Classrooms, seminars, or workshops, whatever you call them, they all have one thing in common – these learning techniques are all centuries old. Yet they’re still around and are still widely and commonly used. Sure, there may have been ‘enhancements’ by way of distance learning techniques, online courses and webinars, however, the core remains the same.
Learning has predominantly been in the form of one-way communication where an individual with information and insights imparts their knowledge to a group of people. Now, some may say it’s not one-way and usually the learning experience is interactive. Sure, I don’t disagree, however, the fundamentals of how knowledge is gained remains unchanged. The approach of imparting knowledge is the same old process and technique that has been used (and overused) for centuries now.
You could say that thanks to technology, innovation and rapidly evolving human behavior, these centuries old learning techniques are way past their threshold of being relevant. They’re ineffective to achieve their goal of truly educating their audience. I mean think about, how much do you really learn and retain from lectures and seminars? Are you truly able to practically implement what you learn?
Having said all this it’s safe to say nothing to date has come about that can finally transform learning. Or has it?
Enter Gamification. Yes, gamification is the solution that can transform learning, something we’ve been desperately in need of all this time. Gamification platforms harness technology and effectively enhance the learning experience like no other tool has possibly been able to. Through gamification you can say goodbye to textbook and classroom learning techniques and instead step into a world where the ‘learning experience’ is fun, interactive, intuitive and highly effective and retentive.
Here are 3 ways gamification has been able to transform learning and development.
1. The New Grading System – XP
No I don’t mean Windows XP. I’m talking about ‘experience’ (commonly known in the gaming world as XP). If you’re familiar with games (any sort from mobile to console based) XP is what gamers earn as they progress in a game. It’s a way to track your experience, growth and how far you’ve progressed in a game. Basically, it’s similar to your climb up the career development ladder. In the case of learning it’s about how much you’ve gained in terms of knowledge.
In the gamified world, progressing your learning and development won’t earn you grades or ranking. Grades can make you either arrogant (if you’re graded an A, A+, 1, 2, etc.) or shatter your confidence (if you’re graded quite low). Moreover, if you don’t pass the knowledge test that may come at the end of a learning module you’ll really be demotivated to attempt it again. All this can be transformed when gamification comes into play. You earn XP for the progress you make as you learn more. It’s a much appeasing way of growing your knowledge.
2. Test of Competencies
Everyone’s got some skills they’re good at and some that they’re average at. After all, we can’t be great at everything right? Sure, we can try and we can learn and give it our best, but let’s face it, there are certain things that come naturally and some that we have to work hard on. Competencies and skills that we’re good at will usually be the ones in which we’ll always thrive. We’ll be better than most and seldom face challenge. In others, we’ll probably need to rely on others, which isn’t entirely bad.
So how do we know what we’re truly great at and what we work hard to get by with? The beauty of the gamification platform is that it walks you through experiential ways of knowing your skills, abilities and competencies. You’re learning, experiencing and being tested on various skills and along the way data is collected to figure out how well you do, what you excel at, and where you need support. All this happens without the element of human bias, making the process exceptionally validated and accurate.
3. Collaborative Learning
Working well at your company isn’t about how good you are, how knowledgeable you are, or how super smart you are compared to your colleagues and team members. It has always been about team effort and it’s more so about that now as well. We all bring some expertise and value to our teams and in most cases, a high performing team comprises of individuals who are different in skills and experience, yet work in unison. That’s what defines a great team – diversity and harmony.
Gamification is a great platform to test your team skills. How do you interact with your fellow gamers. How can you help enhance their learning experience and the knowledge they gain. The sharing of knowledge becomes seamless, and almost always automatic and necessary to progress along in the game. You could have environments where the only way to progress and earn XPs is through collaborative learning. What a great way to get everyone onboard and moving ahead together!
In the recent times we’ve experienced massive innovations in how we communicate, operate and do business, yet learning has remained primarily the same. It’s time we dived into gamification as the savior that can transform learning and make it much more exciting and effective.
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Author: Paul Keijzer