Playing with Gamification? Those Badges and Leaderboards Aren’t Enough

The idea of gamification often feels way too good to be true. A training method that promises increased engagement and produces learners that actually want to access materials and content? It’s no wonder that organizations are quick to jump on the gamification bandwagon. Unfortunately, poorly-planned gamification almost always falls flat, leaving learners bored and administrators wondering where they went wrong.

We blame two things: badges and leaderboards. While both can be successful parts of a game-based learning solution, too often they’re the only parts. Simply delivering the same course but offering badges for completion or compiling users into a hierarchy doesn’t increase engagement or learner retention. Instead, relying on the lowest forms of gamification send a clear message: completion is the only goal.

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