Performing thorough training tacking and getting staff to engage and participate in training can be a challenge. Over the years, learning management systems have provided many solutions to make this process easier. However, many team members find training boring and don’t retain a lot of the information they receive during sessions.
To fix this, we released a new gamification and badging feature as part of our VAIRKKO learning management system (LMS). This feature is free of charge and is now available to all existing and future clients.
We believe that gamification and badging can improve team member engagement and knowledge retention while providing LMS administrators and staff with a powerful dashboard that shows every team member’s accomplishments. Viewing badges in one intuitive screen can be a major motivational factor for everyone to work hard to meet training objectives. In this blog, we’ll cover the basics of gamification and badges and how these tools can help your company train smarter and better.
What Are Gamification Badges?
Gamification badges are elements in gamification that work as rewards, symbolizing the achievements of the learners. Whether it is from a student who recently passed a test or an employee who scored the highest in a continuing education exam, gamification badges are rewarded to learners to inform them that their success is noticed. The goal of gamification is to spur individuals onto greater achievements in learning.
People can use gamification badges as a supplement or alternative to the traditional point-based grading systems. However, most educators and trainers agree that these badges and other virtual reward systems work best when learner engagement is involved.
Organizations planning to incorporate gamification in their learning system should incorporate badges at appropriate stages. The badges should not be used as the sole objective of the learners.
How VAIRKKO Incorporates Badges and Gamification in LMS
With this new feature, clients can build custom badges, each having specific prerequisites and requirements for earning them. Users can accumulate these badges, allowing them to collect multiples badges to track their progress.
The gamification and badging feature integrates into every part of the VAIRKKO system. Users can access it through the training management software Certification Cloud or their LMS via the eLearning Cloud. Users earn badges in real-time, allowing them to obtain them as soon as the prerequisites are met.
VAIRKKO has countless basic badges to offer, but clients can create an unlimited number of customized badges depending on their needs. The feature even provides the ability for managers to isolate specific badges to a particular workgroup or department.
Benefits of Gamification and Badging
Gamification has been growing in popularity over the past several years, and it could produce outstanding results when used correctly. Utilizing elements from games into the classroom can be a great way to provide learners with opportunities to work together, show competency, and act freely.
There are various benefits in applying gamification and badging within a learning management system.
Learning Becomes Fun and Interactive
No matter the subject matter or audience, gamification in learning can help organizations create educational, entertaining, and exciting content. It is not intended to transform work into a game, but it touches on the psychology that encourages human engagement.
The rewards can be intensely satisfying and motivating as well.
One of the primary benefits of gamification is that it allows learners to have an avenue to learn with excitement, mainly due to the interactivity involved. Competitive and role-play elements can even add an angle for immersion, which, if done well, can reinforce entertainment while learning.
The interactive element in the learning courses can provide a feeling of immersion to all participants. This ambiance can give learners a feeling that they are part of an essential aspect of the overall learning process.
It Encourages Learning and Engagement and Promotes Retention of Information
The single most essential aspect of learning is instilling new knowledge to learners. Yet, how can this knowledge be of use when it cannot be retained?
Another surprising benefit that comes with gamification in learning is that it gives participants a natural high that can affect knowledge retention. When the brain wants to reward us, it puts out dopamine in the body so that achieving or winning something crucial can make the person feel good.
For many people, learning new things is a rewarding experience that can cause a dopamine release. The fortuitous outcome for the natural effect of increased dopamine levels could help individuals retain new information.
Provides Learners With Opportunities to See Real-World Applications
Another advantage of gamification is about getting hands-on experience. Learning on the job can be an effective approach in reinforcing skills, as users can apply them to real-life scenarios.
Gamification in learning allows learners to access real-world applications and benefits regarding the subject matter. They can gain a first-hand look at how their actions in the game can result in rewards or consequences after.
Offers Real-Time Feedback
What if we only analyze how well we are doing in everything we do once a year. Relationships, work, and anything a person does regularly could suffer from a lack of self-review.
Gamification in learning allows employees to strive towards meaningful and measurable targets while obtaining real-time feedback on their goals.
After all, no one can get better if they do not know which areas they need to improve.
It Enhances the Learning Experience
Gamification in an LMS provides learners with the opportunity to engage with content in an informal yet effective learning environment. People who are excited about learning have the highest probability of retaining the information they receive.
Competition in gamification also leads to motivation. It allows opportunities for others to compete for rewards, leaderboard rankings, and high scores.
Additionally, users in gamified learning systems can work towards accomplishing group goals by coordinating with each other in a competitive environment. This encourages learners to share ideas, think critically, debate, and go through strategic thought processes together.
It Reduces Employee Stress
In a systematic review, researchers learned that participants who played a game application for 10 minutes each day over a month had significant reductions in depressive symptoms and anxiety.
Additionally, the app was found to provide the highest effect in reducing anxiety symptoms compared to other smartphone programs.
Companies can help their teams avoid burnout by taking advantage of gamification and help relieve stress through engaging activities.
It Helps Develop Specific Skills
Companies can use gamification to focus on developing or improving certain skills in their teams. By gamifying training programs, employees can improve the essential aspects that can help them do more in their line of work.
Several areas that can be improved upon through gamification include leadership, communication skills, negotiation skills, and stress management.
How To Motivate Learners Using Badges
The following list contains proven tips that can help learners stay engaged in a learning management system.
1. Incorporate A Wide Variety of Badges
Companies should link their badges to a defined learning objective. By incorporating as many types, or all types, of badges within a learning system, learners can feel more motivated in every task or project they take on.
These badges can be digital emblems or printed certificates rewarded to participants. Organizations can allow trainees to achieve specific badges for any kind of desirable behavior, including simple actions as well as completing complex activities.
Game administrators should strategically decide the objectives, particularly the actions they wish to promote and reward in the group. The goal here is not simply accomplishing the course but to encourage people to maximize their efforts at every stage.
2. Badges Should Be Meaningful and Relevant
People love being recognized for their actions through rewards. Every badge that a person receives is valuable to them. But as a game administrator, it is essential to make sure that all of these badges link to crucial learning stages. They should be both meaningful and relevant.
Badges that are easy to achieve are often not appreciated enough. This is a common gamification mistake made by trainers. Ensure that learners are always putting in the required effort to earn a badge and that the reward is worth their time.
Furthermore, these badges should be associated with a level of difficulty in a task. Accomplishing a complex activity should be recognized with a higher form of reward to provide sufficient motivation for learners.
3. Use Badges for Goal Setting
Badges are not only a way to reward the efforts of learners. They can also be used as a powerful goal-setting tool. Many administrators use them to guide how learners interact and drive their development through the training content.
Effective badge levels need to be intriguing, making learners excited to achieve more. By providing a complete list of earnable badges within a training module, learners will be encouraged to complete the module and earn them all.
However, it is vital to study various gamification techniques to ensure that administrators do not overemphasize the badge system. Although earning badges is closely associated with employee engagement, it is not the only objective of gamification in learning.
4. Personalize The Badges
Although this post provides the primary types of badges trainers and administrators can use, it is essential to be creative and customize these badges.
Administrators can be innovative on the levels they want to award the badges and even design them in distinct ways. What makes our learning management system stands out because users can use premade badges and even customize new ones based on their needs.
The trick here is to provide an impressive image that motivates learners to earn a badge or make them proud to own them. Additional details such as badge levels, names, descriptions, and more can be added to give the badges more meaning.
Ensure that the badges’ design reflects the goals and mission in gamification, including the efforts put in by the participants in achieving them.
5. Encourage Healthy Competition
Lastly, the ultimate goal of achieving a gamification badge is to know how well a person or a group is doing against their competitors.
Although gamification is not about being the best, adding healthy competition to the process is one of the keys to its success.
The badges should be attractive enough to tap into the competitive instincts of learners. For instance, a person acquiring the most badges could get the highest slot on a leaderboard, which gives them extra opportunities to be recognized among peers.
Use Gamification to Get the Most Out of LMS
At the end of the day, the goal of gamification is to improve the learning experience while developing meaningful engagement in each learner. Although the badges are very effective in motivating participants, it is essential to recognize the thin line between recognition and rewards.
While these badges are about providing certificates, emblems, and rewards, the objective and primary intent should prioritize recognizing the efforts put in by learners every step of the way.
Here at VAIRKKO, we work with educators by providing them with a learning management system that includes gamification and badges to motivate learners. If you are interested in our new gamification feature, contact us today!