Games have been used as a teaching tool since playing cards emerged in China during the ninth century. Chess was developed in the Middle Ages to teach combat moves. Jump ahead a millennium, and humans are playing games against computers.
For example, one of the first e-learning tools for students was “The Oregon Trail,” which was released in 1971 before computers became mainstream. The series is still available on practically every operating system platform. Today, corporations are examining gamification and game-based learning to teach their employees valuable skills.
E-Learning’s Evolution into Gamification
E-learning naturally moved into the corporate world as quickly as it did in the nation’s classroom. Businesses from most industries have been using e-learning tools for a few decades to train employees on new office technologies, HR policies, and how to adopt new approaches. However, gamification and game-based learning are not quite the same. As eLearning Industry points out:
- Game-based learning has a defined learning objective. It is immersive and teaches students a methodology to meet a defined objective.
- Gamification applies elements of a game to an existing training or education platform. It can be developed independently. It relies on incentives like points, rewards and recognition to keep students interested. Gamified environments thrive on competition among students.
Online gamification is a great option for busy or traveling employees because they can complete training at home or on the road. But gamification can also be applied to instructor led live training using the same incentives.
Gamification Supports Corporate Training Initiatives
Many businesses shy away from game-based learning initiatives because they are expensive and take time and resources to develop. But gamification can be added to business’ current training pretty easily. Adding gamification to group training scenarios is usually a low cost, flexible option.
One of the benefits of this type of training is that it taps into the naturally competitive atmosphere of the workplace. As Oracle’s online journal Profit claims, gamification creates positive peer pressure to collaborate, share knowledge and develop new skills the company wants for its employees. You can start with something as simple as earning badges that boost an employee’s internal resume and helps him or her at review time, or more complicated point-based systems and leader boards that build toward prizes.
CIO uses Deloitte’s Leadership Academy as an example of gamification. Deloitte put its catalog online and used tools from Badgeville to gamify its offerings. Badges are displayed on a leader board, which helps employees stand out against their peers. Almost 50 percent of employees who visit the Leadership Academy’s online portal return to it each day to earn an average of three badges. People feel like champions when they’ve earned a badge, explains Frank Farrall from Deloitte Digital.
How have you used gamification in your corporate training efforts? Please share in the comments below.