Both microlearning and gamification began as digital learning trends. However, it is clear at this point that they are here to stay. Both of these digital learning strategies have revolutionized how modern L&D takes place in organizations and are now preferred by modern learners over traditional training and eLearning methods.
Seeing how both of these strategies improve absorption, retention, and application of knowledge to an appreciable degree, the fusion of both concepts in L&D programs proves to be a success. This has been proved to provide success to various organizations, allowing for the harness of the power of both strategies to further improve skills and knowledge. While gamification provides engagement like no other strategy and incorporates gaming elements, microlearning teaches skills and knowledge with a laser focus, while being short in duration, making it easy to consume whenever and wherever the learner desires. In this article, let us have a look at the value and power of gamification in microlearning, as well as learn how to combine them in the best way possible.
The Benefits of Gamification in Microlearning
1. Gamifying Makes Learning Fun
Learners generally dread training and treat it as a convention that they “have to” participate in. This type of thinking results in poor absorption and retention of knowledge. However, learners are not to blame. Traditional training and even traditional eLearning can be quite boring. However, microlearning uses modern formats like videos, podcasts, simulations, interactivities, infographics, and the like to engage learners. Add gamification to the fray, and you have a learning strategy that is as fun as it is educational. Gamified microlearning is a sort of a mini-game that lasts not more than 5-7 minutes, and helps learners to perform a skill or task while entertaining and engaging them.
2. Keeps Learners Motivated
One of the most effective elements of gamification is rewards. Rewards, whether tangible or intangible, motivate learners to pay attention and improve themselves, all the while consuming their courses and giving it their best. There is a number of reward elements like points, badges, power-ups, rank (in leaderboards), which can be used within microlearning bits to gamify them, in addition to external rewards like certificates of completion as well as cash incentives.
3. Gamified Microlearning Is Perfect for Millennials
When we talk about the “modern learner,” it is quite clear that we are talking about millennials. It is said that by 2025, 3 out of 4 employees will be a millennial. Thus, it is important for companies to focus on how to train them better, which is why gamified microlearning looks like the perfect way to do so. Millennials can become easily agitated and tend to have short attention spans. Gamified Microlearning addresses both of these factors by being both entertaining and engaging, as well as being no longer than 5-7 minutes long.
How To Use Gamified Microlearning
Here is a quick guide on how to effectively utilize gamified microlearning.
1. Define and Design the Microlearning Nuggets/Bits
When creating gamified microlearning, you first need to define and design the microlearning part, i.e., outline their key objectives, decide in which order they will be consumed to offer maximum benefit and what the learner will be doing in each microlearning nugget, e.g. watching and learning, practicing and learning, interacting and learning etc.
2. Add Gamification Elements
There are a number of elements you can use to gamify your microlearning nugget, and this should be decided based on the learning objective as well as the digital format being used in the nugget. Refrain from trying to add too many elements in each microlearning nugget. Adding points for each nugget consumed is a must, and you can also add points within the nugget itself. You can use timers in nuggets which require learners to make quick decisions, such simulations or scenarios. Add levels in your microlearning program as well as badges when a learner reaches a certain level or collects a certain number of points. You can also add stories or narratives in the nuggets, among a number of other gamification elements. Research well before designing your gamified microlearning modules.
In order to gain a competitive advantage over other organizations, you will have to offer your employees the best possible opportunities for learning continuously. This means keeping up with digital learning trends and effective strategies and implementing those which can offer a chance of improvement. Gamified microlearning is one such strategy.