How Deloitte made learning a game–Harvard Business Review

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Gamification of learning continues to be a hot topic for education (and as with most things within the education system, there’s plenty of divided opinion on how it could be used in the classroom with students). But it’s not limited to conventional education systems – we’re also seeing gamification being used in the world of corporate learning too.

I’m lucky to work closely with the team at Janison Learning Systems, in Coffs Harbour, who have used the techniques of gamification to enhance the Deloitte Leadership Academy, which has just been featured in the Harvard Business Review site. When you look at the line-up of logos along the bottom of the website, you can see the exalted company that Janison keep these days:

Deloitte Leadership Academy - website footer

Deloitte has seen it’s Deloitte Leadership Academy grow through the inclusion of gamification techniques – missions, badges, leaderboards, online connections to widen the participatory group – and that’s resulted in a 37% increase in the number of users returning to the site each week. There’s a really good overview of it on the Harvard Business Review site, and a small tick list of three questions to ask before getting started with using gamification for learning and development, that I think is immediately applicable in education too:

  • What are your (business) goals?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How will you track success?

There’s a really important point right at the bottom of the article, which is important to keep at the front of your mind when thinking about gamification:

  The goal is not to "game" or manipulate target audiences, but rather to mesh behavioural science with social technologies to increase collaboration and engagement levels among your users.  

It’s that key phrase "mesh behavioural science with social technologies" that hits me – it’s important to remember that it’s about intrinsically rewarding the behaviours, and avoid the problems some gamification projects have had when they have veered off into rewarding the processes, not the goals.

Learn MoreRead ‘How Deloitte Made Learning a Game’ on the HBR Blog Network

This project is just one of hundreds that Janison have built – which might explain why their client list on their website runs to five pages – including a number of education projects like the NSW ESSA Online Science Assessment and the ACMA Online Cybersafety project.

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