BLOG: Gaming for the Learning Generation

BLOG: Gaming for the Learning Generation In part 3 of his blog from the NextGen LMS conference, Unicorn's Stuart Jones looks at where gamification fits in.  juliettedenny_growthengineeringJuliette Denny from Growth Engineering gave a passionate discussion on the benefits of gamification and how it can drive up user engagement and help create a learning culture. Juliette started with the 70:20:10 model, which by now many people will be familiar with - that is only 10% of your learning comes from formal learning, 20% comes from other people and observation, with 70% of learning coming from on the job training, practice and experience. So the big question is how can an LMS help with the 90% of non-formal, unstructured learning? This is not an easy question to answer but there were some great tips. Firstly, and following from Craig’s theme - learning should be fun. Apparently (sources not cited) our brains are 68% more active when we're having fun and as a result capable of absorbing 84% more information. Irrespective of the numbers are it is almost certainly true we're more likely to be engaged if information is presented in an interesting and fun way. So can we really put back into an LMS what we’ve learned on the job? Interestingly yes, if the learner is able to share that knowledge with co-workers in much the same way people are sharing their experiences every day on Facebook or Twitter. What is more, sharing knowledge you’ve just gained is a great way of reinforcing it - it is one reason that CPD is awarded by many professional bodies for mentoring others. This user generated content can drive the retained knowledge of an organisation, creating its own content and hence also reducing the burden to provide it centrally. So how do you get people to share stuff? Potentially a bit harder but this is where gamification can come in – apply game-like mechanics to the overall learning experience. This includes things like reward stickers or badges, e.g. “you’ve shared your first learning experience”, “you’ve commented for the first time”, and leader boards showing the biggest contributors for example. Applying social media inspired mechanisms can help too, such as up voting as this will provide positive reinforcement to the original poster as well as helping moderate less useful things. There is a key difference here to the Nike approach, which was much more transactional. The Growth Engineering approach positively encourages people to use the LMS more and to hang out – social media sites rely on constant activity. Gamification may not be for everyone too – it certainly is attractive to targets driven people like a sales force, but this may be less appealing to a different demographic. However, there are certainly some interesting points worth considering, especially around encouraging user driven content. Want to know more about gamification? Read our CEO, Peter Phillips' thoughts on 'What can eLearning learn from video games?' here and his reflections on gamification and gaming from this year's Learning Solutions Conference here. Tomorrow: TinCan gets its moment and how do we create a continuous improvement culture?  

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