When you receive a call to do a face-to-face course, you have the feeling that on that day you will break with the routine. It is an opportunity to receive knowledge and socialize with your classmates. But, when you are summoned to an e-learning course, you usually perceive it as “extra work that consumes part of my time”.
The main advantage of e-learning is to offer flexibility to train at your own pace. Find the time in which to prioritize the course between your personal schedule and the usual work overload. Even so, it leads to imposing the inaction of daily routines, without finding an ideal time to train.
If the course deserves to be taught, it is convenient to allow the employees to do it during working hours. Online courses allow companies to save travel costs and collect content in a repository that can always be consulted. The problem is that, once initiated, they suffer a high dropout rate. The European School of Business Management (EUDE) published a few years ago that, worldwide, only 10% of those who start MOOC courses finish them. In Spain, the value amounts to 23%.
The intrinsic motivation
In the Siltom Institute team we have been striving for years to optimize the intrinsic motivation of people to learn, and in this post we want to share our experience, reflections and more powerful formats of e-learning to get the workers’ engagement. Intrinsic motivation is what gets people to do something voluntarily for the mere personal satisfaction in doing so and without receiving any reward.
Currently, the activities and behaviors that allow focusing attention for a short time in the same activity triumph: the secret of the success of social networks. For most professionals, it is very boring to sit at a computer for long sessions and read extensive agendas. In contrast, the structure of microlearning is much more popular because it is the course that adapts to the employee’s time and not the other way around. It only requires having brief moments, about 10 minutes, 2-3 times a week. For example, while waiting for a client to meet you, on the subway or having a coffee.
The mobile application format is very welcome because it facilitates the accessibility to the training contents from any time, place or device. We observed that more than 80% of users answered questions from our neurodidactic videogame Trainapp on weekends, demonstrating clearly that they consider it more a motivating activity with which to de-stress, than a job they need to disconnect.
In the field of the most attractive formats, without a doubt the strategy reigns conceived for it is the gamification. In our particular case, we implement scientific methodologies to consolidate knowledge in diverse professional targets, with predominance of commercial networks or prescribers / distributors, incorporating multiple reviews of the same concepts among other strategies, which could be unbearable if we do not integrate them into good ones. gamification dynamics.
Gamification provides this environment of positive emotionality so synergistic with learning, and this implies that participation is voluntary, preferably offering a long period to allow the employee to choose the days in which he is really motivated and focused to assimilate and retain the concepts learned. .
How can a game become an experience that promotes intrinsic motivation?
When designing the dynamics of a game, it must be clear that they are not only attractive for competitive profiles. This segment of players are a very small minority (1%). The dynamics and objectives of a training game should offer more attractive experiences than the prize that each company could establish for the winners, an extrinsic motivation difficult to everyone’s liking.
Mainly, many elements of social interaction should be incorporated among those who play, and give the option of self-improvement until reaching an excellent level of knowledge, regardless of what the rest of the classmates do.
When employees are called to participate in a training game, they should appreciate the trainer’s objective to help facilitate learning, instead of interpreting that they will be subjected to an aggressive test that confronts them against each other. Nobody will be left in evidence and, for this, it is better to keep the “worst” players anonymous. It is important to argue the reasons why a game has been chosen as an innovative and efficient school format. If the trainer exposes them to their employees, their convening power will grow.
To us, the solid scientific basis that supports the functionality of Trainapp, helps us a lot so that users understand well that it is not a simple game to spend an entertaining time, but it is a tool of formative effectiveness. Without this introductory explanation, some people might consider the game a playful activity or “waste of time”.
It is convenient to communicate the importance that is given to the project of training gamification in different hierarchies of the company, with special commitment of the direct boss of the team to be trained. In projects in sales networks or pharmacies, for example, we observe large differences in the volume of access to the application. The number of accesses grows in teams where the regional manager or pharmacist is very involved in the game.
If the appearance of the application predominates an attractive and colorful graphic environment, with a mission and intuitive dynamics that allow you to play without receiving instructions for it, regarding letters and numbers, the experience will be perceived as more fun.
“Learn is to advance”
In the case of Trainapp, we wanted to convey the metaphor that “learning is moving forward” and we chose the context of the thread of the journey of a train, which traverses an itinerary of training pills in the form of stations, where the user enters and interacts with the content as an interactive quiz, reflecting each concept associated with visual messages and favoring learning from the error.
The rankings and achievements are elements that can not be missing in any game. The comparison of average scores of the members of each team, means that it is not necessary for the teams to have the same number of people that integrate them and it is an opportunity to do team-building. Even uncompetitive people are attracted to win when they are part of a team they do not want to disappoint. The collective effort helps everyone to advance and learn. In our game, teams can earn extra points by creating questions and sharing their know-how.
Another motivating factor is that the emotion of identifying who wins is guaranteed until the end. In our case, we achieved it by remarkably pondering the points that the final season of the game grants, and therefore until all the users do not surpass it, it is not possible to intuit clearly who will lead the ranking.
It is interesting that the winners of the rankings communicate in an event. In the professional environment, recognizing the notoriety of good practices is more important than the award received. When we consolidate the strategic formation in commercial networks, it works very well to give recognition to as many commercial delegates as possible, generating applause or delivering small prizes.
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