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Why isn't your gamification strategy working?

Paola Giura
 Paola Giura
 Best Practices
03/06/2020 : It is not enough to apply the principles of gamification to improve an online course. What are the mistakes that can make this strategy fail?
<!-- NO-IMPORT-IN-DD -->Why isn't your gamification strategy working?

In the field of eLearning, gamification cannot be ignored, a topic we have talked about several times in articles like this or this one. It is a useful strategy to improve students' learning and to increase their involvement. Usually, trainees and workers who access online courses using gamification are more productive and happy.

Have you experienced these effects on your students or employees? If not, there is probably something wrong with your gamification strategy. Therefore, let's take a brief look at the main mistakes made in this field:

1. Students are not involved enough

Are the trainees following the path irregularly despite your gamification strategy? And yet, the use of the game should serve precisely to involve the students. What could motivate them to follow the course more regularly and, consequently, feel involved in gamification? One option to try immediately is to add " social elements", such as a sharing button. When people can share their successes with others, they feel more rewarded and therefore more motivated to move forward. A challenge among students (or teams) could also increase involvement even more.

2. The course leaves less prepared students behind

Due to different initial preparation, not all students will go at the same pace. This means that those who are lagging behind may quickly lose motivation. With this in mind, the gamification and its rankings may not help. The secret is to reward not only challenges on different topics, but also participation in discussions and collaborative tasks. Another idea is to create heterogeneous teams to enable knowledge sharing.

3. The game becomes more important than learning

In some cases, due to gamification, the interest of students is directed more towards the prizes of the games than towards the objective of the game itself, i.e. learning. How to reverse this trend? Prizes must be more difficult to obtain and errors must result in a decrease in score or force students to repeat a lesson in order to move on to the next level. Everyone, even those who design the course, must remember that the game is only a means to learn new information and skills.

4. Gamification does not work for your target group

Although, in general, gamification is a good stimulus for students, it is not necessarily so in all cases. If, for example, in a company you notice a decrease in enrollment and interest, one of the many possibilities of this decrease in enrollment is probably gamification. In this case the solution is the same as always: asking employees for feedback is useful to understand if this strategy was one of the causes and if it generated, for example, more pressure than involvement.

Article from eLearningIndustry

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