Backward Day - Is it Time to Rip Up the Rule Book?

 

Backward Day is a fun day that encourages us to do things in an order that we would not usually do them. For example, we just ate dessert for dinner. A wonderful reversal of fortune. An unexpected eruption of hot chocolate and ice cream from an innocuous offering on the menu labeled simply as a "Dinosaur Egg." The dessert was so rich and delicious, it left us not wanting for any nutritious greens or protein. A healthy lifestyle choice? Not by any standards - but certainly acceptable on a day whereby you do everything differently simply because of its name. 

Although we may not have worn our clothes inside out or wore our underwear as our outerwear, we did spend some time today to examine status quo and ask if it was time to scrap our planned approach and do things differently. Sometimes it helps to rip up the rule book and look at things from a different point of view. If there is one day that you’re going to give this a try, this is the day to do it!

There...

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Five Steps for Creating Successful Gamified Learning Programs

Jonathan Peters, PhD
CMO, Sententia Gamification

There is an oft-quoted and perhaps overused prediction by Gartner that 80 percent of gamification efforts are destined for failure. (At least that was the prediction in 2014.) Given the prevalence of the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule), we could say that, hypothetically, only 20 percent of gamification efforts in the Learning and Development space will be successful

Why will so many gamification efforts be unsuccessful if not outright failures? Could it be that designers and instructors simply slap some game mechanics on a program and declare it gamified? Instead of examining their programs and learners, and then strategically interweaving game mechanics, they settle for some points, badges, and leaderboards and wonder why they see very few changes. That’s like placing a cherry on top of a dish and declaring it a sundae. That one ingredient does not magically convert Brussel sprouts into a delectable dessert.

This...

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The State of Gamification of Learning

We believe in the benefits of the gamification of learning, but that’s because we’re in the business. But what about gamification from the employees’ or learners’ point of view?

TalentLMS recently conducted their 2019 Gamification of Work Survey, and they discovered some interesting, amazing, and empowering results. At the very least, the Survey shows that gamification in the workplace—and in learning in particular—is increasingly popular and prevalent.  

TalentLMS began with 900 US employees. The first question eliminated 42% of the dataset. When asked whether they noticed any gamification in an app or software they use at work, 374 of the respondents replied, “No.” If we assume that the gamification of learning, in this case of eLearning, then there is still a significant need to engage learners through gamification.   

From the remaining 526 people, TalentLMS pulled some interesting insights: 

  • Respondents said...
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The Dark Side of Oxytocin

by Jonathan Peters, PhD
Chief Motivation Officer, Sententia Gamification

In several of my articles and webinars, I’ve noted the importance of story in learning programs. Specifically, I mentioned the work of Paul Zak who, with the help of the Department of Defense, has shown that when we hear a character-driven story, even if it is as emotionless as the founding story of your company, we get a nice spike of oxytocin.               

Zak has made a name for himself in the study of oxytocin, being called the “Love Doctor” for his prescription of eight hugs a day. And while love can make the world go ‘round, it turns out it really isn’t as simple as eight hugs, especially during the #metoo era.               

Mammals produce oxytocin in their nervous system and bloodstream. It’s most obvious use is to...

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Level-up Learning: Five Levels of Gamification Design

by Jonathan Peters, PhD
CMO, Sententia Gamification

There is an oft-quoted and perhaps overused prediction by Gartner that 80 percent of gamification efforts are destined for failure. (At least that was the prediction in 2014.) Given the prevalence of the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule), we could say that, hypothetically, only 20 percent of gamification efforts in the Learning and Development space will be successful

Why will so many gamification efforts be unsuccessful if not outright failures? Could it be that designers and instructors simply slap some game mechanics on a program and declare it gamified? Instead of examining their programs and learners, and then strategically interweaving game mechanics, they settle for some points, badges, and leaderboards and wonder why they see very little changes. That’s like placing a cherry on top of a dish and declaring it a sundae. That one ingredient does not magically convert Brussel sprouts into a delectable dessert.

This is...

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4 Levels of Measurement for Your Next Gamification Project

Written by Monica Cornetti
CEO, Sententia Gamification

Let's talk Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. In its simplest form, a KPI is a type of performance measurement that helps you understand how your HR or L&D department is performing. If everything is important… nothing is important.

To be effective, a KPI must:

  • Be well-defined and quantifiable.
  • Be communicated to all stakeholders.
  • Be crucial to achieving your goal.
  • Be relevant to your program.

The trouble is, there are thousands of KPIs to choose from. If you choose the wrong one, then you are measuring something that doesn’t align with your goals. How, then, should you go about selecting the right KPIs for your program?

The best way to accomplish this is by researching and understanding the most important KPIs. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of which ones are specific to your program and which ones will be of no benefit or will not be impacted by your program.

Remember:  If everything...

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The Pitfalls of Motivational Interviews

Beginning Warning

What motivates your learner? The answer is more complex and complicated than you may think, certainly more complex and more complicated than popular business books would lead you to believe. 

When it comes to assessing the motivational profile of learners, the first and biggest hurdle is Self-Hugging—yours and theirs. Remember, you assume everyone is like you, and they assume everyone is like them. Therefore, when you interview a learner, you will assume they have similar motivations as you, and you will tend to ask questions from your frame of reference. 

For them, they won’t perceive that their motivations are different from other people. If they are very different from you, they may not hear the question the way you meant it, and they will respond according to what they heard and what they assume about you. 

The cycle will continue because you will hear their response from your frame. You may assume they are saying one thing, when...

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Four Types of Gamification for Learning

With a nod to Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, it’s important to know WHY we are gamifying a program or process before we begin to actually gamify it. If I could anticipate what he would say (at least a few years ago) about the WHY of gamification, I believe Sinek would say our WHY will determine HOW we will gamify the learning program which will determine WHAT game elements and mechanics we will apply to our program. 

I’m sure the idea that there are four types of gamification didn’t originate in my brain, but I’ve given some thought to the below categories recently, and I’d like to begin a discussion and an awareness when we engage in the gamification of learning. Also, these types are not separate and distinctive; there are grey areas in between. So be kind and generous in your replies (and let me know whom I should be attributing to below categories to). 

  1. As a Cosmetic: Here you simply add game elements, visuals, and other design...
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Onboarding: A Reflection

In his seminal work describing flow, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi discusses the frustration we feel when a challenge is more difficult than our abilities, or how boring a task will be if our skills surpass the challenge. Flow, he says, comes at the balance between challenge and ability. The more skilled we are, the more we enjoy challenges.

At the beginning of a training program, skills are low. Even if we are accustomed to other learning programs, and even if this program should be beneath our skill level, the fact that it is unfamiliar territory means we will revert to the level of novice.

For instance, you probably had a similar amount of fear and tension your first day of school for grade three as you did for grade seven. By grade seven, you should have been used to going to school, but you were facing a new classroom, new teachers, new peers, and new subjects. So once again, you were a novice at school, essentially starting from the beginning.

Recently while...

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Gamification Challenge: Dollarize It! - ROI vs. ROE

It’s probably no surprise to you, but investing in employees pays off.
Learning opportunities result in higher levels of employee promotion, retention, satisfaction, skills and knowledge, and this translates to better organizational performance. In fact, research shows the more a company invests toward developing employees, the higher its stock value goes the following year.

Yet demonstrating a real, bottom-line, Return on Investment (ROI) remains a continued challenge for those of us in Learning and Development fields.


As a gamification strategy designer, it is important for you to work with senior leaders to mutually identify ROI measures (beyond smiley sheets) that are linked to the organization’s key strategic objectives. Successful evaluation starts at the beginning of the planning (e.g. Sententia LV1 Strategy Design begins this process in Level 1: The Lost Lagoon), well before the learning design and delivery occurs. In fact, it should begin at the needs assessment...

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