Leveraging Gamification for Active Learning in 2021

Months after lifting the lockdown, employers and their employees across the world are still struggling to get back to the pre-COVID-19 ways of daily working and learning at workplaces. Compounding the problem is an air of uncertainty: “Will I be able to continue learning and stay relevant for my employer?” Questions like this continue to bother workers cutting across sectors and geographies.

Gamification – a Handy and effective tool

Employers, on the other hand, are equally hard pressed to retain their experienced workforce amid a slowdown and keep alive workers’ interest in the learning process. In such a scenario, gamification has come as a handy and effective tool for active learning, either online or offline, in 2021. The trend is likely to continue beyond as the pandemic shows signs of surging intermittently amid COVID vaccination drive.

Playful learning

Gamification makes ample sense by way of making learning a playful, fun-filled exercise.

Gamification encourages employees in organisation to actively take part in learning through: –

  • Game-centric activities
  • Debates and deliberations
  • Group events
  • Case studies
  • Role-playing
  • Problem solving sessions
  • Other ways of gaining knowledge

Focused learning amid din

Especially, in an e-Learning ecosystem, nothing can match gamification in ensuring active and focused learning. As in this case most of the learning is either home-based or in a location away from the office atmosphere, distractions often play the spoilsports. Gamification helps break monotony and create absorbing content, so learners are more focused despite distractions. Learners’ engagement in learning is at a higher level.

Adding value to learning

  • Gamification can be further leveraged for facilitating active learning by way of adding value to an otherwise dull learning exercise.
  • It also promotes collaboration and makes learners or trainers competitive in all the necessary practical skills for the present and future needs of various sectors. 

Dull versus lively learning

Ask any learning head about the importance of gamification in any active learning ecosystem and they will tell you:

  • How it helps learn new skill sets while up-skilling the existing workforce in the organisation
  • How it facilitates desired behaviour change for achieving the desired learning goals
  • How it makes content interesting and engaging as against ‘passively listening to podcasts, reading a manual, or glazing over PPT slides’, etc.

Proven efficacy

Now, there are studies to prove the efficacy of gaming in driving active learning.

Effectively employed, gamification can lead to:-

  • An increase in skill based learning by 15 per cent
  • Improvement in fact-based learning by 12 per cent
  • An increase in retention of knowledge by up to 9 to10 per cent

A fit-for-all solution?

But how do you make sure that your active learning strategy through gamification is a fit-for-all solution?

  • Firstly, before going ahead it will be quite natural you ask your learners if they have any previous experience in gaming and if they are aware of the gaming tools or technologies you are about to use.
  • Secondly, you will do learners a great favour if you inquire about their doubts or fears, if any, about using gamification as tools of active learning. For, it is likely that many of them may not have been ready for it and this may cause fear, anxiety and doubts in their mind about the effectiveness of learning. Help learners to get rid of their fears for achieving success.
  • Thirdly, let the learners be in control of how the gamification evolves during the active learning process. Gamings which are pre-packed and routine kill learners’ interest. It is better to let learners use their own paths and roles, etc.
  • Divide active learning into separate episodes of gaming activities. It encourages learners to stay engaged with each episode and complete the learning process.

Finally, gamification for active learning is here to stay as a new age tool of learning. But like any other game here too learners’ engagement is of paramount importance. And, this can be done by giving learners necessary feedback, recommendations, hints, comments, etc. from time to time and most importantly rewards for doing well in the learning process.

 

Conviction – The Achilles Heel