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In the last few years as technology has been progressing, game-based learning (not to be mistaken with gamification) has taken off in popularity as part of training in the workplace.

Many people and organisations think that gamification and game-based learning are the same thing, so let’s first take a step back and look at the difference between the two.

Gamification

Gamification typically refers to the use of gaming elements in a situation that is not a game. The idea is to help boost productivity and motivation by making mundane tasks feel like a game. A person can gain rewards, level up and even compete against their peers. The thing to keep in mind is that gamification works to help engage a person with a task and help them feel motivated to do a good job but it does not necessarily have learning materials or supporting information attached.

Game-based Learning

Game-based learning, on the other hand, is a game that someone can play to initiate a Deep Learning experience. Unlike gamification that uses game strategies to make mundane tasks more enjoyable and competitive, game-based learning is actually a game that has learning materials built into it.

In the digital age we are beginning to see these games evolve to include 360˚ simulations, virtual reality, augmented reality and more.

Currently, our favourite platform is 360˚simulation because we find that it is more cost-effective for organisations to implement as they can be used on almost any device. Now don’t get me wrong, virtual reality is very exciting and can deliver training in innovative ways. However, at present a VR device that allows interaction can be a costly investment for a company that is looking to train thousands of people in a reasonable time scale.

So how does game-based learning improving workplace training?

In 2015 we decided to solve the problem of how to train police first responders in cybercrime investigation and digital evidence handling, so we partnered with the University of Abertay (world leaders in gaming technology) and Police Scotland, to create an Immersive Learning platform to do just that.

The responses we got from the police were extremely positive.

Here is our first responder guide for cybercrime and digital forensics Evaluation of training pilot from the Scottish Institute of Policing Research (SIPR).

  • Agreed or strongly agreed that they found it easy to navigate through the game 81% 81%
  • Agreed or strongly agreed that they found it an easy way to learn more about cybercrime/digital forensics 74% 74%
  • Agreed or strongly agreed that they now had more confidence in dealing with operational incidents involving cybercrime/digital forensics 76% 76%

We decided that these results where enough information to prove that this sort of learning could be applied to many different types of organisational training so we partnered with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre to create Constellate Apps: apps designed to be publicly available to any business no matter the size. Our first app under Constellate – GDPR – Accredited Training – is designed to take the potentially dull subject of data protection law and make it more enjoyable by placing the learning materials in a 360˚ workplace scenario, where people can play a game to learn about GDPR and become more confident in understanding what GDPR means for them in the workplace and as a private citizen. We are all data subjects and need to understand how best to protect our most valuable information.

Sales & Marketing screengrab from GDPR Accredited – Training spp

In our experience, game-based learning through immersive learning technologies improves learner engagement allowing them to retain more information and It reduces the cost of training by taking the training straight to the user’s device.

We are very excited by the possibilities of this type of learning and look forward to collaborating with new companies to improve how they deliver training.

If you have any questions about how you can start using game-based learning through immersive learning technologies with your company now, feel free to contact us, we will be more than happy to discuss the best solutions for you.

Leanne Kahn

Author

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