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Gamification – why is it becoming so popular?

Well, let’s start with how people learn.

People have preferences in how they learn and process information but everyone has the ability to use the four key methods of learning.
  1. There are people who prefer the theory and the detail behind a subject – these are theorists.
  2. There are people who need time to think about the application of new knowledge – the reflectors.
  3. There are people who like to learn through experimenting and doing – the experiential learners.
  4. There are people who look for relevance and applicability in the learning – the pragmatists.
When we think about cognition and how we prefer to assimilate information, there are auditory learners, visual learners and kinaesthetic learners.
A good learning experience will incorporate all of these elements. Some research indicates that 65% of the population are visual learners! However learning is never as simple as this.
People learn and process information in a variety of ways and they typically (with the exception of people with sensory impairment) use all 7 elements of learning mentioned above.

What varies in any learning situation is people’s concentration and engagement levels.

Traditional problems

On a taught course, some people may become disengaged because the learning is not matching their preferred learning style. For example, an experiential /kinaesthetic learner may struggle to sit for extended periods of time listening to theories behind the topic. This is in comparison to a theorist who also has a preference for auditory learning will totally engage in this methodology.
A traditional e-learning course will suit people who are visual learners and pragmatists. An auditory learner will disengage with a long e-learning course and an experiential learner will seek a dynamic methodology built into the course.

So, back to the question – why is gamification working?

In the world we live in the majority of people access information through their phones, tablets and laptops and engage for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes a day with new material.
People like short sharp messages that can be absorbed quickly and which are delivered in a fun, interesting and stimulating way. People are now expecting this in a workplace learning environment too.
This is where gamification comes into play.
Games provide a challenge and are responsive and visually stimulating.
Using gamification to enable learning in the workplace will increase the engagement of your employees, create a better learning experience and prompt significant behaviour change.
Maybe it’s time to give gamification a go.
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