Framework for designing a Gamified Learning Program

Learning & Development is no longer about the learning hours that employees go through but it is about the business impact associated with it.  Within this context, one of the major challenges that organization face is to do with building capability, not only to tackle the challenges of today but also to prepare employees for the future. This is further complicated by the fact that most companies are dealing with the multi-generational workforce.

Immersive gamification can bring learners of multiple generations to collaborate, motivate each other and learn from real world application. When Rewards are coupled with learning, it creates a sense of excitement to achieve objectives and creates a sense of accomplishment. Gamification is proving to be an effective approach so much so that a new report predicts that globally the gamification of education market will explode to $1.2 billion in 2020 from just about $93 million in 2015.

In a series of roundtables, People Matters in partnership with Plural sight explored some of the key trends, challenges, and opportunities using technology. In a session on designing the framework for a gamified learning program, Capt. Shantanu Chakravorty, Global Head of Digital Design and Gamification at Cognizant Academy spoke about the approach gamification to make it a holistic approach to developing gamified and pervasive learning program. He noted that one of the distinctive features about gamification which differs it from the game is that game has an end but gamification is continuous and a journey in itself.

Here is a blueprint for developing a gamified learning program:

Identify Technology Topologies:

One of the striking features of Gamification is that it prompts a change in the behavior of learners because they are compelled to earn points and rewards, often in a social interface. Gamification coupled with right technology enables tracking learners’ activities, recording achievements, and a real-time feedback to players. Shantanu notes that there are three broad technology categories or types of technology topologies:

•    Early mainstream: These are widespread technologies e.g. virtual computing, messaging tools like WhatsApp.

•    Juvenile: The new technologies which are still left to explore.

•    Nascent: Technologies that are coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential e.g. Augmented Reality

One of the pre-requisites to equip your gamification learning program is to identify the suitable and right technology to design your program, suitable for your business context and industry.

Identify Behavioral Parameters:

Identify the behaviors you want learners to exhibit both, while using the learning platform and after the program is over and design your program accordingly. Select parameters that align with the learning goals, and that are adaptable to the learner so that you can measure ROI. For example, you may consider using demonstrative behavior of participants to realize the impact of the learning program.

Map your learning strategy to layers of gamification:

The gamified learning program can have a series of stages aligned to your strategy. You can include a number of stages like administering the pre-learning assessment, monitoring behavior of learners, etc.

You may use the following five layers to design your gamified learning program:

· Kinesthetic Layer: A traditional learning and development method which emphasizes on of face to face communication. For example, Face to face session is a key focus area for team building skills and learning based on feedback.

· Psychometric Layer: At this layer, the focus is on administering participants learning tools after using traditional psychometric assessments like MBTI.

· Digital device Layer: This is also called biometric/ wearable layer where learners’ behavior can be measured by using wearable devices like fit bits.

· Gamification Layer: Learners are prompted to change their existing behavior and adopt the desired behavior, the entire program needs to affix with rewards and penalties.

· Social Layer: Various social tools like Facebook, Twitter, Yammer etc. are used in this layer. Participants are encouraged to create a profile on these platforms to understand their social behavior and the influence that they exercise as a result of the learning program.

Ensure Network & Collaboration:

Group formation and competitions promote positive team interactions, and member visibility in networks showcase leadership and people expertise

One way to analyze learners’ social network is by using Homophily maps. Homophily maps are defined as the extent to which participants form ties or network with similar versus dissimilar learners. Understanding network behavior is crucial to designing learning programs, it helps understand how employees are leveraging their network to enhance and support their learning

Track learners’ sentiment:

Like traditional learning program, it is necessary to understand how the learners are perceiving your program. Administer their behavior before, during and after completing the program.

Sentiment analysis can be utilized to identify the behavior of learners. Semantic Analysis refers to the use of natural language processing (NLP), text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information from source materials.

The gamification of learning also prompts us to think about the competencies that L&D team of an organization should have. The team should also comprise of people from varied backgrounds like data analyst, anthropologists, sociologists, etc. This helps us understand patterns in people understanding and learning as well as our level of business and problem-solving.

(Source : Plural Sight & People Matters)


Levels of Competence

The Levels of Competence :

1. Unconscious Incompetence – You don’t know what you don’t know
2. Conscious InCompetence – You Learn how much you don’t know
3. Conscious Competence – You are now able to do things but only with a conscious effort
4. Unconscious Competence- You are now able to do things so well you dont even have to think about it
5. Coaching Competence – This is the level where you can do things with “Unconscious Competence” but you still know exactly how you do each step and you are able to train some one else to do it the same way and just as well.

(Source : Anonymous)


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11 HR Lessons to Learn From Lord Ganesha

1. Big Head of ‘Gajanana’ :  The God has a big head or Gajanana which means “Elephant Faced God” symbolizes to think big. As an HR & a representative of the Management we need to think differently, explore various options & come out with practical / viable solutions to every problem by analyzing the situations calmly.
2. Small Eyes of “Gajakarna” : The small and sharp eyes of Ganesha symbolize to have concentration. The functions of HR requires focus & concentration and one needs to think of all possible consequences to resolve the situation amicably as we are dealing with creatures of emotions. The devils are in the details. Prioritize the work according to their importance to gain the visibility of the Management.
3. Large Ears of “Lambakarna” : The large ears of “Lambakarna” which means “Large Eared Lord” and symbolizes to listen carefully and keep your ears open always. As an HR, you need to hear your people all the times. Listen by your mind and heart as unhappy, not so happy, happy people would like to pour their heart out on everything whether it is personal or official. Listen to them passionately, analyze / interpret and come out with concrete results.
4. Small Mouth of “Gajavaktra”  : At times it is said that actions speak better than words, but few wrong words may make bigger and a very wrong impression than your actions. Lord Ganesha’s small mouth reminds that one should think before they speak anything. As an HR, your words portray your personality, you need to listen more and talk less while handling people and their problems. Always be solution oriented whenever you are confronted with problems.
5. One Tusk of “Ekadanta” or “Ekadrishta” : Ganesha’s one tusk symbolizes that you should keep the good and throw the bad. As an HR, you need to practice the process / methodologies which are beneficial to the company by eliminating which are not so good. Initiate changes for better.
6. Trunk of “Vakratunda” :  Lord Ganesha’s trunk conveys that one should be highly adaptable and efficient to their surroundings. Even in unfavorable situations one should be patient and should not panic. As an HR you need to engage the employees efficiently by getting the best out of them consistently. This is an acid test for the department of HR in terms of its functioning. This action of yours shall determine as to how valuable you are for the company.
7. Large Stomach of “Lambodara” :  Ganesha”s big stomach conveys that one should be able to digest all good and bad phases of financial decisions. It is not always that the department of HR enjoys the good will of the company and its management. The department of HR will be remembered / recognized only when it diagnoses & dilutes problematic situations professionally within the laid down frame work of the company.
8. Right foot over left foot :  Ganesha keeps his right foot over left foot whenever he is seen in sitting posture. This posture symbolizes using knowledge and reason to overcome emotions. As a representative of HR, take action only after analyzing the situation / circumstances threadbare calmly, peacefully without any haste. Upgrade yourself regularly by reading Management books, enrolling for seminars & conferences and also interacting with successful HR Heads to get useful tips.
9. Axe : The lord of all Ganas (Gods), Ganesha holds an axe in one of his hands in order to shed off all the bonds and attachments. As an HR, perform your job professionally well. The decisions you take has to be devoid of all emotions and bonds. Being a Resource Manager, excel in handling men by putting in your expertize gathered in your Management Institutions.
10. Mouse at Akhuratha’s Feet :  “Moshak” or mouse is considered as Ganesha’s ride. Akhuratha means the lord who has mouse as his charioteer. In any organizational set up, the department of HR is given a great importance. This does not give the department and his men to ride high. You have be grounded at all the times by keeping your employees satisfied, management appraised and functional heads briefed. In other words, the rules, regulations, policies, procedures drawn by the management have to be applied logically by reasoning and not by emotions.
11. Modak and Prasada :  Modak is ganesha’s favorite sweet and it is served to the devotees as ‘prasada’. This symbolizes that one who does hard work and is patient always gets good rewards.

Source : Anonymous

A Pound of Butter

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker.

One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court.

The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure.

The farmer replied, amour Honor, I am primitive. I don’t have a proper measure, but I do have a scale.”

The judge asked, “Then how do you weigh the butter?”

The farmer replied “Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter.

If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker.”

What is the moral of the story?

“ We get back in life what we give to others”

 Source : Anonymous