18 July

Webinar Highlights: Gamification and Game-Based Learning

A few days ago, we invited Janet Benson, the Corporate & Adult Learning Lead at the Learnovate Centre at Trinity College Dublin to host a webinar on Gamification and Game-Based Learning.

It was an incredibly valuable and interesting session on the topic. Here are a few of the highlights from her presentation.

What is the difference between gamification and game-based learning?

Gamification is the application of game mechanics in a non-game context to promote desired behaviour and drive learning outcomes (think points, badges, leaderboards and incentives).

Game-Based Learning is the use of games for teaching and learning (including computer games) for example games that have educational value (a type of game that has defined learning outcomes).

The perception within the L&D industry is that gamification and game-based learning might be boring, tick-box exercise, not relevant and ineffective. But when gamification, micro-learning, mobile learning are introduced as solutions to the workplace learning challenges, learners are engaged, work at their own pace, are motivated and find the learning enjoyable.

Why use Game-Based Learning at Work?

  • Motivation and challenge.
  • Autonomy. Give learners control over their learning experience
  • Relevance.
  • Engagement
  • Problem-solving.
  • JIT feedback – learning from mistakes.
  • ‘Active’ versus ‘passive’ learners – engagement with tutors, each other or experience.
  • Experiential and collaborative learning – putting into practice, learning from doing.

James Paul Gee: Learning Principles

On the 36 principles explored by the author in his book “What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy”, the five were looked at in the webinar.

“Psychosocial Moratorium” Principle

Learners can take risks and make mistakes in a space where real-world consequences are lowered.

Committed Learning Principle

Learners participate in an extended engagement (lots of effort and practice) as an extension of their real-world identities in relation to a virtual identity to which they feel some commitment and a virtual world that they find compelling. It’s enjoyable, it’s challenging and there’s motivation and it’s worthwhile.

Achievement Principle

For learners of all levels of skill, there are intrinsic rewards from the beginning, customized to each learner’s level, effort and growing mastery and signalling the learner’s ongoing achievements. Provides a sense of achievement, sense of accomplishment.

Explicit Information On-Demand and Just-in-Time Principle

The learner is given explicit information both on-demand and just-in-time when the learner needs it or just at the point where the information can best be understood and used in practice.

Affinity Group Principle

Learner’s constitute an “affinity group”, that is, a group that is bonded primarily through shared endeavours, goals, and practices and not shared race, gender, nation, ethnicity, or culture. Supports collaboration and engagement between peers.

How to overcome the barriers to implement GBL & Gamification in the workplace.

  • Get buy-in upfront particularly from managers and more senior members of staff
  • Conduct a pilot
  • Set expectations
  • Conduct a needs analysis – what do your learner’s need to know/do and what is the best way to achieve this?
  • Fun is not the ultimate end goal.