Should I Gamify My Training? The Case for Interactive eLearning


The concepts and information your employees learn during training are important and deserve to be taken seriously. However, there’s nothing that says you can’t have a little fun while getting serious.

eLearning has opened a world of possibilities for learning games and simulations. While some might worry gamifying eLearning will give employees a license to slack off, I’d like to argue the opposite. To help make my point, I’ve taken the three biggest arguments against games and simulations and given my reply.

Argument #1: They don’t actually help learners retain more information

This is a popular topic in the eLearning world. So, does every game or simulation help learners retain more information? Of course not. And you shouldn’t create games for the sake of games. Instead, gamified learning needs to be productive, structured and effective. It should feel cohesive with the concepts that are being explored, rather than at odds with them. In short, game-based learning can be extremely effective at helping learners retain more information—when it is done well.

Argument #2: Games are just a distraction from the necessary information

Rather than acting as a distraction, the Expand team has found games actually work to re-engage an eLearning participant. They break up the monotony of one-sided information digestion and require undivided attention. Plus, games can even act as a sneaky assessment tool. You can see how well your employees are paying attention by how they perform in the game. You’ll get some valuable feedback on how your training is working while your employees get to enjoy a “play break.”

Argument #3: My employees shouldn’t need a game to pay attention

I understand where you’re coming from on this one. Ideally, your employees would be so engaged by what they’re learning in their training that they couldn’t possibly lose focus. However, their inability to remain engaged over an extended eLearning program doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t fully committed to their job responsibilities. Your employees are busy people with much on their minds. Games and simulations are just simple, interactive ways to captivate their attention while still making the most of your training.

Now, that’s not to say games are always the right choice. Obviously some topics are better suited for a game or simulation than others. Use your discretion and instincts to know if incorporating a game into your eLearning makes sense. When in doubt, ask yourself these three questions.

3 Questions to Help You Decide If a Game is the Right Choice for Your eLearning

  • Would the inclusion of a game seem too lighthearted or insensitive to the information at hand? If YES, a game might not be the best complement to your eLearning.
  • Does including a game seem forced or unnatural? If YES, save your gaming for another section. Games should feel like a normal progression to the eLearning—not something added in for the sake of it.
  • Does the necessary information still get across in the game? If NO, then either work to improve the game or save it for another sections of your eLearning.

If you're interested, check out ExpandShare's eLearning Services to see how your program can be an epic success.

Will Holland