Gaming is an entertaining practice that has been in existence for several decades. The history of video games can be traced back to the early 1950's when computer scientists started developing simplistic simulations and games as part of their research. It wasn't until the 1970's when video games reached mainstream popularity with gaming consoles and arcade games, using controllers, buttons, and joysticks, along with home computer games and computer screens being introduced to the public.
These days, video games are not only for those who wish to unwind after a long day at work. It's also something that can be incorporated at work, allowing employees to work faster and more efficiently and helps retain new information more successfully thanks to corporate video game training. In this article, we explore the benefits of using game-based learning in the corporate world and how it can be utilized in teambuilding, solving physics and math problems, as well as developing a new strategy.
It's no surprise that people are more inclined to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed when they are interested in learning. There's only a handful of people that get excited when looking at a worksheet as most enjoy playing video games, even if they are not aware of it. Video games tap into your emotions through surprise, competition, reward, pleasure, and control our intrinsic motivations. They give us a sense of relatedness, competency, and autonomy, which are essentially the foundation of intrinsic motivation.
Those that enjoy playing video games often reach what's referred to as the flow state, which basically means the mental state when complete focus is reached. The easiest way to understand it is the feeling athletes get when they are in the zone. The flow state is a vital framework to understand the emotions of learners and what exactly promotes engagement.
The flow state consists of low and high challenge levels and skill levels. Low challenge levels will produce relaxation, boredom, or apathy based on the skill level of a person, while high challenge levels will produce flow, arousal, or anxiety. Expertly designed learning games can produce a balance between the challenge of the video game and the skill level of a player. As the video game progresses, the level of difficulty will increase with the improved comprehension of the player, ensuring they don't get worried or bored.
Although only a handful of organizations have introduced games as part of their training programmes, the research clearly indicates the benefits of corporate video game training. The research showed that people who participated in learning games had a 9% higher retention rate, 14% higher skill-based knowledge, and 11% higher factual knowledge compared to those who participated in other methods. In fact, those who participated in game-based learning also showed a 20% higher rate in self-efficacy which is the belief that you can achieve your goals.
Allowing someone to start a job without any form of preparation makes no sense. It's likely that the person will make mistakes which will cost money, produce negative customer service experiences, as well as other disagreeable outcomes. Video games offer a brilliant environment for people to learn through failure. Once a learner is transported into a virtual world, they can make decisions freely, leading to failure that can then be turned into an instructional opportunity.
Unlike other e-learning methods, such as quizzes, videos, and worksheets, video games provide the possibility to practice the content. Instead of watching someone explain what needs to be done, a player can simply perform the task themselves. Failure can also promote greater learning opportunities through video games as oppose to other learning methods. If you miss a question or fail a quiz, the answers are usually given to you, but it's highly unlikely that you'll remember all the answers. In a video game, you can replay a level which will reinforce the content. You also can't advance without demonstrating that you completely understand the concept.
It's worth mentioning that the simulation technology behind serious games provides more than just players enjoying the learning process more than other e-learning methods. It also reflects other pedagogical theories, such as Constructivism and Situated Learning. Constructivism is a theory based on scientific study and observation on how people learn thought seeing, reading, hearing, and doing. It also states that learners will demonstrate better understanding through conceptual knowledge as oppose to repeating the same information without comprehending on analysing it.
The Situated Learning theory is basically an expansion of the Constructivism theory and is based on creating meaning through everyday activities where learning takes place in a pro-social, yet informal setting. Game-based learning incorporates this theory by creating several experiences that will reflect workplace issues in real life, such as how to correctly manage employees that portray different personalities. Games are considered active forms of learning instead of passive videos and lectures that don't require a great deal of action from learners.
The cognitive, or knowledge, domain is responsible for analysis, evaluation, comprehension, recollection, and synthesis. These are the functions that we associate with learning which most e-learning programs and corporate training place a lot of emphasis on. Games trigger the cognitive domain when decisions are made by players through the information they encounter.
The affective domain is far less recognised and is absent in nearly all standard forms of corporate training. The affective domain controls our feelings, attitudes, motivations, and values. It also breaks down into several processes involving various soft skills, including being open to experience, engaging in life, cultivating values, managing oneself, and developing oneself.
Although games can't teach each process and individual skill, as most of these skills are developed throughout our lives, they do touch the affective domain through challenges, emotional components, mimicking personal interaction, and storytelling. This is something that current corporate training programmes are unable to achieve. They also provide a human element that lesser e-learning programs can't create.