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Gamification, Badging and Credentialing. Wanna Play?

Many vendors have built whole solutions or even parts of solutions around gamified learning. You may be wondering should this be a key part of your learning strategy and learning technology.

Often learning pulls on popular media and entertainment for inspiration, you will hear a lot about the Netflix of learning and Gamification. The underlying ethos appears to be that if you pull on the same motivators, which keep us sat on a rainy Sunday consuming a 12 hour box set or to pursue Zombies across a desolate wasteland until 3 in the morning, will help people engage with learning.

Whilst this may be true that is something is truly immersive you will get lost in it and the time will fly by, is this really what you want for your learning?

Linking back to our article on purpose, learning should be useful and solve a need for the individual undertaking the learning. Making it entertaining may not actually be the right approach. Do you want your learners to learn because they enjoy the learning or because it is helpful and useful? Whilst the two are not mutually exclusive, think about where your predominant focus is.

So let’s look at where gamification can be helpful:

  • If you are in a heavily regulated industry gamification can help motivate some employees

  • Gamification can be useful when trying to build initial engagement with a new learning platform – although the impact tends to drop off quickly as the novelty wears off

  • Gamification can also be used to drive new behaviours in learning such as encouraging User Generated Content or sharing and collaboration

  • Badging can be used to help people work through structured learning pathways e.g. IT based qualifications

  • Badging or Micro-credentialing can be useful if you have the type of learning which people want to be able to evidence they have completed. Badges or credentials can then be added to CVs and social profiles such as LinkedIn depending on the functionality

As you can see these elements can serve a purpose. However if learning leads with gamification it is probably missing the point, or is pushing out content which is not focussed on the learner.

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