Area9 Lyceum Blog

Why Gamification in Business Is an Ineffective Corporate Learning Tool

Posted by Area9 on Dec 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM
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Have you been told gamification is the next big thing in business education? At Area9, we’re not convinced.

Sure, playing games to learn has it’s benefits; for example, using a trivia game as a way of teaching can be a successful engagement tactic.

But borrowing from the gaming industry, where gamification’s intent is to keep you in the game and playing for as long as possible - does that really ensure learning objective mastery? It certainly does not reduce learning time.

So while using high scores, leaderboards, and other techniques can deliver on engagement, when compared to the benefits of Adaptive Learning, gamification on its own comes up short. And here’s proof.

3 Reasons Gamification in Business Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be (& Why Adaptive Learning Is Better):

  1. Gamification is the same for everyone. Like other methods of traditional e-learning, gamification is generic, offering the same experience to everyone, regardless of whether it resonates with each particular learner. Why is Adaptive Learning better? Adaptive Learning offers personalized learning to each individual. Two employees from the same company could complete the same Adaptive Learning course and have completely different experiences based on their learning needs.

  2. Gamification wastes time. A game designer’s goal is to entertain the learner, to gamification in business (2).jpgkeep them playing. But the purpose of learning is not just to be entertained. The purpose is to learn something. Keeping a learner in a game without a guarantee of learning, simply wastes time. Why is Adaptive Learning better? Adaptive Learning saves time by only showing your employees the learning content they need to know (and nothing they don’t) giving them more time to be productive for your business. Area9’s Adaptive Learning platform has been proven to reduce training time by 50%.

  3. Gamification doesn’t fix the problems with e-learning. Gamification is used to make bad learning experiences seem active and more engaging. But making a bad learning experience seem fun doesn’t actually fix the problem; it doesn’t create a good learning experience. Gamification is a Band-Aid for low engagement. Why is Adaptive Learning better? For learning to have an impact (ie. for learners to learn), learners must engage with what they’re learning by being an active participant - and still learn something. Adaptive Learning does this through formative assessment - teaching by asking questions - and by asking for learner’s feedback on their answers as a way to gauge confidence, knowledge, and engagement. Adaptive Learning fixes the problem, not the symptom.

There are some gamification techniques that have a beneficial impact on learners and learning through play can have a positive impact. But overall, gamification does nothing to address the underlying problems with traditional e-learning.

Leave Gamification to the Kids, Embrace Adaptive Learning

Playing games with your learning content doesn’t help the learner achieve full proficiency. Try something new when you try Adaptive Learning. Find out how it can improve your learning outcomes when you download this free infographic.

Adaptive E-Learning infographic


Topics: Corporate E-Learning