Emerging Modalities

You ask, Evolve answers! Evolve’s Chief Solution Strategist, Alex Ryan, and Lead Instructional Designer, Tristia Hennessey answer your learning and development questions.

Should gamification be used for business?

This question is one of hot debate in the instructional design world right now. We recently had a client that was trying to make the case to their leadership that gamification and simulation needed to be a part of their learning strategy. Their leadership thought of gamification as just playing games and needed some convincing as to the value that gamification would bring to their learning experience.

There’s a reason there’s so much debate around this topic – people have very different ideas of what gamification is, how to implement it, and what the benefits really are.

Let’s clarify a little bit. When people think of gamification, a lot of the times they’re thinking badges, leaderboards, and points, things that are meant to boost healthy competition. And they’re not wrong, but there are other ways to use gamification that can be even more effective in creating a learning environment that fosters that healthy competition, promotes engagement, and yes, make learning a little bit more fun!

Badges, leaderboards, and points can be useful but you can also incorporate elements from things like board games and trivia to customize the learning experience to make it more engaging and bring some lightheartedness to otherwise really dry material.

Topics like terminology, basic concepts, and foundational concepts are great topics to use for gamification. We all have to learn and memorize terms and definitions from time to time, and using some of these techniques can create a safe space for their learners to practice skills on topics that can be difficult to replicate in a real-world environment.

When you start incorporating gamification into a simulation design or a more blended learning design, then you’re able to make the most of those game mechanics and make the most of how people learn through games.

Think about the last time you played a video game, you’re learning through that whole process, right? It teaches you how to play, about the game environment, and how to use different tools inside the game experience.

Put those elements together with simulations or simulated environments for training, you’re able to utilize the best parts of gamification and have the potential to increase learner engagement and retention.

Putting Gamification into Practice – Case Study #1:

Evolve’s Award Winning Taco Builder, Best of Show – Vendor at DevLearn 2021

Taco Builder was custom designed and developed as part of a blended learning strategy to meet the needs of new hire and tenured restaurant staff. Taco Builder utilitized on demand practice of the entire taco menu that enabled targeted learning and recipe simulation. It’s implementation increased product knowledge, reduced training time, and reduced training food waste. Click here to download the complete Learning Gamification Taco Builder Case Study!

Putting Simulation into Practice – Case Study #2:

POS Simulator – Hospitality – Food Service
A simulation was created of the store point of sale or POS machine. The POS Simulator allowed learners to build POS skills without risking costly mistakes in front of customers. The simulator used typical orders in increasing levels of complexity combined with customer interactions. This simulated entering orders while also practicing customer service and good customer engagement.

Putting Gamification/Simulation into Practice – Case Study #3:

Service Tasks – Automotive
We are working with an automotive services client that wants to gamify and simulate automotive service tasks such as oil changes, checking fluid levels, putting air in tires, or other basic checks that you would typically find at an Oil Change or Tire Center. We are building out a game that rewards learners for completing simulations of these tasks. These simulations include: are you performing the tasks in the right order, do you have the right tools at the right time, and are you completing all steps in the task. These types of repeatable tasks that are sometimes difficult, unsafe, or costly to repeat over and over again are ideal for simulation and gamification. The learner is allowed to fail but receives immediate feedback and guidance to successfully complete the task.

All of these case studies show that learning by doing is still one of the best ways to build knowledge and skills. But, adding in gamification in a safe and guided environment exponentially increases engagement.

Emerging Modalities Summary:

• Gamification can absolutely be used for business.
• Make a plan – decide which modalities are best for your learning objectives.
• Be thinking about how best to reach your learners at the point of need – this may be before, during, or after they start work.

If you have any questions about gamification or simulation, you can reach us at info@evolve-sg.com or on our website at: evolve-sg.com

Want to learn more about these emerging modalities and when you should use them? Click here and sign up for our upcoming eBook: “Emerging Modalities in Blended Learning.”