Measuring Success with Serious Game Metrics

While there is little doubt that Serious Games are a great learning tool for a variety of today’s industries, there is always ample room for improvement moving forward.  This is why keeping a close eye on the metrics of your simulation training is always essential; from both an educational and an ROI standpoint.  After all, if the main goal is to educate within an evolving workforce, the software has to be able to evolve as well.  This can only happen if you are actively seeking ways to improve the software so that it better connects with your target audience.

Measuring the Actual Student

Donald Kirkpatrick created a framework in 1959 to evaluate any type of training program, and those methods still stand true today.  They are designed to gauge-

  • How the student reacts to the material that is presented and what feedback they have afterwards
  • The amount of actual learning that takes place and how it affects performance capabilities
  • How the training modifies behavior within the workforce or towards learning in general
  • The direct effects on the business (productivity, profitability, etc.) as a result of the training

In other words, Kirkpatrick said it was vital for businesses to not merely gauge the quality of the study material, but every aspect of how trainees interact with it.  This is especially true with serious games since a large portion of these metrics can be monitored in real time in the Learning Management System.

Measuring the Serious Game

As one could guess, not all serious games are created equal.  At Designing Digitally, we’ve learned the metrics behind the technology itself can be very revealing and can take Kirkpatrick’s formula to an entirely different level.  For example-Serious Game Metrics

  • Completion ratios show how effective the learning curve is
  • The time spent on each level/mission measures proper balance
  • The number of attempts made can help judge overall engagement
  • Even the point where the student quits shares telling statistics

While the most important game-generated metrics would vary by industry, they all are powerful tools to learn how employees interact with the software, how quickly they learn from it, and when the software is not optimized for learning. Never underestimate these metrics.

Measuring the Cost Effectiveness

Finally, all of the other measurements we’ve discussed should be used to determine the cost effectiveness of the training simulation in question.  After all, it makes little sense to invest heavily in a software application and then just assume that the return on investment is favorable; especially larger corporations where the cost of training hours alone could be enormous.

Even though it is a challenge to determine the true cost effectiveness of any type of training, employers should look in three distinct areas to see if the training is a value-

  • An increase in office productivity
  • An increase in sales/service due to better techniques
  • An increase in communication (both internally and externally)
  • An increase in customer retention rates due to better service
  • An increase in overall profits

For more information on how to measure your success with serious games, please feel free to contact us at Designing Digitally, Inc. at 866-316-9126.