In recent years, gamification has become an increasingly important element within the training industry – it is the process of using game thinking and game dynamics in order to engage audiences and solve problems. It helps learners to retain the maximum amount of information by providing them with audio and visual stimulants, encouraging them to explore their environment in order to attain rewards. Gamification creates a learning experience which focuses on the application of knowledge, decision making and critical thinking, rather than the acquisition and reproduction of knowledge. It allows learners to have fun while, at the same time, attain information, and encourages them to share the newly acquired information with their peers.
Psychologists believe that the brain’s built-in ‘reward system’ is what keeps gamers coming back for more, and this same principle can be used for training in the workplace. While normal games reward players for their progress through virtual treasures, added strength, points or other bonuses, successful e-learning courses are designed around the same principles of positive reinforcement.
“Gamification doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg,” says Kirsty Chadwick, CEO of the e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online. “Even if industries aren’t looking to immediately embark on up-skilling programmes, topics such as mandatory safety training can also be more easily explained and absorbed by employees in a gaming scenario,” she says.
Gamification is an incredible tool that we have at our disposal to overcome language and literacy barriers, irrespective of differing education levels. It takes the onus away from text-based learning and allows most of the learning to take place while you are having fun. In a nutshell, gamification enables learning at a faster pace in a forgiving environment, which allows risk-free mistakes.
For a great example of how risk-free mistakes can be made within a gaming environment, try for yourself The Case of the Fraudulent Pharmacist, with its gorgeous noir design. This interactive game which makes use of variables and game mechanics to keep you engaged and at the edge of your seat, while you work towards solving the mystery.
This particular game was created by The Training Room Online in 2015 and received an honourable mention by Articulate Storyline for being a “stellar example of combining beautiful visual design, game mechanics and Storyline’s powerful features, to create an engaging online learning experience”.
Kerry Lassen is a copywriter and production co-ordinator at the e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online, which specialises in creating customised digital learning solutions. She has been with the organisation since its inception in 2008, prioritising her efforts towards the creation of copy for the company website, newsletters, online publications and articles for print.
As a native Capetonian, Kerry has an eclectic range of interests from music and film through to trend spotting. You can follow Kerry on Twitter (@).