For many of us, when someone talks about eLearning, it conjures up images of reading lots of text slides, pull down menus and multiple-choice assessments – to be honest, it all sounds rather dull. But eLearning does not have to be that way – what if it was more like a game?
What does eLearning gamification mean? Well, to put it simply – games are incorporated into the eLearning course. Learners can gain points; progress onto levels; and even appear on a leader board. They can engage in the material by playing problem-solving based games; compete with other employees. Introducing a story can further enhance the learner engagement. After all, storytelling is proven to aid in learning and the retention of information.
But will this help with people’s learning? So far, those that have already used to gamification with their training have said that they felt their learning was ‘more productive’ and that it was more motivating to take part, in comparison to the more traditional methods. This may sound a bit too good to be true, but studies from the University of Colorado have shown that, learning through a game can improve a learner’s ability to retain information and score higher on assessments.
This is by no means a new method for training employees. Pilots have been using a form of gamification as part of their training for several years, via virtual reality (VR.). Trainees learn how to fly a plane using a flight simulator, before they progress onto the real thing. Augmented reality (AR) – real world object is enhanced by computers to deliver an interactive experience. This can help people with task-orientated training. An individual is given a task and tools, then asked to solve the problem e,g., can be used to train plumbers. Virtual and augmented realities have shown to be ideal for training people whose jobs involve situations that may cause them harm. This can include learning how to problem solve and make decisions while being in a hazardous situation or environment. By using VR or AR, the learner can experience a scenario, without being put in harm’s way.
There are few things that you need to ensure that any gamification of eLearning is successful:
- Set out obvious learning objectives and goals.
- Introduce levels – this way the learner can keep a track on their learning journey.
- Provide instant feedback on their progression.
- Keep score – it is important the learner is kept informed of their performance.
- Include badges or certificates for all achievements
- Introduce leader boards and encourage healthy competition amongst colleagues.
- Provide the opportunity for collaboration to encourage team building and support.
- Do not over complicate game elements or introduce over complex storylines – these can distract the learner from the content and inhibit learning potential.
Large corporations like: Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Domino’s Pizza are all currently using games as part of their employee training. Although, introducing games to your eLearning may not be effective for everyone or every company – not if you think this could be a good fit for you and your employees, get in touch to learn more.