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Watts gamifies learning to boost course completions by 20x

Watts is a leader in water technology products, committed to improving the comfort, safety, and quality of life for people around the world. Their mission is to provide high-quality products, systems, and solutions for the conveyance, conservation, control and safe use of water.

The Challenge

Watts has always supported strong learning programs for employees and customers. Their various Watts® Works℠ Learning Centers provide a venue for in-person trainings through both lunch and learns and educational videos. However, they needed a system that would help deliver and track centralised online training to further engage employees and customers in learning. 

Their previous LMS was non-intuitive and left a lot to be desired. It was difficult for users to access content and it presented a variety of challenges for employees and partners looking to grow their knowledge. As a result, online course activity and engagement were not where they should have been, especially for an organisation that values learning and growth. 

The Watts learning team conducted interviews with stakeholders throughout the business and it became clear that they needed a new LMS with stronger e-learning capabilities and access to the industry’s latest features and functionality. 

The Solution

Watts' E-learning Program Manager Rebecca Braunert-Plunkett had worked with Totara Learn before. She knew that its customisation features could create a learning hub that was not only easy to access, but also capable of presenting online content clearly and driving engagement in unique ways.  

Watts partnered with Kineo to implement the new custom Totara Learn platform. It features a sleek, branded interface and an auto-audience assignment feature that helps users to register quickly as internal employees or as an extended enterprise partner. It also gives them a definitive source of knowledge that users can access at their own convenience. 

Watts learning history screenshot

As the process was set in motion, the Watts team came across a press release for the Motrain gamification plugin. This add-on was announced as an approved extension for Totara in May 2019, and the timing lined up perfectly for integrating it into the new LMS. This extension ultimately became a driving force for improving learner engagement, allowing users to earn tokens for completing training courses and, thus, the Watts 'Learn and Earn' program was born. 

Watts dashboard screenshot

The digital tokens used in this gamified learning program can be collected and redeemed within the LMS for unique, Watts-branded lifestyle merchandise. Users complete courses, save up, and then can browse an online store, featuring items from blankets to tools to clothing. Motrain also seamlessly integrated the logistics component of the fulfillment process with the existing supplier used by Watts. 

Watts store screenshot

“Motrain’s incentive-based/gamification solution has helped bring customers into their learning program, improve course completion rates and enhance their personal connection to their customers.” 
- Jeff Campbell, Founder and Director, Motrain

The open source implementation of Totara offers a variety of customisable options for Braunert-Plunkett and her team to control and adjust the focus of learning. With administrator access, they can set parameters around the token values of each course and modify how much learning is required before users are eligible to redeem the tokens for merchandise. This flexibility, along with the featured content or 'What’s Hot?' section of the LMS, gives them the freedom to incentivise certain courses within their network and promote learning courses around larger company initiatives.

The Results

Through the implementation of their Totara Learn and Motrain’s gamification plugin, the number of course completions skyrocketed within the Watts network. Tracked course completions increased from around 1,000 in 2018 to more than 20,000 in the first 90 days of the Totara Learn launch. 

Watts course completion chart

Watts also tracked over 1,900 external self-registrations and participation continues to grow as new courses are being added with ease. The team was able to add as many as 18 product courses in less than a week’s time. All of this gives them the freedom to grow their e-learning initiatives with an engaged audience. 

Other key results include:

  • 121 total available courses
  • 22,375 enrolments
  • 461 merchandise redemptions through Motrain 

“Through the Watts Learn and Earn gamification functions set up on our Totara site with the help of Kineo and the Motrain extension, we’ve realized that rewards are the door opener. However, once users notice how intuitive and easy the system is to navigate, suddenly, redeeming tokens for merchandise becomes secondary to the overall learning experience.” 
- Rebecca Braunert-Plunkett, E-learning Program Manager, Watts