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The Gamification of Learning

3rd Jul 2017
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“My friend came to stay this weekend and we were talking about work; she said she really hated training days until they got a new trainer in. She was telling me about a game they’d played, with the new trainer. It turned out to be Hold the Front Page!”

What a fantastic email to get on a Monday!

If you asked me what I’m most proud of creating, my team building games would be near the top of the list. I love that I’ve been able to create games that are interactive, effective and fun (for both the learner and the facilitator), and which participants talk about years after the event. 

It’s hard to believe, I seem so young (from the inside looking out ;-)) but it’s some twenty years since I first started doing this! 

Back then I was largely working on an instinctive belief that learning would be more memorable and more effective if the learners were actually enjoying themselves. Fortunately for me (or I could have had a very short career in L&D) there is a huge amount of evidence to support the importance of game-based learning. Indeed, Gamification is the latest catchphrase in e-learning - where companies are clambering over each other to reinvent the dull, tick-box training that’s dominated that industry for so long.

Games really help deliver learning, and this excellent article from eLearning Industry explains some of the reasons why.

Everything in here applies at least equally well to face-to-face learning. Indeed, it’s much easier to really engage learners in games in a classroom setting. And a bit of friendly competition can really energise the room!

The important thing with any games you design is that they must be relevant. The learner must be able to see the link between the game and what they can do differently at work to gain a better result. It’s this link that inspires the learner and delivers the inspiration for change. 

My latest team building game takes this to a new level – what if the learners had to ensure that the game was relevant themselves? In GamePlay, teams must compete for resources and then work together to do just that. It’s a game that requires co-operation, creativity, teamwork, delegation, leadership and project management. And the learners themselves are responsible for ensuring the end result is relevant and inspirational. Their efforts might even deliver games and exercises that you can use in future training! 

Of course, designing any team building game takes time. I have no idea how many hours, days and weeks I’ve spent creating exercises like Murder at Glasstap GrangeJack Fruggle’s TreasurePirate ChallengeProfessor Warmkote’s Safe or, especially, Boosting Glasstap’s Future, and I know you don’t have anything like the time I’ve had to indulge my passion. 

That’s where Trainers’ Library helps. It gives you access to all the tools you need to gamify your people’s learning experiences. That’s not just the team building games, but all the other games and exercises we’ve designed for Course Modules, Icebreakers and Energisers, and Review Activities too. 

I'd love to hear about your experiences of using games to promote learning and, as always, your feedback on this blog is welcome. Just add your comments below. 

Rod
www.glasstap.com

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