Ah, here we are. 2016. If you’re like me, you started out the New Year with big plans that have now fallen to the wayside. I was going to learn to play the piano, run 50 marathons in 50 states, read Remembrance Of Things Past, and eat a serving of vegetables a day. I really thought I had a shot at the first three.
We’ve all heard the reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t work: Trying to do too much at once, the goal is too large, etc. Let’s look at a few well-known tips for accomplishing New Year’s resolutions and find the gamification elements within them for use in custom e-learning courses.
CELEBRATE THE LITTLE WINS
One way to accomplish your New Year’s resolution is to celebrate the little wins. Acknowledging the completion of a little goal provides motivation on the path to the larger one.
One gamification element that can be used to celebrate little wins in a course is badging. Badges can be awarded for completing tasks, exploring a course, interacting with other users, etc. They are awards that provide motivation, encouraging learners to continue.
Celebrate little wins between big ones. Badges are treats leading up to a big reward (shh…the reward is knowledge).
SMALL STEPS TO A LARGER GOAL
Another way in which small pieces add up to something larger is by breaking goals up into small steps. If you want to run a marathon, but you can’t yet run a 5K, you should probably plan on tackling that 5K first.
In e-learning courses, we break content down into sections and modules. We can lock modules down so that learners must first complete easier pieces of a course before moving on to harder ones. Adding increasing levels of difficulty is a gamification element that many people do intuitively.
WORK WITH A PARTNER OR GROUP
It’s a lot easier to wake up for that early trip to the gym if you have a friend there waiting for you. Groups motivate each other by adding accountability.
Custom portals are a great way to get users to interact with each other about the material they are learning in courses. Users are able to see how they are ranked next to others on leaderboards, ask and answer questions about course content on discussion boards, or challenge each other to learning activities. A custom portal doesn't replace your existing LMS--it simply lets you accomplish what the LMS won't enable.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Resolutions don’t happen all at once, especially behavior-based changes. These take time. Everyone should remember the “Year” part of “New Year’s resolution.” You want to give yourself the necessary amount of time to accomplish your goal.
This one is less about gamification and more about the benefits of e-learning that users can complete at their own pace. Learners can return to courses as often as they would like to refresh their memories or strengthen their understanding of difficult concepts. Each user can go at the speed that works best for him or her.
Okay! Now I’m inspired. I’m going to go walk a 1K.