As a penultimate piece, I’d like to give you a few pointers and steps on what you should do and keep an eye out for if or when you wish to gamify your eLearning experience for your learners. If you wish to learn more, there are a wide range of books available on the topic, many that go in-depth into an implementation methodology.
First all, ensure that the learning experience has a holistic learning journey and narrative. This is the most important aspect, as the gamification of the learning will be that much more effective if all parts are interconnected and feed into each other. Having aspects of the learning that have no meaning beyond doing them for the purpose of doing them will break the experience. Having a strong story that binds everything into a cohesive concept is what will be the defining engagement for many learners.
Second, have a strong long-term objective for your learners. Many learners will naturally come in with an idea of what they want to learn, but be transparent about what they will walk away with at the end of the experience. Make it clear to them, and if possible allow them to have input on what the end goal is and how they can achieve it. In other words, engage them in the journey.
Thirdly, know what the win and fail conditions are for your learners within the experience. Let them know how they can achieve the win or fail to achieve it and have clear and comprehensive rules and limitations around these conditions. Learners will only truly be creative in their problem solving if they know where the boundaries are and what will cause them to fail and/or win.
Next, the game mechanics and elements you will use within your experience will be informed by the rules and end states that you have determined. There are hundreds of elements and mechanics to choose from, but when choosing them, make sure that there is a clear purpose for them and that they are not there without rhyme or reason. For example, the mainstay of many a gamified experience; PBL’s. These are fine as long as the learner gains value from them and their purpose is tied to the activity that the learner engaged in.
And finally, metrics and measuring. You need to be able to measure the engagement, success and fails of your learner to improve the experience. Make sure you have some kind of measuring system in place, this will also allow you to where the pain points are for your learners. On top of this, it will help you in continuing a long-term strategy for the learning experience that you have made.