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Bridging the Participation Gap – Networks, Learning, and “Play”

As much as the industry talks about social business and the need for organizations to become more “people-centric”, our conversations too often focus on the merits of social applications and platforms. While technology plays a critical role in enabling new ways of working, those new practices should also be complimented by management and community-building strategies that encourage employee participation. Fostering a more participatory culture and work experience that motivates people to contribute beyond the minimum required of the job requires leadership teams to re-think the ways we engage and recognize employees.

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I moderated the “Organization Next” workshop that explored different tactics strategists can employ to close the participation gap that occurs when employees disengage from their jobs. Instructors and panelists explored a variety of topics, touching on issues related to motivation, behavior, culture, and the role of technology. The centerpiece of the discussion revolved around the pro’s and con’s of potential solutions such as “gamification”, social networking, and “in-flow of work” learning. Attendees left the workshop with recommendations on how/where to get started, common pitfalls to expect/avoid, and best practices to consider (based on the real-world experiences of instructors and guest panelists). Highlights from two sessions conducted by our instructors included:

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Gamifying Training of All Types

Gamification to drive engagement for events, K-12 and higher education, wellness, and employee outreach has been discussed on this blog before and this post will focus on demographic/topic specific training.

Pew Internet recently published a report entitled, The Future Of Gamification, in which over 1k experts were interviewed with some university researchers indicating that gamification principals could actually improve creativity, learning, participation and motivation. So no surprise that K-12 and higher education has been an early adopter in trying out gamification tactics on programs. In the last month there has been a lot of buzz about gamification opportunities for training on more niche content areas for specific demographics. Let’s dive into some examples.

Financial Education

According to a recent press release, “Wall Street Survivor‘s online financial education platform offers a series of engaging, rewarding “missions” that guide users through a range of stock market concepts, from portfolio basics to investment strategies. The platform is geared toward millenials who consider themselves novice investors. Today, 30 percent of millenials turn to social media for information on the economy and investing strategies.”

The program incorporates a number of gamification techniques including badges and virtual as well as real world rewards. Learn more about the program via the video below.

Executive Training

Another recent press release explores the idea of gamification for executive training. Read More »

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Play the Cisco Global Events Mobile App Game for a Chance to Win #ragancisco

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) study, “by the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita”. Actually, I’m already a member of the “1.4 mobile devices per capita” group. I’d even say I am married to my 1.4 mobile devices.

If you’re like me and can’t imagine stepping out of your home without your phone or tablet, don’t miss out on Read More »

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Driving the Event Engagement You Want with Gamification

If you read my blogs you know I believe that gamification tactics can be VERY effective when applied in a thoughtful manner. I wrote previously about the effectiveness of gamification tactics as applied to Cisco’s Global Sales Experience. We just wrapped up Virtual Partner Summit (VPS) and I want to share some amazing results that in my opinion were very much a result of the gamification tactics applied to the event.

Some of the event goals we considered when crafting the VPS achievement program were:

  • Increase attendees viewing duration
  • Increase the overall event and session level evaluations submission rate
  • Increase the interaction between attendees and Cisco
  • Drive attendees to consume not just our general session content but also our executive chats, geographic and technical session content

So what we did was create a badging program that introduced a tiered approach for the badges. Unlocking badges accumulated points for the attendees with the higher tier badges earning more points. Once an attendee had accumulated 250 points they were eligible for an iPad prize drawing. To start attendees off we awarded the “Welcome to VPS” badge which awarded 50 points upon first login. We then aligned badges to our goals so there were badges for watching different types of sessions for at least 15 minutes, submitting evaluations, and asking questions.

So what were the results? Below are some key statistics…
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Get Your Learning Game On: Gamification of Education

I ran across this great infographic regarding the potential for gamification to have a truly meaningful impact on education. Some key stats that stuck out for me:

  • 1.2 million fail to graduate high school each year
  • 3B hours are spent on playing video and computer games

Gamification of Education

Of course gamification isn’t the end all, be all solution for upping the students investment in their education. I read a great post about 3 Reasons NOT to Gamify Education and the quote that stuck out for me was:

“I don’t think just because you offer an award, like a badge, it will motivate students intrinsically or help them at all. But, tying it into your classroom to make the overall experience fun, meaningful and a challenge can help.”

I think this is a key point that anyone considering gamification of their product/training/event/etc. should consider. Basically slapping on a gamified approach won’t make it successful. Serious thought should be applied to what it is you are most wanting your demographic to think/know/feel/do and when appropriate a gamification tactic can be deployed to motivate your demographic accordingly.

Jesse Schell breaks down how gamification and games can make a significant impact on education. About 14 mins in he talks about one of my favorite example Quest to Learn, which I have blogged about previously, and another example I recently became aware of called Khan Academy.

So what are some examples of good vs. bad gamification for education? Surprisingly I found my good and bad examples, of course this is in my opinion only, from the same company. Read More »

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