Weekly L&D Roundup: Gamification in Learning a Winning Hand

TrainingPros Weekly L&D Roundup: Gamification Not Just A Game

A gamer is defined as someone who plays games. Whether you realize it or not, you are more than likely a gamer. As consumers, we are surrounded by different aspects of gaming, from pizza trackers to dating apps.

Gaming strategies are also finding success as they are being used more and more in training.

Each week our editorial team searches the world wide web in search of the freshest and most relevant content created by learning and development (L&D) thought leaders. In this edition of the Weekly L&D Roundup, we explore gamification as a learning strategy.

Now, here is what you need to know…

Engaging Millenials: Winning with Gamification

A recent post by Eleni Zoe, a Content Manager for Epignosis Learning Technologies, points out that millennials already hold the majority of today’s jobs. They are expected to increase their hold on the global workforce to more than 75% by 2025.

Learning and development (L&D) practitioners are quickly coming to the realization that many current training methods are ineffective when it comes to educating millennials.

Why you should read? Millenials not only make up the majority of today’s workforce, they are also the fastest growing generation entering the workforce. L&D leaders and practitioners must find news ways to ensure training is effective and engaging for this all-important demographic.

Zoe shares seven different ways to build an engaging, successful training strategy for this tech-savvy group of learners. She covers a variety of methods, including social learning, gamification, and microlearning.

The common thread among all the methods is the need to empower millennial learners to feel control over their learning. Game-based learning is tailor-made for accomplishing this goal.

“Game-based training makes it easier to engage with, understand, and remember the training content. One of the things that most millennials are familiar with are digital games,” explains Zoe.

"Game-based training makes it easier to engage with, understand, and remember the training content." - Eleni Zoe Click to Tweet

The article contains a lot of great ideas on how to more effectively engage and retain a “modern, tech-savvy workforce that is constantly seeking alternative ways to advance their careers and contribute to society.”

As such, gamification is one method that should be on the radar of every L&D professional.

Read the Full Article: Training Millennials: How to Boost Engagement

Applied Learning: Creating a Game

This next article is a complete walk-through of creating a learning game. Learning and Development Consultant Catherine Lombardozzi, Ed.D goes step by step, outlining every detail from the basic structure through the development and final testing.

Why you should read? Developing gamified learning content is not a difficult process. This article is a “how to” guide of sorts that will walk you through a complete example of the process end to end.

Dr. Lombardozzi created the Build a Better Learning Culture game for use in workshops. “I felt it would be useful to share a list of tactics – specific actions or behaviors that embody learning culture foundations, to bring them to life. I wanted a fun way to do that rather than just giving people a list.”

As she progresses through the process, Dr. Lombardozzi takes you behind the scenes in a sense by sharing invaluable insights into her thought process. One such example after initial playtests led to the realization some changes were necessary.

“The game moved too quickly, and it was clear that people wouldn’t actually be learning the tactics written on the cards. Worse, it was kind of boring.”

Understanding theories and concepts are important. However, real-world examples like this one are invaluable resources.

Being able to see the development stages and the thought process behind each decision should be helpful when you begin to develop your own gamified learning activities.

Read the Full Article: Adventures in Inventing a Game

A World of Fun and Games

Our next thought leader makes the observation that most of us would not readily identify ourselves as gamers. Yet, many of the things we do and experience every day have elements of gamification.

Some examples from researcher and teacher Adam Brown include Snapchat, The Domino’s Pizza Tracker, Duolingo, and Hungry Jack’s Shake and Win app.

Why you should read? Elements of gaming are all around us. Whether we realize it or not, we come across elements of gamification almost every day. Applying these concepts to learning can be highly effective.

Brown points out some of the benefits of gamification and its impact on engagement. He defines gamification as “the application of game design elements in various non-game contexts.” These contexts include marketing, politics, and social media, to name just a few.

While Brown highlights the numerous gains that can be made through gamification, he is also quick to caution the downsides of overuse. As gaming concepts become a more commonly used tool to drive consumer behavior, the less effective it will likely be.

In fact, there is a risk it becomes “more exploitative than transformative,” writes Brown.

Read the Full Article: Our World, Gamified

Final Thoughts

Gamification in learning is about building real-life challenges that are fun and engaging. Instead of participants listening to a lecture or simply reading content on a screen, learning is active.

Knowledge transfer is accomplished through interactive, scenario-based training activities. This strategy has proven to create a more satisfying and longer-lasting learning experience, especially for today’s predominately millennial workforce.

Until next week, now you know what you need to know…

Do you currently use gamification as part of your learning strategy? What are some examples of gaming activities you have used? What were the results and outcomes from those activities? Your knowledge matters; share your thoughts with me on LinkedIn or Twitter!

Patrick Owens

Patrick Owens

Patrick Owens has over 30 years of experience in the adult learning and technical communication space. His favorite day of the week is Tuesday and has deemed it a special time for tacos. Always looking for adventure Patrick uses his downtime to explore and create. In addition to being the father of 5 year old twin boys, he is currently the Digital Solutions Architect for TrainingPros.
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Patrick Owens has over 30 years of experience in the adult learning and technical communication space. His favorite day of the week is Tuesday and has deemed it a special time for tacos. Always looking for adventure Patrick uses his downtime to explore and create. In addition to being the father of 5 year old twin boys, he is currently the Digital Solutions Architect for TrainingPros.

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