attitude training

5 Key Benefits That Gamification Brings To Your Business

5 Key Benefits That Gamification Brings To Your Business

Gamification is no longer just a buzzword. It has found some real and interesting applications in the domains of learning, marketing, personality development, data analytics and so on. The right implementation of this concept can generate powerful results and do wonders for your business.

Here are the 5 key benefits that Gamification will bring to your business.

1. Making the mundane interesting

The game-based interactive elements add thrill and fun to the otherwise mundane processes. Whether the task is about conducting a survey or employee training, gamification makes the process more interesting as the knowledge is supplied non-intrusively, thereby yielding better results.

2. Sustainability

Using Gamification in your company is a strategy for sustainability. The games are re-playable and are built using real-life scenarios. They can be played again and again for performance improvement without incurring additional costs on the company.

3. Real-time analytics

A gamified campaign will allow you to target particular user groups of your interest and get real-time feedback. You can analyze the user behavior and draw inferences. Such feedback is a powerful contributor in designing your business’ future strategies.

4. Self-motivated work force

These games are built with features like leaderboard, award system, etc that reward the employees on their accomplishments. This keeps each employee self-motivated and self-aware about his/her performance.

5. High productivity and ROI

These games can be customized to align with your business objectives. Gamification’s unique features directly link the company’s objectives to the employee performance, thereby increasing the overall productivity. Any initial investment made to include game-based learning in your business is easily replenished along with a high ROI.

I guess that’s all! If you think of any more, please share with me!

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Gamification in the Corporate Sector (Part 2)

This is the second and the last article from the series ‘Gamification in the Corporate Sector’. In case, you haven’t checked out the first one, here it is.

Gamification in the corporate sectorNote: Please feel free to use this infographic for any personal or commercial purpose.

Using Case Studies To Make Your Elearning Course More Engaging

There is a big difference between a course that is engaging, and a course that is well-documented.

You may create a comprehensive course with interactive branch scenarios and detailed explanation, but, if it is not relevant to the learner, than it will just confuse or worst case, frustrate her. Such a pattern may be good and easy to build, but it is only good enough to share information. It lacks in creating engagement and results in poor retention in the mind of the learner. Such courses are ‘well-documented’, but not engaging.

Engagement requires an emotional connection between the content and the learner. It goes beyond presenting interactive content; it is about designing truly motivating learning experiences.

The biggest challenge in creating an elearning course is engaging the learner, and there is a very simple solution for this – Case Studies

So here’s how you can use case studies to make your course engaging and interesting.

  • It is after all, a Story: Humans have used the art of story-telling as a mode of communicating ideas and knowledge since the Stone Age, and there is a reason behind it. We tend to remember a story better than just facts, and it provides a very practical, firsthand account of events that happened, and the appropriate solutions to them.
  • It is Simple: The simpler your story, the clearer is the message and the easier it is for the learner to remember and use it when required. If you stuff your course with extra details, your course will end up being a clutter of abstract information, making it tougher for both – you and the learner.
  • A Relevant Perspective: If you tell your story from the perspective of the customer, or anyone other than the learner, she will receive insights on the situation from a different perspective too. Also, this will raise the interest of the person enrolled in your course. Instead of telling the learner what they need to know, show them how not knowing affects others.

Even as a trainer, this makes things simpler for you as well.

Case studies need lesser time to build, and they rarely result in an information dump. Thus, you waste lesser time and energy, thinking and pondering over your course, and tweaking it time and again by introducing gimmicks to make it more engaging.

A case study is still mostly linear, but I see it as a first step in an iterative process of moving away from the boring click and read style. What is your take on this?

7 Tips to Integrate Games into Your eLearning Course

Everyone loves to play! What if I tell you, that you can use games to teach complicated subjects like Compliance Training or processes like Account opening? Yes, these games for training or serious games, do create an engaging learning experience.

Let’s find out how you can integrate these serious games into your elearning courses.

1. Set learning objectives

Yes! Games are for fun! But everyone plays to win! Set your learning objectives beforehand to make sure your game stays in tune with the content.

2. Communicate desired outcomes

Inform the learners what they will gain from playing this game. This will motivate them to participate actively in it.

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3. Tell little, engage more

Do not give out all the details. Communicate what is required. Don’t reveal all the suspense. This will keep the learners engaged as well as won’t take out all the fun!

4. Create opportunity for application

eLearning allows one to learn in a safe environment. Create situations such that learned concepts can be applied. This will help in retention and create a favourable learning experience.

5. Keep it real and relevant

Keep all the descriptions and details like measurements, tools, techniques, spaces, etc., accurate. Virtual practice reduces room for real life mistakes.

6. Value content over gaming

Games make eLearning very interesting, no doubt there! And yet, if they distract your learner from the learning content, then it will fail your learning initiatives.

7. Get regular feedback

Feedback is the best way to know how well the game or module is. A quick quiz works best!

Why Companies Should Train their Employees

Training-Workshops

There are 3 aspects of an individual that needs to be worked on to make them suitable employees – Attitude, Skills and Knowledge.

Attitude training determines the behavioral characteristics that the employee needs to show. This differs more from role to role rather than industry to industry. Salespersons have to be hungry and persuasive. Operations teams need to be resourceful and detail-focused and senior management needs to perform as able leaders. Attitude training is best done through exposure activities, coaching and workshops, in that descending order of effectiveness.

Skills training allows the employee to perform his activities better. This typically is a combination of industry and role. While workshops and on-the-job training are the dominant modes for skills training, they are expensive both in terms of logistics and the error costs. In recent times, simulations and serious games have started finding favor on account of the spaced repetition and exploration aspects that they offer for skills training.

Knowledge training is company and function-specific for the employee. Products, policies and functional knowledge are the typical types of training that come under this bucket. This is best done over an e-learning platform due to the sheer size of content that often forms the base of the training. E-learning allows for self-paced self-selected learning which reduces the time overhead that typically is involved in such volume training. Assessments become an important part of ensuring that knowledge training has been adequately absorbed.

Getting Started with Online Training (Part 2)

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In the last post, we tried to understand the difference between Instructor-led training (ILT) & online training, and the essentials that are required in order to implement online training in any organisation.

Now, let’s learn about the processes one needs to go through while moving from classroom to elearning.

1. Learner Need analysis

Try to understand the demographics of the learners – age, gender, education, language, etc. Find out whether the learners have any prior knowledge of the subject matter or they are completely new to it. This is important since very few people would have the patience to sit through the whole session.

Now that the learners would be dispersed, you need to figure out how to boost interaction between them. Based on these observations, try to decide on the technology or format which you would like to use. Use the one which would be easy to deliver, easy to understand, boost interaction and also, motivate the learners.

2. Content Design & Development

The question you need to ask here is what is the best way to present the content.

Should there be a narrator? or a Sutradhar? or a character which would act as a facilitator? Another option is to use the department head or Subject Matter Expert to act as a facilitator.

Your tools would be one of the deciding factors here. Using tools like Articulate or Ptotemy (www.ptotemy.com) would give you an edge over MS Powerpoint, as these tools help you make your content more interactive and engaging. Other than these, you can even use webinars or videos or serious games to explain concepts. Or a combination of these tools could prove much more effective.

3. Deployment & Marketing

The best way to deploy elearning courses is using a Learning Management System (LMS). You can find many options out there in the market ranging from Open source platforms like Moodle to licensed ones like SkillSoft, Ptotemy, Blackboard, Saba, etc. Using these platforms, you can manage and update the content as well as the learners. You can also record their activities for future reference.

Once your LMS is in place, the next challenge is bringing the learners to this platform. Remember, this methodology is new to the learners. Hence, you need to create curiosity around this to attract the learners. Teaser campaign is one of the effective ways to do this. Create a buzz, put out explainer videos, launch marketing campaigns to make this big.

4. Evaluation & Monitoring

Once the learners start using the system, monitor their activity. Conduct polls or surveys to gauge user feedback. Every learning management system has this facility of creating online polls.

Find out what could be done to improve the effectiveness of the content. LMSes also have provisions for detailed reports. Use them, analyse them and gain insights on what works and what not.

“Remember, what matters is whether the learners understand the content or not. Technology is just an aid and how one uses it to make the content effective is the crux here.”

Getting Started with Online Training (Part 1)

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For some, online learning is a buzz word and for some, it is an impasse. Let’s try to find out why people are trying to adopt this phenomenon and how one can do that without any hitches.

Why online training?

Imagine, you are in a classroom with 20-25 students and there’s a teacher explaining you certain concepts. Here, the learning is centered on the instructor (teacher) and she sets the structure, sequence and methodology of the learning. She chooses the content and how it will be delivered.

In this setting, students often don’t ask any questions. There is less interaction with the focus being on the completion of the activity, rather than on the transfer of knowledge. The students don’t even have the option of going through the content again.

Online training or elearning, works the other way. It focuses on the learner, and not on the instructor. It facilitates interaction between the learner and the content, plus, is easily accessible anytime and anywhere.

Below are a few tools and techniques that are used in elearning.

  • Devices for accessing the content (Desktop, Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones)
  • Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Content Creation Tools like MS PowerPoint, Articulate, Ptotemy (ptotemy.com), etc
  • Instructional Design Study
  • Interactive boards
  • Webcam/ Webinars
  • Communication tools like email, chat, forums, discussion boards, etc

These tools help in bringing the content to the learner and allow him to learn as per his convenience.

Converting existing training material into online content

Even converting existing training material into online content has become easy and cost-effective due to these tools.

There are 3 types of delivery for elearning through which content can be disseminated.

  1. Synchronous learning

This type of learning is live. It happens in real time, like a webinar or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

  1. Asynchronous learning

This can be done as per the learner’s convenience. Online modules or web forums are a few examples of this type of learning.

  1. Hybrid learning

Here, you mix the strengths of the first and second to achieve your objective.

Irrespective of the mode, the focus of any learning activity should be to enhance the learning experience through engagement, discussion and application.

The next part of the article will explain the process of transition of ILT to online in detail.