My Blogs and Articles
Davidson is a certified professional trainer, business coach and management consultant.
Driven by passion, he is an engaging and versatile presenter with over 20 years of experience in the training industry. Over the course of his career, he has trained over 1,000 companies comprising start-ups, SMEs, MNCs, government agencies and others all over Southeast Asia.
Below are Articles and posts I have written over the years and published on Various media.
How To Use Gamification In Virtual Learning
I recently had a conversation with a fellow trainer who was lamenting about how the participants during her virtual training were. She described them as “disengaged and disinterested”. The way it was put across to me, sounded like she felt the responsibility of engagement and interest in her program lied solely on the shoulders of her participants. Admittedly, there is a saying that you cannot teach someone who does not want to be taught. However, as a trainer that has been in the industry for over 20 years, one of the core values that is embedded in my company’s mission and purpose is “To assume responsibility and accountability in achieving high standards in all that we do”.
Through this value, I believe that the onus lies on the educator to ensure engagement and continued interest in the learning process and contents. For face to face training, there are a myriad of tools and activities that are available to ensure this. In virtual training, even though the tools and the process might be different, the ability to create engagement and interest can still be done with minimal effort.
Gamification is a word that everyone reading this article may have heard of before. I am not sure what the first thought is when you hear the word gamification, but the normal association that many people make when they hear that word is one which involves elaborate animation or graphics to entertain players, where tangible rewards are offered.
To dispel this notion, an accurate description of gamification is needed. Gamification is simply about using game mechanics and elements to make practical day-to-day activities (like eLearning) more compelling and engaging. The aim is to enhance the teaching process and hence make it more fun and engaging. But is in no way replacing teaching with playing.
Gamification is meant to assign real benefits for the learner, the training department, and the organization as a whole. So, when and how should educators gamify their virtual training programs?
To answer the first question of when, gamification should be used with the following objectives in mind:
- To enhance the learning experience
- To create engagement with the participant
- To sustain learner interest
- To inspire collaboration, sharing and interaction.
As for the how, when it comes to gamified virtual learning, it is not usually about designing a full-blown video game. It is about taking elements that make games engaging, motivating or educational and incorporating those into the learning experiences you design. Elements such as:
- Visual design
Additionally, gamification does not need to be complicated or expensive. Below are some simple ideas that work well:
- Present a series of small, achievable challenges to reach an overall goal.
- Use quests to engage and motivate. Start with a simple question or quiz.
- Give learners the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Provide great feedback that shows learners where they went wrong and give them an opportunity to try again, keeping them motivated to continue learning.
- Use video and audio to provide interaction.
How do you get started? There is a lot to consider, but two of the most important are your audience and the use of gamification in your course or curriculum.
Is this being designed for new hires? Leadership team? Sales? Different audiences have different motivations. Some may respond better to the friendly competition gamification can create. Others may be inspired to earn badges and better themselves. And many people enjoy fun, but how you create the fun of gamification may differ t for different people.
Many types of information can be applied within a game, but you do not always want an entire course to use gamification. So, look carefully at whether you want to gamify a small part of a course, a whole course, or several parts of a curriculum. Gamification can add interest, fun, and competition, but sometimes you need to slow down and have your learners look at the information in a different way.