Gamification in Learning

By Adrian Harvey

Have you ever noticed that you’re engaged and having fun, you learn better and much more easily? This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed and has been implemented in learning and development for many years. Recently gamification and its benefits in e-learning has been a much debated topic, if not a bit of a buzzword in the subject area.

According to the Oxford dictionary, gamification in e-learning can be defined as “the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play, etc).” The basic premise propagated by some in the L&D profession is that by “gamifying” the content or the training/e-learning process, you can then truly engage with individuals, thus achieving a better result.  In other words, using gamification as a mechanism to ensure that knowledge acquired during training really sticks.

The theory is a good one but with one downfall; that most of the training undertaken by large corporations is required learning, regulatory-based content with often dry, and inevitably, somewhat boring content. However, by injecting the more livelier element of gaming it’s hoped that this would stimulate employees to remember more, and there’s a great deal of academic evidence to support this. Gamification does work when done right.

So how can you aim to improve employees retaining information with gamification? In reality it takes a lot to maintain employees’ interest in the content with games, simply said, things get old quickly. Then you’re back to square one. But at Elephants don’t forget we have an artificially intelligent application called Clever Nelly that liaises with your employees daily, taking less than 2 minutes of their time per day via email.

Nelly is a quirky character, based on an elephant from the Savanna with her own back story, your employees will come to love not only her but also the prizes she delivered. Oh yes, the higher an employee scores (and we focus on effort here, not points) the quicker they are referred in to our Golden Ticket draw – a gamification technique which uses a small random allocation of cash (designated by the company) which is then fulfilled immediately and electronically by a 3rd party. Be it a hot air ballooning experience or a high street shop, your employees will be clamouring to open their Clever Nelly emails. Knowledge really does win!

Scientists have recently publicised that the millions of brain-training games out there don’t work! That is to say they work well enough with some people to train them to be better at doing a particular type of puzzle, but it doesn’t appear that they really increase your brainpower. But where Clever Nelly is different is that she delivers interactive, learner specific knowledge retention interventions on a daily basis that makes any kind of training more interesting. Nelly is able to keep learning fresh for each employee by providing an experience tailored to each person.

If you use a combination of spaced learning, repetition and self-testing, your employees will learn irrespective of the degree of interest they have in the topic. Clever Nelly delivers all three.

If you’d like to have a chat about the lessons we have learned at Elephants don’t forget from our time owning and operating a gamification business and how perhaps you could achieve better training results, give us a call  0845 60 60454, or email the lady herself: