Gamification of Courses v’s Gamification of an LMS: A Need-based Decision!
Gamification in eLearning brings in an effective yet informal learning environment which helps the learners practice real-life situations and challenges in an engaging environment. It also helps the learners retain the information better, because they had fun while in the process of learning. Therefore, gamification is the recommended approach when you are looking out for your learners to retain and recall their knowledge in a better way.
Gamification of Courses v’s Gamification of an LMS
When a course is gamified, it works in isolation, whereas gamification of an LMS applies gamification to all actions. To cite an example, let’s say compliance course – you as an organization want to make sure all the new joinees take it, so you create a game around it and whoever earns the maximum points, wins!
But what if you are a company and want to do employee training or you are a university and want all the students to take all the courses of the curricula? It means you’ll have to create a culture of training and learning. This will require you to gamify all the courses, while creating a leaderboard where whoever earns the maximum points by adding up all the courses, wins! All their contributions to the blogs, forums etc. will be counted and shown in cumulation on the leaderboard.
So you see, if you want to acknowledge and award your students for their overall progress in all the courses assigned to them and also when compared to all other learners in the LMS, you need an LMS that is gamified. That’s the major difference between gamifying a course as opposed to gamifying an LMS, and hence the choice of a proper LMS is very important. In summary, it is always better to gamify the LMS because you get a lot of leverage and more options than gamifying a particular course.
Criteria for Selecting an LMS that can be Gamified or that is Gamified
- Look for an LMS that has the gamification modules.
- Besides LMS, if you are a big enough organization with more than 500-1000 employees, students or customers, you’ll need customization.
- Easy customization should be looked out for
- The LMS should have open APIs that are ready to be integrated with
- It should provide badges
- It should be low cost and easily scalable.
What else you should be looking out in an LMS?
The foundation of all your e-Learning initiatives is the LMS, so the idea is to use the foundation and build on top of it. Gamification is such an extension that is added on top of the LMS. Course library with 5000+ courses that can be used out-of-the-box for the LMS. The courses the library have are multi-domain like leadership based, customer service courses, soft skills development and other vocational courses. Various integrations with LDAP, HRIS, Salesforce, SharePoint or e-commerce takes the LMS to the next level.
Let’s check out the benefit of integrating HRIS system with the LMS. Now, suppose a new employee joins, you’ll have to create a record in the HR system, after that you need to have an integration done with the LMS, so that the account gets created in the LMS. This saves your time to do double data entry, which if not done properly can create errors. Similarly, integration with LDAP can create a Single Sign On (SSO), that helps in keeping the authentication in one single place. LMS integration with Adobe Connect and Webex for giving classes online all these add value to the LMS.
With CRM, it’s just another way of accessing content with the embedding of the entire LMS into the CRM, so that the sales people don’t have to leave the platform to take the training. Besides, the said LMS should have the modules for just in time training, mobile compatibility, sales training, customer training, partner training and employee training for both the external and internal resources. Besides, if you want to do performance and talent management, the said modules should be built on top of LMS.
Yes, learning through gaming is enjoyable. However, keep in mind the ultimate goal: you’ve to teach your learners. Always keep that context in mind when creating an interactive and engaging online course or when even gamifying the entire LMS. When an online learning solution fails, it is usually because of lack of learner engagement. So to say, no matter you gamify a course or gamify the entire LMS, if you want your learners to succeed, you need to provide a learning environment that holds their attention and keeps them returning for more.