Learning & Development is no longer about the learning hours that employees go through but it is about the business impact associated with it. Within this context, one of the major challenges that organization face is to do with building capability, not only to tackle the challenges of today but also to prepare employees for the future. This is further complicated by the fact that most companies are dealing with the multi-generational workforce.
Immersive gamification can bring learners of multiple generations to collaborate, motivate each other and learn from real world application. When Rewards are coupled with learning, it creates a sense of excitement to achieve objectives and creates a sense of accomplishment. Gamification is proving to be an effective approach so much so that a new report predicts that globally the gamification of education market will explode to $1.2 billion in 2020 from just about $93 million in 2015.
In a series of roundtables, People Matters in partnership with Pluralsight explored some of the key trends, challenges, and opportunities using technology. In a session on designing the framework for a gamified learning program, Capt. Shantanu Chakravorty, Global Head of Digital Design and Gamification at Cognizant Academy spoke about the approach gamification to make it a holistic approach to developing gamified and pervasive learning program. He noted that one of the distinctive features about gamification which differs it from the game is that game has an end but gamification is continuous and a journey in itself.
Here is a blueprint for developing a gamified learning program:
Identify Technology Topologies:
One of the striking features of Gamification is that it prompts a change in the behavior of learners because they are compelled to earn points and rewards, often in a social interface. Gamification coupled with right technology enables tracking learners’ activities, recording achievements, and a real-time feedback to players. Shantanu notes that there are three broad technology categories or types of technology topologies:
• Early mainstream: These are widespread technologies e.g. virtual computing, messaging tools like WhatsApp.
• Juvenile: The new technologies which are still left to explore.
• Nascent: Technologies that are coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential e.g. Augmented Reality
One of the pre-requisites to equip your gamification learning program is to identify the suitable and right technology to design your program, suitable for your business context and industry.
Identify Behavioral Parameters:
Identify the behaviors you want learners to exhibit both, while using the learning platform and after the program is over and design your program accordingly. Select parameters that align with the learning goals, and that are adaptable to the learner so that you can measure ROI. For example, you may consider using demonstrative behavior of participants to realize the impact of the learning program.
Map your learning strategy to layers of gamification:
The gamified learning program can have a series of stages aligned to your strategy. You can include a number of stages like administering the pre-learning assessment, monitoring behavior of learners, etc.
You may use the following five layers to design your gamified learning program:
· Kinesthetic Layer: A traditional learning and development method which emphasizes on of face to face communication. For example, Face to face session is a key focus area for team building skills and learning based on feedback.
· Psychometric Layer: At this layer, the focus is on administering participants learning tools after using traditional psychometric assessments like MBTI.
· Digital device Layer: This is also called biometric/ wearable layer where learners’ behavior can be measured by using wearable devices like fit bits.
· Gamification Layer: Learners are prompted to change their existing behavior and adopt the desired behavior, the entire program needs to affix with rewards and penalties.
· Social Layer: Various social tools like Facebook, Twitter, Yammer etc. are used in this layer. Participants are encouraged to create a profile on these platforms to understand their social behavior and the influence that they exercise as a result of the learning program.
Ensure Network & Collaboration:
Group formation and competitions promote positive team interactions, and member visibility in networks showcase leadership and people expertise
One way to analyze learners’ social network is by using Homophily maps. Homophily maps are defined as the extent to which participants form ties or network with similar versus dissimilar learners. Understanding network behavior is crucial to designing learning programs, it helps understand how employees are leveraging their network to enhance and support their learning
Track learners’ sentiment:
Like traditional learning program, it is necessary to understand how the learners are perceiving your program. Administer their behavior before, during and after completing the program.
Sentiment analysis can be utilized to identify the behavior of learners. Semantic Analysis refers to the use of natural language processing (NLP), text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information from source materials.
The gamification of learning also prompts us to think about the competencies that L&D team of an organization should have. The team should also comprise of people from varied backgrounds like data analyst, anthropologists, sociologists, etc. This helps us understand patterns in people understanding and learning as well as our level of business and problem-solving.