Game-based learning is a topic that’s gained a lot of traction in the corporate world in recent years, and there’s a reason for that: it works. Deloitte has used gamification for leadership development. McDonald’s has used it to onboard new hires. After Kaplan Financial incorporated game-based learning into its programs, 71% of learners said the changes had a positive impact on their learning experiences.
In this post, we will take a closer look at four of the benefits game-based learning could bring to customer training.
What Is Game-Based Learning?
Before we get into the benefits, we wanted to quickly define what game-based learning means.
It is, at its simplest, applying elements and mechanics from the world of gaming—such as points, awards, and competition—to non-game environments, including your learning management system.
Gamification can be a highly complex undertaking involving the creation of a new and unique game environment. Yet there are many ways organizations can more easily include game-based design into their existing programs. Familiar examples include awards, badges, leaderboards, and game maps.
How Game-Based Learning Can Improve Training Experiences for Customers
1. Help Make Learning Experiences More Engaging
One of the big drivers for organizations looking to implement game-based learning practices as part of their online learning programs is to make experiences more engaging and relevant for their audiences.
- Motivate learners with incentives: There’s something fulfilling about seeing your name move up on a leaderboard, completing an activity and having a badge appear, or making progress on the game map.
- Give them space to practice: Game-based learning tends to be more active, involving things like assignments and quizzes through which people practice and hone their skills.
- Provide immediate feedback: If elements—such as game maps, awards, and leaderboards—are updated or released automatically when someone completes an activity or meets a criterion, it can give learners in-the-moment insight into how they’re doing and inspire them to keep going.
The reality is that game-based learning can also make training more fun by tapping into something many of your customers genuinely enjoy. Nearly 65% of adults in the U.S. say they play games on one or more devices.
2. Add Transparency and Mystery to Learning Experiences
When it comes to professional development and training, people want to understand what the road ahead will look like. What’s the destination, how are they getting there, and where can they go next? These are all questions gamification can help answer by giving people clear milestones and markers along their journeys. We know that to get Award C, for example, we have to get Award A and Award B first.
At the same time, we also love a good cliffhanger. What comes after Award C? Is it Award C.1? Award D? What other levels or content could be unlocked?
3. Give Customers Tangible Takeaways of What They’ve Learned
Awards, badges, and certificates are probably the best example of how game-based learning can give customers real, tangible evidence of their accomplishments. These can be rewarding on a personal level, but they’re also valuable in that they can often be shared widely with peers, managers, and professional networks.
In “What I Learned from Creating a Digital Badging Strategy for My Organization,” Brandon Smith, CPTD, instructional design manager, takes a deep dive into:
- What digital badges are
- Whether badging is the right strategy for your organization
- The way badging works in Brightspace
- How to create and move forward with an implementation plan
4. Identify Trends, Gaps, and Opportunities
Game-based learning can also help your organization understand how effective its learning programs are and ways in which you may be able to enhance them. Are you seeing the adoption you expected? Are customers engaging with the game-based elements? Are there impacts on learner performance?
The answers to all those questions can help your organization make sure its learning programs are hitting the mark.
Make Gamification Part of Your Learning Strategy
Implementing game-based learning can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Where do you start and, once you’ve begun the process, how do you make sure it stays on track? If you want to find out how to put gamification to work as part of your learning strategy, this is the guide for you.
Understand what makes game-based learning such a powerful tool.
See step-by-step instructions that show you how to put ideas into practice.
Find out what goes into elements like awards, leaderboards, and more.