I recently asked my LinkedIn community to respond to a poll question: “Which one of these Articulate Storyline courses do you like better?” and although after one day (with 6 days to go), there were just 25 votes, I thought I’d share the results:
As you can see the gamified learning activity was the winner at 84% and there’s a reason why. Games and creative learning activities intrigue us. They are different. They interest us because especially in the case of corporate learning, which is monumentally boring in most cases, we are hopeful that perhaps this time around, someone will get it right and actually help us to learn something in an engaging way.
A good friend and software developer of learning games, told me that in all the software he writes, after he is done he makes sure to “Juice it up!”. This simply means adding that extra sweetness to keep people coming back for more and telling others about what he had created. In computer games, there are often “easter eggs” which are additional little bonuses to the game play to keep gamers coming back for more and sharing their finds with others gamers. Even gamers who are paying to be entertained, want to be entertained even more! He and I worked together to “Juice it Up!” to our many learning activities we worked together on at IBM.
In her book, “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation“, Sally Hogshead makes the following observation:
“Emblems fulfill a deep, instinctive need because they say something about us. Abraham Maslow calls this “esteem”: the need to feel important, respected, and recognized as an achiever. We satisfy this need by communicating our value to the world around us.”
This need for emblems is demonstrated in the Badges Leaderboard that I update quarterly. You can’t believe how popular this leaderboard is. People contact me wanting to know why they aren’t on the leaderboard since they have the minimum number of badges (which is 29 by the way for IBMers and 15 for non-IBMers). Most people think I have a sophisticated program that accesses the Credly badges database with an API. The truth is I just manually keep tabs on people’s badges and if they want to be on the leaderboard they contact me, then I add their name to the list along with their youracclaim link to their badge total and manually update it each quarter sharing the results.
Why are badges so meaningful to people? They represent achievement. And that fascinates people. It gets them to ask, “Why are you successful?” and “How can I be successful too?” and “What’s the secret to your success?”. Often times success is much more boring than people want to admit. It generally results from daily consistent effort to get better. As an example, if you learn something new just one hour per day, you will certainly be happier if not more successful one year from now AND since each badge requires about 6 hours of learning, you’ll earn at least 50 more badges one year from now if you invest just one hour per day learning!
Back to “Fascination” — Sally Hogshead identifies 7 “fascination badges”:
“I call these ingredients “fascination badges” because they’re emblematic of what you represent. So how, exactly, are you fascinating? Seven potential areas:
- Purpose: Your reason for being; your function as a brand.
- Core beliefs: The code of values and principles that guide you; what you stand for.
- Heritage: Your reputation and history; the “backstory” of how you came to be.
- Products: The goods, services, or information you produce.
- Benefits: The promises of reward for purchasing the product, both tangible and abstract, overt and implied.
- Actions: How you conduct yourself.
- Culture: All the characteristics of your identity, including personality, executional style, and mind-set.”
As a badge earner we display our areas of expertise that touch on these 7 areas. Those badges stay with us whether we stay with the company that had hired us while we earned the badge or we move on to a better company. The list of badges we have earned is a living breathing resume of our ability to learn, our consistency in learning, and what topics are of interest to us.
So, as part of the gamification of my free course on “The Amazon Interview: Mastering the 14 Amazon Leadership Principles”, I not only include quizzing and playful graphics, but I also reward the learners with a badge:
Here’s the quiz game you get to play at the end of the course and provided for free from Quizzify by Jacinta Penn:
BONUS: If you’d like to download the Quizzify Game for free for your Storyline Project, here’s the LINK.
And, here’s the badge you too can earn for finishing the course:
I designed this badge not only as a symbol of your completion of the course and hopefully of what you’ve learned, but also as a review mechanism for the 14 Amazon Leadership Principles. BONUS: There is a name for a 14 sided shape like you see in the badge above. The name is: Tetradecagon.
So, decide for yourself and vote in my poll (if you read this blog post in the next 6 days). Or, if the poll has closed check them out for yourself here:
The course takes about 30 minutes to complete and even if you don’t need to have information about the Amazon interview, it is very likely in the near future, that you will work directly or indirectly for Amazon. Is there any area of profitable business activity that they are not into?
BONUS: Read “The Amazon Way” by John Rossman for free online. See page on below to get a taste of the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ management style.