In this blog series, Learning and Development Manager Kevin Maye, takes a look at some learning theories and how we can use them to improve Learn My Way.
There's a word we've heard and seen a lot in the last two or three years. Whether we're checking out industry blogs, visiting conferences or hunting down a free coffee at World of Learning we hear. Gamification.
Gamification. It's a word invented by someone who works in learning but wishes they did the game design course at University. Probably.
One thing we are sure of is that it seems to mean different things depending who we talk to. For some people adding game mechanics like scores and leaderboards is gamification.
Their theory is that being able to measure yourself against others and see progress as you improve aids motivation. There's some good evidence to back these claims up too.
So it's points and stars and leaderboards?
Well, that could be part of it but there's another view point. That suggests that you can actually learn things while playing games.
Think about it, whenever you play a game the first thing you do is learn the rules, the mechanics of how to play and then develop your own tactics to try and win.
Tie some of those things to the subject you want to teach and maybe teach them as people play.
I can play games and get smarter?
Pretty much. Kineo, one of the companies we've worked with a lot shared an example they created with a fast food chain.
They created a game that had people use a new till system. When the system was being introduced they trained staff using the game.
The results were great. People who played the game made fewer mistakes. They could work out average savings per employee and proved the business benefit of staff playing games.
So Learn My Way games are coming?
Funny you should say that. We've had some games on Learn My Way and it's predecessors before (who remembers Splash and Grab?).
Some of our activities like Just Your Type still include some game like elements.
Plus we link to some great games to help people practice mouse, keyboard or touchscreen controls. It's not always about us creating things if there's already good content around.
But yes, we're very excited to say we have an idea for a game that we're working on. We've even done some paper based testing around the office.
We're new to game development. So we're going slowly, making mistakes and learning things as we go.
It's almost a game in itself, so we need to go and level up now. What will the next level involve? Will we be coding, or visiting your centre to try things out with learners?