Over the past ten years, we have seen a meteoric rise in online education popularity. Whether it is online universities, continuing education credits or corporate learning initiatives, our proclivity to achieve our education goals online has exploded since 2001. Accredited online classes, unlike webinars, don’t struggle with attendance; an online courses’ road block is usually that of interaction and interest. So much so that the online university class dropout rate has been documented as high as 79%. Although there isn’t a silver bullet that solves the completion issue, many agree that content engagement has the largest impact on success. Along those lines, last week we covered the importance of content and teased the term Gamification.
According to Gartner – Gamification is the use of game mechanics to drive engagement in a non-game activity and change behaviors for a target audience. Many types of games include game mechanics such as points, levels, challenges, leaderboards, rules and incentives that make game play enjoyable. Gamification applies these to non-game scenarios to motivate the audience to higher and more meaningful levels of engagement. Humans are “hard-wired” to enjoy games and have a natural tendency to interact more deeply in activities that are framed in a game construct.
In the web conferencing context of E-Learning, Gamification is used to promote interactivity, challenges and continual feedback through concepts like achievements, point systems, and badges. At the attendee level, Gamification milestone methods have proven to garner attention, retention and decrease the tedium associated with online learning, leading to better completion percentages.
Although results vary, Gamification is proven to work across many business segments. Below are some examples of companies that have used variations of Gamification in individual segments of their business to varying degrees of success:
Deloitte Leadership Acadamy – Returning Visitors: +27%
AutoDesk – 3ds Max Trial Downloads: +19%
USA Network Club Psych – Page Hits: +130%
Stewart Agency – Sales Campaign: +7200%
These examples tell us that Gamification is not only a solution for online course study, but can also act as a vaccine to systemic productivity problems.
As one can imagine the upside of Gamification is off the charts. A recent study by M2 projected annual Gamification sales to go from 100 million dollars in 2011 to over 2 Billion by 2016. These seem like heady numbers but in real life the chart has already misrepresented 2012 actual Gamification sales, which eclipsed 300 million, nearly 60 million more than the 240 million dollar M2 estimate.
Author-Cam Nicholson, V2 Business Development, has been in the conferencing industry for seven years, spending five of those as a UC champion with Microsoft.