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Gamification: What It Is + Some Tips

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the new gamification trend that’s been sweeping the Instructional Design world. If you’re like me, and behind the times on what gamification is – let me explain it further. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service. You might be thinking about how to integrate gamification into your trainings or tutorials, and I think that’s a great thing to think about! Here are some ways to integrate gamification into your trainings and tutorials:

  1. Add Trophies into Your Tutorials
    By adding trophies to your tutorials you are giving your user something to want to achieve. Your viewer needs to have motivation to accomplish each individual task. There’s a reason why candy is such a huge motivator in the classroom.

  2. Think Video Games
    When you are designing your tutorial, think about how video games are built and structured. There is a set goal for each section with interactivity and really immerse the viewer into the scenario.

  3. Study Up
    Study up on other companies that are using gamification successfully. It’s hard to wrap your brain around the millions of possibilities that gamification could be used for. By observing other companies like Starbucks, who reward their loyal customers with trophies and free drinks. Or Nike + and the running experience community app where you compete against people in your community. For more examples, click here. (

  4. Score Your Results and Have a Leader Board
    Some healthy competition is never a bad thing! Include a scoreboard on who got all the answers right. Once people notice that they are competing against their fellow peers, they’re more likely to stay engaged and want to do better.

  5. Live Chat or Community Aspects
    With video games come the constant interactions between the players. Allow your tutorial viewer to have that same aspect of comradery and a team feel. By adding a simple live chat feature – it can allow tutorial viewers to interact with one another and help each other get through a difficult part of the tutorial together.   

  6. Allow Social Media In
    When all’s said and done, allow your viewers to share their results with their peers and family members. This will add a sense of community and encouragement with completing your tutorial, but also a sense of pride – they did it! Let them shout it from the rooftops!

    These are just some ways to gamify your eLearning modules or tutorials. We would love to hear what you’ve done in past projects, or what you’re intending to do with future projects and gamification. Comment below if you have any examples or ideas! We’d love to hear from you.

Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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