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How Gamification and Game-Based Learning Drive Employee Training and Performance

Published Fri Jan 04 2019


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We've all heard the adage, "Work isn't supposed to be fun, that's why they call it work!" Like so many truisms of the past, this one belongs on the ash heap of history because employers are successfully using gamification elements for work and game-based learning using LMS features to keep staffers engaged and happy while growing their skill sets.

It's All About Motivation

Traditional learning methodology centers on pushing learners to content with the hope that they will master the materials provided. Office training programs push workers to learn skills to become proficient at specific tasks, which will translate to higher profits. Gamification and game-based learning principles reject this content-centerd model and instead puts the focus on the learner. Game design elements and mechanics make the process of learning engaging, enjoyable, and social, which draws learners to the content.

Gamification and Game-Based Learning Are Not Synonymous

Gamification and game-based learning are not interchangeable terms. The confusion arises because they both use game elements and mechanics. The difference is that gamification uses them as motivators in learning or training programs to affect behavior; game-based learning involves an actual game that participants play to learn and master particular materials or tasks.


Gamification makes training like a game. For example, employees can earn points or badges for qualitative and quantitative training milestones. To add a social component to training, employers can post leaderboards. Injecting competition further enhances engagement, drawing employees towards training, not away from it.

Game-Based Learning

Game-based learning uses games themselves as training tools. In this way playing the game is actually part of the learning experience and has been shown to be a highly effective educational method. This can be done with games designed specifically for game-based learning, or by utilizing existing games to meet your desired learning outcomes. For example, video games such as MinecraftEDU have been utilized for various educational purposes, and many classic games such as Monopoly have been repurposed to meet specific training goals.

For more information on gamification and game-based learning, click here for an in-depth webinar on the subject.

Operation: Engagement

Engaged learners learn better and faster. Likewise, employees engaged in training retain more information and master skills sooner than employees mired in traditional, passive training programs. Increasing engagement is especially important in a professional environment with longer training sessions: Attention spans widen and time flies when learning is fun and not perceived as an imposed chore.

LMSs featuring gamification and game-based learning also increase engagement with more contemporaneous feedback. Enthusiasm for learning and training wanes when participants do not know how they are doing until they receive a grade, or a position, or promotion, until the end of the process. Game elements and mechanics allow employees to measure their progress as they go along and also enable employers to track progress. This webinar will teach you how to maximize engagement via gamification.

Applying gamification and game-based learning in the workplace increases the quality and efficiency of training which in turn increases productivity and profits, all by turning work and learning into a game.

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