On the other hand, gamification makes clever use of traditional game elements – points, rewards, competition, rules, and challenges. The idea is to incorporate a fun element to learning, changing it into something more addictive.
But, what if organizations combine both learning methods and implement a hybrid strategy?
Gamified microlearning is nothing new. Certain organizations have relied on it to deliver short bursts of lessons to learners. Typically, it comprises mini-games – learners have to complete them within 5 minutes. These mini-games consist of game elements, such as rewards, timers, achievements, power-ups, badges, levels, scores, points, and penalties. The key is to make sure learners access mini-games in an environment where they are reminded of their job. The avatars or characters owned by the employees should be close to their industry and real-life journey. In this way, they don’t steer away from their end goal of learning.
Video-based microlearning modules are gamified by showing explainer videos to employees about the task or skill they have to perform. Next, have them play a mini-game wherein they are required to complete the task in the same manner, which was shown in the video. Microlearning simulations are similar, transformed in a gamely format due to the similarities between games and simulations. Your gamified simulations should contain a narrative – based on real-life use cases, so the learners can associate with it.
Feedback plays a pivotal role in gamified microlearning. Therefore, you need to ensure that feedback is instantaneous and doesn’t deter learners. Make it a point to give feedback in a manner that motivates learners to learn more and dive deeper. One popular approach is to incorporate microlearning by branching scenarios. It’s a terrific method to offer feedback that teaches learners about their actions’ ramifications without discouraging them.
Furthermore, as per current trends, one point is crystal clear: develop your modules in gamified microlearning with a mobile-first approach .i.e. create modules by keeping in mind that your learners will access and play them on their smartphones, as well as tablets, laptops, and traditional desktops.
Benefits of Gamified Microlearning
Gamified microlearning offers the following benefits.
1. Quicker Information Process
Microlearning is built based on a learner-oriented digital learning method. It is targeted towards the modern learners who are known to have shorter attention spans, which can barely last more than 5 minutes.
With the addition of gamification in microlearning, you can provide learners with something engaging that can capture their attention for more than 5 minutes. During this period, you have sufficient time to deliver concentrated bursts of knowledge via a gamified microlearning module, learned and retained easily by your learners.
2. Increased Engagement
It’s common knowledge that microlearning and gamification produce great outcomes when used separately for increasing learner engagement. Therefore, when used in tandem, they promise even better results. Gamification in education enables engagement, sparking the inquisitiveness of learners with game elements, whereas microlearning utilizes minimal content and easily understandable elements to increase learner focus and engagement.
3. Improved Knowledge Retention
Gamified microlearning is goal-centric. It tackles one learner’s skill or objective at a time. This emphasis on tasks and goals reinforces the knowledge retention prowess of learners. Since the modules are brief, learners assess and evaluate what’s hard to grasp. Thus, they repeat the module one or more times – until they master it. Hence, gamified microlearning saves time and makes learning easier, boosting the retention of learned concepts and skills.
Best Practices for Gamified Microlearning for Corporate Training
Follow the listed strategies to implement gamified microlearning for corporate training.
1. Work on One Learning Objective or Problem for Each Module
Microlearning adopts a single-objective approach; this is what makes learning engaging and meaningful. Brief learning nuggets deal with a single objective to grab an employee’s short attention span. As a result, they can retain longer information for longer periods and implement them at work.
Each gamified microlearning module has to target one learning objective. You don’t have to include everything from a given area or niche, only add things that are critical to meet the desired result. The implementation of a single-objective strategy with a gamification approach empowers managers. They can supervise their employees better and make them focus on what’s more necessary, providing clarity on objective goals and direction.
Developer and categorize modules as per your overall learning objectives. Employees could utilize the gamified nuggets to gain information, test their knowledge, and practice extensively – all of this improves the learning experience.
While creating your gamified courses, make it a point to keep the learning objective performance-based and signal the status under which the employee expects to perform. Utilize terms that inform learners about the level of their proficiency after the training. Avoid using ambiguous or generic phrases.
2. Provide Content with Pertinent Stories
Learners like to know how their training can assist them .i.e., how the content is linked to their job and how it can help them to perform better in their daily routines. Rather than solely concentrating the feel and look of the gamified course, it’s a good idea to situate the instruction in context so employees can learn about the connection between the content and their jobs. Storytelling is effective due to a reason.
At its core, storytelling is an emotional experience. People like stories and try to connect with their favorite characters, particularly the roadblocks they counter, with an emotional outlook. Thus, storytelling can add considerable value to corporate training.
You can contextualize learning in a meaningful way by adding stories to gamified microlearning for corporate training. The avatars, the challenges, the conflict, and the underlying tensions in a story, evoke a multitude of emotions in learners, which makes the learning experience emotional, immersive, and more memorable.
When it comes to stories, there’s quite a lot of room to improvise. They can come from any fictional universe and you can even contextualize the real world. This is where scenarios are useful.
A scenario presents a potential future event in the form of a story. Scenario-based thinking is natural as people think about them daily, anticipating different versions of future events and preparing for them accordingly. Including scenarios in the gamified strategy allows the L&D professionals to finally have the opportunity where they can visualize the learner’s job hurdles in a wide range of contexts and perspectives. Some of them are familiar, while there are some also fresh and creative takes that even the best employees may not have taken into account in their job activities. Scenarios convince learners to take matters into their own hands by taking action and witnessing the impact of their decisions in real-time. Such vantage points make learning more effective.
It’s recommended to not use scenarios in environments where the decision is straightforward or obvious, or if there’s a story that learners couldn’t relate to their job. Doing this would only serve to disengage the learners. If a large part of your employees comprises millennials, they are likely to find scenarios stimulating and engrossing, enabling them to see “themselves” in various job situations.
3. Rely on Videos When the Situation Demands
Modern learners love videos because of the following reasons:
Videos use rich media elements, such as graphics, images, and animations.
Millennials consume a great deal of video while surfing social media.
Videos cater to people with a low attention span.
Again, if a large part of your workforce is made of millennials, the use of videos in your gamified strategy can improve learner’s engagement and encourage them to adopt a positive outlook on corporate training. Here’s what you can do:
If your training contains a number of topics, create one short video for each topic, rather than shooting a single video.
Split up the videos in terms of levels. Add a game-based assessment after each video ends so learners can test their knowledge. Make sure to set a minimum score in the assessment so they can only move to the next level when they are qualified.
Give awards every time your employee answers correctly. They can only unlock the next videos if they reach a certain minimum score.
Offer certificates and badges to the best performers. The leaderboard should show their names and scores.
Offer additional learning material to employees who haven’t performed well. Also, send recommendations so they know what they need to improve.
4. Develop Mobile-Friendly Gamified Courses
Companies around the world have adopted the BYOD policy, allowing their employees to access online corporate training via their smartphones. This promotes on-the-go learning, an approach geared towards eLearning accessible primarily via smartphones. Therefore, you cannot implement gamified microlearning properly without developing gamified courses for mobile.
Here are some tips that can help you with navigation and functionality.
Avoid fonts that are too tiny. They can annoy your employees, forcing them to zoom continuously.
Add a progress bar at the screen’s top area. This can assist learners to check what they have accomplished so far.
The interactive controls that work in desktop-based courses may not always work the same on the mobile. For instance, drag-and-drop functionality is great for the desktop, but it’s not feasible on smartphones due to screen size limitations.
Usually, courses lose information when the learner exits the app, such as when they have to attend to a call. For these cases, provide an auto-saving feature so their progress is saved.
Replace text entries with other controls, such as a dropdown menu, a list, or buttons, so your employees can choose what they want with minimal fuss.
In order to optimize multimedia, here’s what you need to do:
Consider offline viewing for your gamified courses and make them downloadable. This can particularly help employees who are working in remote locations and don’t have access to a reliable internet connection.
Mobile phones aren’t as friendly as desktop PCs when it comes to the accessibility of media files. To prevent any potential issue in gamified courses, use standard media file types for your MP3 and MP4 files so they can be played across any device and operating system. Set small video dimensions for better outcomes.
Avoid larger blocks of text and reduce the brightness of images. Don’t use bulky graphs, icons, and graphs that need too much scrolling.
Utilize the right sounds at the right time. It’s an important part of the gamification experience. They act as implicit guides, making certain levels easier for employees, and offer them valuable clues.
Lastly, add functionality that allows the employees to share their achievements on the LMS as well as on social media platforms. This creates healthy competition between employees and motivates everyone to explore more.
Gamified microlearning for corporate training can be extremely effective and improve your organization’s productivity to a significant extent.
To integrate gamified microlearning for corporate training in your organization, get in touch with us. Our experts have helped many companies with similar solutions.