Gamification is the process of using gaming metaphors and game mechanics for non-gaming purposes. Such mechanics can be used to understand and influence behavior, study and improve motivation and increase the user engagement. Serious Games, on the other hand, refers to games with a purpose. Such games consist of all the essentials of a regular video game, but have a definite outcome.
Gamficaition offers greater flexibility for corporations to enhance E-Learning opportunities and experience for learners. Game Mechanics allow corporations to construct rules that enable users to learn and explore possibility space through certain feedback mechanisms. Gamification can then be used to extend these possibility spaces in to other disciples such as education, social media, marketing, and philanthropic causes.
Over the past few years, the use of Game Mechanics to enhance the learning experience of employees has been an area of tremendous study, research and debate. The gaming industry has witnessed a significant increase in the demand for serious games for office learning. But the fundamental question remains: How do Game Mechanics help? Here are a few possible answers as to that question:
Engaging the Learners
In order for learners to perceive the learning experience as rewarding, two fundamental characteristics should be present: wanting and liking. Traditional learning methods are often tiresome for the learners, and they are only able to retain and reproduce a fraction of what they’ve learned.
Developing software that users both want and like can be achieved using Game Mechanics to enhance the learning experience of the users. Employees respond favorably to interactive graphics, art-designs, and layouts which can be utilized in improving their learning experience.
Game Mechanics can be deployed to set various levels within the games which are similar to your organization’s objectives. Long-term, mid-term, and short-term corporate objectives can be translated into similar levels in a game. Attaining each goal can result in a reward for the employee in the form of a bonus, commission, or any other incentive.
The fundamental goal of any learning process is not only to improve the knowledge base, but also to measure the progress of the individual throughout the learning course. Through the use of single and double loop feedback in games, the progress of each individual employee can be measured, quantified, and recorded. Progress at each level and sub-level of game can be paired with achievement of corporate and learning objectives along the way.
Peer approval is a strong motivator for employees. You can easily use Game Mechanics by dividing your employees into teams, then assigning achievement targets. Publicize each team or individual’s progress using scoreboards and badges. This use of Game Mechanics encourages participative and motivated learning.
The use of game mechanics for enhancing the learning experience has been the focus of study for various gaming companies. With the new millennium, the design of serious games for learning purposes has been on the rise. Organizations and learning centers are now resorting to game mechanics as a method of imparting knowledge and information.
If you’re unaware of game mechanics, you’re missing out on a cost-effective way of training your staff!