From a very tender age, we are exposed to games: Chess, Monopoly, Scotland Yard… And that is for a reason, because games make learning not seem like ‘learning’. Our mind inputs far more concentration and participation in a game rather than something we are otherwise taught. As we grow up, such informal learning is replaced with a more structured, more formal way of instruction – the effectiveness of which has been questioned time and again. Thankfully, with the introduction of high-end gamification in learning, we now have back what was lost being a child – a powerful medium of learning in the adult, corporate world. Interactive games that resemble real work roles or use simulation to immerse the learner in a life like environment have a number of advantages to the organization:
Digital games positively influence learning achievement
The sense of ‘achievement’ is what makes a game so captivating. A learner wants to achieve ‘more’ points or ‘higher’ levels than what he has previously accomplished. Thus, games increase learning motivation.
Games help in development of cognitive ability
Practice makes a man perfect, doesn’t it? When learners try and retry to play the various levels and scenarios in a particular game, they are actually revising the idea that you are trying to instill through that game. For example, a simulated game that has engineer trainees repairing different machineries that get more complex as they complete each level, will ultimately develop their cognitive ability in that area. Games are also known to improve hand-eye coordination.
Games improve concentration
If you have ever tried interfering a young kid in the middle of his/her video game, you’d know what we are talking about. In fact, even the kids with poor academic performance are often excellent gamers. Research points to the potential use of games to improve comprehension in kids with learning disorders and attention difficulties. In the corporate setting, a pilot trainee will have far greater levels of participation and concentration in a simulated cockpit, than if he is given a lecture on the same.
Games can teach abstract concepts
Abstract concepts like good communication or interpersonal skills, team management, resource management, ability to handle critical incidents, etc. are mostly behavioral in nature. They cannot be taught, they can only be learnt with experience. Gamification allows learners to ‘learn’ these professionally important behaviors.
New technologies have opened up new frontiers for mobile based gaming
Emerging technologies like motion sensing which includes edge-detection, region-detection and optical flow, as well as the use of gestures and camera applications to capture information have opened up a world of possibilities to use the current accelerometer-enabled smartphones for gamified learning.
These are the 5 reasons we think gamification should find its way into your online and mobile training strategy. Do you have another reason to share? Write down in the comments below.
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