Using Game-Thinking to Innovate Learning Experiences

Using Game-Thinking to Innovate Learning Experiences

We are navigating a new workplace and era. It is estimated that one of the most in-demand skills will be the ability to learn. It is therefore obvious that the role of learning designer will be elevated in preparing and supporting the work-force. An exciting time offering many opportunities. It will also require the craft of learning design to become more sophisticated and multi-dimensional. In equipping ourselves a good practice is to understand the new generation and what forces will impact their preferences.

The generation entering the workplace has become proficient in a new language, which sets them apart and is shaping how many disciplines are being disrupted from entertainment, marketing, and education. According to Willem Jan Renger from TEDxAmsterdamED – the Language of Interactivity is creating a generational gap, and we need to start understanding this language and how we need to adapt, in order to meet future generations’ requirements.

Any child growing up today is given access to technology and highly sophisticated digital and virtual worlds. Our future users and learners will have a new benchmark emphasizing their need to be engaged in a dynamic, interactive, and immersive manner. There is a vast difference between how Millennials, Generation X, and previous generations have interacted with the world and content.  

One dimensional static content delivered to a passive receiver is no longer even hitting the mark of mediocre learning. Human-centered design is becoming the gold standard of some of the key principles, and business practices are having to adapt from transactional to transformational. Game -thinking and game design is a category of this, which naturally lend themselves to designing better learning experiences. Not only are serious games incorporated into learning programmes, but game design principles are great pillars to re-think learning design. 

Here are three (of the many) principles of game design and how they can be applied to your learning design practices:

  1. The Learner Takes on a Role
    A story, narrative, and persona allows the human brain to shift into a more open state. This encourages engagement and diminishes barriers to learning. Creating a role for a learner fosters learning interactivity and action. A learner adopting a role, becomes the central character in a story and journey … learning is no longer transactional, it becomes transformative and meaningful.

  2. Live Immediate Feedback
    The language of interactivity requires us to design an experience which demonstrates progress. Games are designed with a series of triggers, action, and feedback. The result being either success or failure, and possibly progress. This generation of learners requires more immediate feedback and be motivated by “state changes”, whether this is intrinsic and/or extrinsic.

  3. Design a System Which Encourages Self-direction
    This dovetails with the two previous points, and the need for self-direction. The language of interactivity encourages both freedom and agency, within parameters and goals. When designing – consider the set-up of a game and how this can be applied to a learning experience. Initially guide learners, and once they have been onboarded and feel confident – give them a map to a learning eco-system. Let exploration, discovery, and a degree of uncertainty fuel the learning experience.

At G2C Learning we are constantly innovating new ways to create immersive learning experiences and have found that game-thinking and game-design have had some of the best success rates. Our Learning Experience Design course offers these principles and many more in a full online programme. We are excited to be partnering with RecruitMyMom and RecruitAGraduate, to have free access to our tier one programme.  

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