Information overload is a reality that chronically affects our ability to take in new information. Coupled with screen fatigue and countless platforms demanding our attention, we are rapidly running out of ways to retain new information and generate motivation to complete our day-to-day tasks.
This is especially true for corporate employees who must complete seemingly endless training modules. According to a study by AppLearn, employees forget 70% of their training in a day on average and cannot retain approximately 90% of what they have learned in a week.
We know why this is the case but what can be done to avoid it?
Game-based learning offers a unique solution to this problem. Everyone at some point in their lives has played a game and learned something through it. Game-based learning can be found everywhere and it isn’t limited to just video games or digital experiences: playground activities, board games, and even children’s activities all contain game-based learning in some capacity.
While replicating this concept in learning and development is met with skepticism at the outset, data suggests that it’s not only doable but that the results are worthwhile. Gamification can increase company productivity by up to 50%. Additionally, a staggering 83% of employees feel motivated due to game-based training.
Game-based learning is a promising workplace training tool that must be considered by all organizations. In this article, we aim to explore the benefits of game-based learning in a corporate setting. So let’s get started!
What is Game-Based Learning?
Game-based learning refers to the idea of incorporating game-like elements into education and eLearning in order to achieve specific learning objectives. This essentially means borrowing certain gaming principles and balancing them with the subject matter to present new information to learners in a playful and dynamic way.
When organizations leverage interactive simulations and rich graphics, learners are encouraged to retain information. Their motivation to continue learning is enhanced by tools like a points system, badges, and skill level.
Game-based learning incorporates immediate feedback and repetition to ensure that learners are left with a lasting impression of the new content they come across. This method of learning has become increasingly popular, especially for corporate training. In fact, the market revenue for game-based learning is expected to grow to USD 24 Billion by 2024.
Benefits of Game-Based Learning in Corporate Training
Perhaps the biggest challenge employers face today is keeping trainees engaged in their learning exercises. With the increase in the number of devices available to us, the human attention span has decreased considerably and the many distractions around learners are a huge obstacle in their learning process.
Game-based learning cleverly leverages the very concept behind these distracting elements to provide students with a way to learn while keeping them engaged. By making game-based learning a fun and experimental active learning experience, presented to employees through their screens, the distractions are minimized.
In most cases, these games are divided into different levels based on the learner’s expertise, so learning objectives are presented to students, employees, or other trainees in an incremental way, therefore, keeping them from feeling overwhelmed.
Some platforms like Kahoot and edApp allow organizations to plug their content into mobile game-like templates, creating instantly gamified eLearning experiences. Beyond that, qualified Instructional Designers can create game-like experiences as standalone courses or within larger courses as well.
It is no secret that audio-visual learning methods are better retained by learners. Game-based learning takes this a step further by adding demonstration and practice aids to the learning experience.
According to the Learning Pyramid developed by the National Training Laboratory, the ‘practice by doing’ method of learning is over 75% more effectively retained as compared to methods that only include lectures or reading materials. This is especially important to consider in workplaces, where what is being learned absolutely has to be put into practice.
Instead of passively taking in large amounts of information, game-based learning offers a way to immediately put the recently learned information to practice. With captivating graphics, interactive content, and a healthy dose of competitiveness, trainees not only have an easy time remembering what they have learned but also learn more on average, since they feel motivated and encouraged to keep going.
Fosters Critical Thinking
While it may seem surprising, games can help enhance critical thinking and decision-making skills. Of the many genres of games available to us, strategy games help players think logically and plan out their moves in a way that involves factoring in the long-term effects of their decisions.
Incorporating learning elements in strategy games can help learners sharpen their critical thinking skills. In addition to that, many games also involve players making difficult decisions, a skill that can translate into real workplace scenarios.
Another great genre of games relies on simulations. Simulations have been a longtime component of effective eLearning. So naturally, simulated gaming experiences also help learners play out different scenarios based on what choices they make. This allows them to make mistakes in a safe environment, without any real-world consequences.
Many corporate training programs base these simulations on actual scenarios that the employees may encounter. In this way, the game-based learning experience can help trainees learn exactly what to do in these situations and what actions to avoid.
Recognizing that everyone has different learning styles, game-based learning incorporates a variety of learning elements that appeal to a wide range of audiences. It is also possible to customize the genre or interactivity level of a game to reflect learners’ choices. In this way, game-based learning can be personalized and tailored to fit the learners’ needs.
When trainees are given a choice in determining their learning journey, they are naturally more invested in it. Creating thoughtful learning experiences in this way can go a long way in achieving the goals of any learning intervention.
Promotes Peer Engagement
Much of the learning of an average student occurs through interactions with their peers. Learning in a social context is something that happens naturally in the traditional, in-person setting but incorporating that in eLearning takes much more thought and effort.
Social learning can be made easy to leverage in a game-based scenario, where trainees must rely on their collective knowledge, communication skills, and teamwork to make it through various levels.
In contrast, the employees can also engage in healthy competition with their peers, which is also conducive to learning. Another great way to incorporate social learning via games is by assigning mentors to each trainee who can offer unique insights to them because they’ve gone through a similar training experience themselves. This helps establish a sense of camaraderie between the trainees and older employees.
Provides Instant Feedback
The great thing about game-based learning is the instant feedback trainees receive, thereby making the entire training process more efficient as well as enjoyable. Having successfully completed a training level and getting instant positive feedback on their performance, employees are likely to keep improving and building up their skills. This also eliminates the need for manually going through employee training responses and determining if they have scored enough to pass their training.
While investing in custom game-based training solutions may seem like a costly venture, in the long run, it ends up being a cost-effective solution. The loss of otherwise productive time is significantly greater for ineffective traditional workplace training solutions. On average, companies lose USD 97 billion due to sub-par training. Game-based training can help speed up traditional training time while simultaneously being a more effective training method.
Easy to Track
Since game-based learning is done via eLearning, it is possible for employers and HR to keep track of the training progress of each employee, without much difficulty. With real-time data available to them, employees can keep an eye on how the trainees are responding to the content and intervene quickly if they are stuck at a certain part of the training. With reporting tools, it is also possible to study the learning pattern of each trainee and come up with a more personalized training plan to which they would respond the best.
Edly’s Corporate Training Solutions
The goal of any corporate learning and development strategy is to provide its learners with useful information that enables them to perform their roles safely and effectively. Game-based learning is a fool-proof way of doing so. Allowing learners to take a more active role in their learning can have lasting impacts. Not only does this help them think critically and keep motivated, but employees are also likely to stay with an organization that puts them first.
Game-based learning is a great example of a learning strategy built in a way that prioritizes learners. Edly offers learner-centric workplace training solutions that can help your employees make the most of their learning, while at the same time providing maximum ROI to your organization. In order to get more information about our workplace LMS, feel free to get in touch and request a free demo!