How to Challenge Employees Without Overwhelming Them

Challenge is at the core of what separates an effective training program from a crappy one. 

The basis of challenge is really quite simple: start where your employees are, and continually increase the level of difficulty. 

For training to be challenging but not overwhelming, there has to be opportunity for students to practice learning the new skill. The level of difficulty should only increase again once the employee’s skill matches the level of challenge. Or in other words, just before the content becomes too easy. 

One way to do that is by adding levels to your training program.

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How Hard Should Your Employee Training Be?

The short answer to that question is… hard enough that it’s challenging, but not so hard that it’s overwhelming.

Yea I know. Simple to say, less simple to do.

We’ve noticed that clients often struggle to set the right level of difficulty for their programs. Which makes sense -- it’s not always clear how challenging content should be.

The problem is we all tend to err on the side of “too easy” instead of “too hard.”

And when content is too easy, it doesn’t support your learning objectives. Training feels like a waste of time. Employees check out. And your analytics don’t accurately reflect their learning.

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How to Write Effective Quiz Questions Every Time

We’ve all written bad quiz questions.

Ones that were either way too confusing (double negatives anyone?) or so easy you could guess the answer without understanding the question.

It happens to the best of us.

But while a few bad questions may not seem like a big deal, they can have a major impact on your training; confusing your employees and skewing your results.

The good news is, writing questions doesn’t have to be a struggle. There’s a formula to good quiz questions. One you can use to write effective questions every time.

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How to Educate Consumers Without Boring Them to Death

Did you know marketing & advertising is one of the least trusted industries?

I mean… it’s not surprising. When’s the last time you watched a TV ad and thought “wow, I really trust what they’re saying. They have my best interests at heart.”

Nowadays, consumers see through marketing messages with a quick google search.

As a result, they’re carving their own shopping journeys -- stealing control from traditionally brand run moments, like product research.

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How to Write an Awesome Training Role-Play

There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike, while the blinking cursor mocks your inability to put words to page. 

And when you’re trying to create a role-play that doesn’t make your employees groan, starting can feel impossible. 

But no matter what that pesky inner voice is saying, here’s the truth. You don’t need to be a writer, or even know that much about writing to create a great role-play. 

You just have to create a clear, interesting story that reinforces what you want your employees to learn.

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"Baby Boomers Hate Games" and other training myths

I love the idea of game-based training, but I don’t think my older employees will use it. 

Ever heard that before? 

It’s a pretty common sentiment and a legitimate concern for a lot of training managers. After all, most workplaces have 3 different generations of staff members -- and you want your training to appeal to all of ’em, not just the young'ns. 

But is this worry based in fact? Do Baby Boomers actually hate games? 

Survey says… not so much.

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Gamification vs Game-Based Training: Which is Right for You? [Part 2]

In the last post we covered when you should — and shouldn’t — use gamification for corporate training. Today we’re going to move on to game-based learning. 

Game-based learning differs from gamification in that it features course content within a relevantly themed game. Users learn by playing, and their progress is directly related to their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. 

While highly effective, game-based learning can also be expensive. So it’s important to consider which situations require the investment.

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5 Gamification Tactics to Excite Your Employees and Boost Engagement

Imagine you’re at work, finishing up a task you do everyday, when your manager hands you a badge. 

How would you feel? Would that badge make you feel more motivated to do your job? 

Probably not. In fact, I’m thinking you’d feel pretty weirded out. 

Adding gamification tactics to your training haphazardly has a similar effect. If you don’t know why these tactics motivate employees, you can’t expect them to work.

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Gamification vs Game-Based Learning: Which is Right for You? [Part 1]

If you’re considering stepping up your training game, you’ve undoubtedly run across these two terms: gamification and game-based training. 

Time wasters, your boss calls them. Miracle fixes, claim “industry experts.” 

Confused, you say. 

All jokes aside, the truth is there is no shortage of articles written about gamification and game-based training. Most pontificate about benefits and stop short of telling you anything useful.

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The Six Essential Elements of Game-Based Training Design

Designing game based training programs can be difficult. 

Striking that balance between entertaining and educational is a real challenge. One that even senior instructional designers struggle with.

But there are some things that effective game-based training programs all have in common.  These elements will help you turn your training programs from ho-hum time wasters into educational masterpieces.

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