to see the achieved personal success of potential hires – ensuring they are hiring someone that is more than qualified for the position.

The My Marriot Hotel game contains the essential elements of gamification. Goal-setting, instant feedback system, interactive competition, virtual rewards, and “leveling” up within a program or application are just some of the few that are used! 

Learning has evolved and it is important that eLearning and ways to motivate your employees do too. Gamification does not have to cost your thousands of dollars or require you to hire a programmer. There a many simple but effective ways to create effective games with rapid eLearning tools such as Articulate Studio, Articulate Storyline, Captivate, and Lectora.

Through social interactive mechanisms, slight constructive guidance is implemented to help with encouragement and discipline. Gamification can be designed in effective ways to both teach as well as provide a fresh and engaging learning opportunity for employees. This keeps users participating, progressing, collaborating and achieving.

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