The most obvious reason for having a leaderboard in the training process is because it provides players with an understanding of where they rank in comparison to their peers. The less obvious but important reason is that the mere existence of a leaderboard entices players to play.
When implementing a leaderboard in the training program, it’s important to remember that the point system must be fair and it must encourage, not discourage players. The participants must believe that getting to a higher rank is achievable with more perseverance and hard work. One trick is to put the players in the middle of the point system, regardless of their actual ranking. This not only pushes the player to work harder to get to the top, but he or she will feel a boost of confidence knowing there are people below his or her score.
There are four ranking strategies for a leaderboard:
1. Locally: The players can see the ranking of others in their physical proximity.
2. Socially: The players can compare themselves to friends and acquaintances (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
3. Contextually: The players in certain categories will see the ranking of others in their category.
4. Time: The leaderboard refreshes or updates daily/weekly/month etc.
Although gamification is not about winning but about learning, having a leaderboard creates a sense of progress and achievement.
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