Companies invest in employees’ training without thinking twice. Having a skilled employee brings value to the organisation and keeps them up to date. However, companies do think twice when it comes to what type of learning system they pick for their employees: a traditional or an e-learning one? Or maybe a blended one?
Nowadays, most companies select the latter, as these types of learning systems can encompass everybody in the organisation and the candidates will choose their own schedules to carry out the training. By contrast, a traditional system sets a more rigid frame and involves being physically present, fixed schedules, and higher costs. Therefore, flexibility has a lot to say when it comes to making the right training decision.
When selecting a type of training for your employees, it is smart to determine these three aspects first:
1. Is it useful and relevant for them?
2. Will it get done and involve behaviour change?
3. Is it engaging, and will they remember it?
If these 3 aspects are met, then you can be sure that the training is completed and becomes an unforgettable experience. This usually leads to an impact on attitude and an increased efficiency at work.
Experience shows that applying gamified or game-based training to employees leads to better results when compared to traditional methods of training. A survey from 2019 confirms this fact, reinforcing that 83% of the participants who participated in gamified experiences felt motivated, while 61% who carried out traditional training felt bored and perceived the task as a chore and a waste of time.
There is a complete tie-in between games and employee training, and any employer can adopt a smart strategy through which the employees replace boredom and unproductivity with efficiency and fun.
To understand what main differences lie behind the various smart learning techniques, we should dive deeper into what gamification, game-based or simulation-based training represents for the user.
Here is what “gamification” stands for: it refers to applying game mechanics and game design to trigger learning within a non-game context. Gamification also involves obtaining scores, leaderboards, badges, points, and other stimulating competitive incentives meant to promote a specific behaviour that drives learning outcomes. But not only this. Gamification turns out to be an efficient strategy that increases engagement, motivation, and participation and drives learning.
This LMS involves scores borrowed from the games’ structures, meant to untie a competitive environment, while being framed by rules and constant fierce engaging elements, aiming to stimulate the player to overcome his limits and own ambitions. The principles behind gamification include rewards, cookies, carrots, brownie points, a high degree of personalization, levels and interaction, built to achieve a learning purpose.
Opting for a gamified experience when it comes to training might be a wise approach to mandatory courses, as it increases engagement, motivation, competitive skills, or achieving the established goals. When opting for such an LMS, you should make sure that the experience is tailored to the employees’ abilities. Moreover, it should apply to their qualifications and not be reduced to merely fun participation, but also be relevant to the skills and technical aptitudes that they need to refine. This training technique is advisable in case you are looking to implement small changes in the behaviour of the participants.
In this case, the game content becomes the learning content.
This type of active training utilizes game elements in order to reach a specific learning goal and teach specific skills, without necessarily counting on badges or points. The experience becomes a personalized story based on customized content and engaging elements that the user feeds into the system, aiming to meet specific learning objectives. By playing the game, a problem is solved and lots of other benefits are unleashed, such as critical and strategic thinking, engagement, and motivation. When done right, this can also trigger talents and skills that go beyond the entertaining experience and become a true gold mine for the business, such as flourish critical thinking, accurate decision-making, and the feeling of success combined with optimism.
These types of training methods usually include simulations, to allow the participants to experience the learning in the context of virtual reality. It implies that the participant will be able to make use of preferred backgrounds and relevant decoration elements that replicate the user’s reality. This method is developed within a game framework, being more serious as such, without abusing the use of competitive game elements, such as rewards or points, but focusing more on the measurable outcomes and learning objectives. The user can take the training as many times as needed until the learning goal is reached. In this type of LMS, the participant is introduced to new concepts, where involvement, immersion, and practising in a risk-free setting are the key. What makes this system advantageous is that the retention is directed to understanding through game playing.
In game-based learning, the game becomes the learning experience, being the primary training structure, while when we talk about gamification, this is represented by the process of adding game mechanics to a learning experience. This means that several elements from games are blended into the learning system to incentivize rewards or stimulate progress. These two learning approaches are mainly different through their integration into the learning context and application, but both of them are efficient and effective if applied correctly.
“With game-based learning, students become more engaged with their learning. They go from struggling to finding a way to overcome that struggle and start looking for solutions and innovating strategies on their learning.” - Ryan Reed, Business & Technology Teacher at Stillman Valley High School
The game-based learning is optimal for customer service, helpdesk, HSE, culture adoption, team building, onboarding, and requiring instructors or knowledgeable people to create the content. Therefore, the creation of the content as well as navigating through the game might be time-consuming and not too straightforward within most of these platforms, which involves the need for assistance from a professional.
At Apprendly we make the game easy to deploy and the training engaging - we just listen to your story and create the content for you. You can also shape your own game-based training in less than 20 minutes.