Game-Based Learning for Corporates – Why and How?
Games have been a popular pastime as far as history goes. However, the reach of gaming amplified significantly with the introduction of computers, and later, mobile devices. Games provide a powerful medium to activate, engage and educate. However, game-based learning has only recently emerged in the context of corporate L&D.
Before going further, it’s important to draw a clear distinction between gamification and game-based learning. Gamification refers to the implementation of game-like features in non-game settings, whereas game-based learning involves actual games. Whereas organisations have adopted gamification successfully across many areas, game learning has a narrower scope of implementation. However, that’s not to undermine it’s impact. Here’s why you should consider game-based learning in your organisation and how you can get started with it.
Why does game-based learning work?
- Games encourage active learning – you cannot progress in games by doing nothing or being passive.
- Games motivate the learner – there’s a sense of progress supported by achievements, trophies, competition and social elements.
- Learning games provide both structure and freedom. Goals, stories and rules govern the game, but players have the freedom to play as they like.
- Games stimulate creativity as different types of tasks may require different solutions, problem solving and inventiveness.
- Games provide challenges – players can compete against themselves as well as other players, individually or in teams.
How can I get started with game-based learning?
Knowing the basics of games and why game-based learning works, here are a few tips on how to put it into practice.
Firstly, evaluate the learning needs carefully. Learning games are by no means a solution to all situations. Acknowledging that, it’s highly important to focus on the learning goals and desired outcomes. It’s not difficult to engage employees with brilliant games. But if they fail to produce the desired learning and performance results, they end up being a waste of time.
Secondly, you should utilise the whole potential games have to offer and not stick to a single “template”. Some games may be for individual completion, whereas others may require users to team up with their colleagues. You can also set games over defined periods of time, e.g. to support strategy implementation or business cycles. Playing the games can also happen both in physical and digital environments: some games may require moving about the office or the city, whereas some may be played exclusively in a virtual environment.
There’s a lot of opportunity in learning games
Overall, game-based learning provides an endless amount of opportunities to engage and activate corporate learners. However, it’s important to keep the learning at the core of the game experience. Thanks to the long history of games, there’s also an endless amount of “features” you can implement in your learning games. So start exploring the mechanics of popular games and get creative on bringing those features into your corporate learning!
Are you interested in trying game-based learning in your organisation? We can help you get started in activating and engaging your learners. Just contact us.