What is gamification?
What is gamification?
To keep it really simple, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. It’s the merging of game like elements and principles with, what was before a non-game like product. Where I use the word product, in my experience personally, I mean training or online learning of some kind.
Too many times have I witnessed eLearning delivered as an interactive booklet. Click to reveal, click to reveal, click to reveal… ooh what does this do? Click…reveal. Reams and reams of text, text and more text.
What can gamification do for training?
The use of gamification can help to not only get across the key learning points from a training perspective, but actually allow the users to enjoy the training and become actively engaged with it.
Since when did it become a necessity for training to often be delivered in boring and dull ways? Many people cringe at the word and would rather carry on with their normal work than sit through an hour of eLearning or a lengthy presentation. But why is that?
With today’s continuously advancing technology and innovative approaches to design, training should be fun. Yes I said FUN. Learning is a process, and to learn effectively our brains needs to create new connections and what better way of doing this than through the use of interactive games. Yes, we have to cover the important information, and yes, training is given to fill a knowledge gap, but, if training is delivered in a way that people enjoy, they are more likely to remain interested, focused, and actually retain the new information they learn.
Don’t believe me? Take the example I built below, simple yet effective, and much more fun than simply displaying a table that shows which materials go into which coloured bin. The trainee instead can play this game a couple of times and will take in the information without feeling as though they are trying to. Chances are, they may even get a little competitive with themselves and try to beat their own score. The more they play, and the faster they become at identifying the different objects and placing them into the correct bins, the more this new information is reinforced in the brain. Meaning they are significantly more likely to remember the information later.
This particular example is pretty simple and if this were a key learning point, the game could be built to have multiple levels which increase in difficulty as the trainee progresses. This could be done by further adding to the range of items that are sorted and/or by removing the information from under the bins for example. All of these steps would work to reinforce these new connections in the trainees brain.
So, in answer to the question, what is gamification? It’s the integration of games into training materials, and if done properly the results can be invaluable to both trainer and trainee.
By understanding the want and need for gamification at the beginning of the training design process, we can come up with creative ways to help solidify the learning throughout. Let’s make training not only effective, but memorable for all the right reasons and fun for our trainees!