Corporate organizations are becoming really serious about gamifying their workspaces and the training programs. I don’t think it’s a bad idea because games really make life easy and enjoyable. I am sure you too agree on that, as you must have seen lot of people around you spending hours in shooting angry birds or playing candy crush.
The same is the case with training, games motivate and engage learners and in the process, accelerate learning. But before you start with it, you need to have a clear understanding of the trends and how eLearning courses are gamified. There are two trends- Gamification and Game-based Learning (GBL). These are different from each other. Let’s know more about them.
Gamification is the idea of adding game elements to a non-game situation to encourage a specific behavior or learning. This concept is used to motivate and engage learners and to keep them active throughout the course. This is suitable when you want to encourage a specific response or behavior in the learner or promote competition. In gamification, the games are included in between the course or assessments are presented as games (partially) to make learning fun.
Learners are introduced to small scenarios or game environments and given a task to complete for which they will be rewarded. So the rules, achievements, and rewards play a critical part in gamification.
Example – Food Safety Hazard Training
One of our clients, a leading manufacturing company wanted to train his employees on food safety hazards and wanted a gamified course. The employees were to be trained on what hazards are, the types of hazards, and how to respond to them. So in the course we first gave a small overview on the type of hazards and how to identify them. Then we introduced a search and find game.
Since it was on food safety hazards, we created a virtual environment replicating a kitchen with 10 hazards. The employees were asked to identify each of those hazards. Once they identify and click a hazard, a related question appears and the learner is asked to choose the correct option. If he gets it right, he gets a badge and once he collects all the 10 badges, he gets a trophy and completion certificate as the bonus. So the game concept was partially used to keep learners active and keep up their motivation levels.
Game-based learning is transforming the complete content into gamified experiences. This concept is used to help the learner get immersed into the subject and achieve the learning goals. Here each learning goal is tied to the game element and the game is designed to fit into the confines of the learning content. This needs more time because each scenario or situation is to be woven into the game.
This approach of repackaging the subject is effective when the subject matter is dry or boring and promotes critical and strategic thinking.
Example – Induction Training
Our client wanted an engaging course on new hire induction training. We designed a game-based learning course with a virtual campus of the organization. The new hires were to be given an overview of the company and different departments. So we introduced him to a virtual campus with different buildings. Once they click on the first building, the CEO’s room appears, and the learner will get to meet the CEO with a welcome message (in the form of a video). The needed material was taught as they explored each of those departments and the activities. Once he finishes doing that, he can progress to the next level which means the learning comes from playing the game.
On clicking the second building, the culture room appears. Here learners will get to know about the company’s vision, mission, goals, purpose, and leadership traits. Likewise on clicking the third and fourth buildings, learners will get to know about the services, organizational structure, new employee roles and responsibilities, career development plans and company policies.
Both gamification and game-based eLearning aid in engaging and motivating learners. But it depends greatly on the type of content, training goals, and the approach. Hope you liked the blog. Do share your comments.