Gamification is not just about playing games and it is not just a fancy word which describes the bells and whistles on your training programme. If used correctly, gamification can enhance your training and improve learner engagement, retention and overall learning. Here’s five reasons why you need to gamify your next course or training programme.
1. It’s in the stats
From the above statistics, we can see that the average gamer relates to our target group of learners within organisations. Games are part of the cultural landscape and they are not going anywhere. So instead of ignoring them, as facilitators, we need to integrate gaming into our course development and training.
2. Creating memorable experiences
In this technology driven ad social sharing era, learners can learn anything by surfing the internet. There is a huge bank of knowledge that is easy and cheap to obtain. It is thus up to facilitators and educators to offer learners experiences that they cannot get at home. Gamification allows us to create experiences in which the learner can relate to and keeps them engaged in their own learning.
Engagement happens when the experience is pleasant for the learner. According to Karl Kaap, games “engage players because they provide an environment and a context in which actions provide direct feedback and lead to direct consequences.” Gamification taps into learner’s competitive instincts by using rewards to drive action. The fact that the learner needs to gain more points, badges or to level up keeps him/her engaged in the learning experience. Games that have lots of activities keeps the learner more engaged as oppose to those with passive elements or where the learner is forced to observe content.
4. Immediate feedback
Feedback is important in both games and learning. In a game setting, players need to know how they are doing in the game. This feedback can be seen through the use of progression bars, time remaining, amount of life, leader boards etc. In a similar manner, successful learning and training also involves feedback. A gamified course can provide this feedback in the form of visual cues, comments, self paced exercises, question and answer activities, progress bars and leader boards.
Gamification assists in the retention of content and skills learned. Retention is created by memorable experiences, repetition and feedback. Actions of repetition and feedback strengthen the brain cell connections underlying memory and learning. Studies also show that activity learning assists in improving long term knowledge and retention.
- Games, Gamification, and the Quest for Learner Engagement, by Karl M. Kaap, 2012
- Active learning to improve long-term knowledge retention, by Carmen Perez-Sabatar and Colleagues