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As any parent can attest, we live in a gaming age. Today’s young workers were raised on daily doses of video games, role-playing games and bite-sized, reward-based online media. In addition, advances in technology have changed social interactions and attention spans so much that teachers, trainers and supervisors are finding traditional approaches to learning less and less effective.
No wonder more instructors are turning to participant-centered techniques like Gamification to engage audiences and improve outcomes.
What is Gamification?
Quite simply, Gamification is a training approach that adds game elements to your classroom and online learning in order to make it more engaging and entertaining for participants. Instead of being taught through lesson plans and lectures, individuals learn through interactive games, quizzes and exercises. The goal is to create a more enjoyable and rewarding learning environment that boosts engagement, builds skills, increases retention and improves performance outcomes.
Does Gamification really work?
There is plenty of research to show that when used properly, Gamification can be highly effective. In one study, researchers assigned a point system to various daily activities in order to measure the level of engagement students displayed when utilizing gamification in the classroom. The research clearly showed a correlation between the classroom’s game-like atmosphere and increased productivity.
Another study measured the effectiveness of using video games to teach students diagnosed with autism, with the results again showing that instruction including gamification produced improved engagement and outcomes.
The “brain science” behind Gamification
There are biological reasons for such results. It all comes down to how the brain receives and processes new information—and how game scenarios affect those functions. Let’s take a look at just some of the brain science behind Gamification.
A win-win situation
Like any participant-centered training technique, Gamification is just one tool in your training toolbox. Whether it’s a good fit for the team your training or the subject matter at hand will be up to you. But there’s no denying Gamification offers huge benefits for learners in regards to engagement, motivation and retention—all of which are essential to improving training outcomes. That’s a win for you, your team and your bottom line.