“Games are the most elevated form of investigation.” — Albert Einstein
When used appropriately, game-based techniques can greatly enhance online learning courses and delight learners of all ages. The challenge for L&D professionals is how to commission effective game-based learning at a time when training budgets are under pressure. While immersive 3D games and simulations often require significant levels of investment and production time, actually the cost barriers for game-based learning as a whole are falling year-on-year with more affordable solutions.
Birghtwave just released a white paper addressing that corporate training interventions can be gamified very cost effectively using simple but effective techniques including the following elements, it gave good examples for each game design techniques.
- Stories, characters and goals, examples: Sky Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, Value your friends
- Virtual role-play, examples: The Perfect Match, Inside the Haiti Earthquake (produced by PTV Productions Inc.)
- Avatars, example: Co-op Financial Essentials
- Reward systems – example: Co-op Financial Essentials
- Leaderboards, examples: HEINEKEN Capability Academy, Sky Get Up To Speed (note: gamification techniques are increasingly visible in the latest generation of Learning Management Systems)
- Exploring Virtual Environments, examples: Lives at War, HEINEKEN Is Our World, Fire Safety, IKEA: The Missing Stock Mysteries
- Mobile games, 70–80% of all mobile downloads are now games and the mobile gaming industry is predicted to reach $54 Billion by 2015 (Digital Buzz), examples: mobile quizzes, Bupa’s pre-joiner portal
- Take-a-break games(space learning), research shows that by scheduling distractor activities like this into the learning experience, the chance of embedding information into long-term memory is greatly improved,
example: British Bulldog’ and ‘Wack-a-Cone
According to this white paper summary:
Recent evidence-based research suggests it can be highly effective. In a major study, researchers at the University of Colorado (Sitzmann T: “A Meta-Analytic Examination Of The Instructional Effectiveness Of Computer-Based Simulation Games”, Personnel Psychology 2011) found that trainees who used simulation games gained the following performance improvements over a comparison group who were trained with traditional forms of instruction:
• 20% higher confidence levels
• 14% higher skill-based knowledge
• 11% higher factual knowledge levels
• 9% higher retention levels
This means that learners can take risks and see the consequences of their actions quickly, thereby accelerating the learning process and time-to-competence.
The application of game-based strategies promises to increase engagement, improve assessment scores and reduce drop-out rates. By thinking more like game designers, we can create more compelling learning experiences that help support lasting behavioral change. If you’re interested in gamifying the provision of learning in your organisation, this white paper will give you some useful food for thought.
- 68 Research Papers on Game-Based Learning from around The World (classroom-aid.com)
- Game-Based Learning in Higher Education (classroom-aid.com)
- 3 Answers to The Problems of Game-Based Learning (classroom-aid.com)