Trends in Learning and Development: Gaming

By Freddy Mitchell, Dr. Laura Hume & Kenny Simon

Kenny Simon – Client Director: Think about all the things you like about gaming.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Now we’ll all play Twister!

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: We are so wrong.

Kenny Simon – Client Director: We sort of get lost in this world and don’t even realize we’re learning things or gaining a new skill or figuring out a different way to solve a problem.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: To be a game, it has to have a clear goal - you have to know what the objectives are, where you’re going - I’m getting to the next level, I need to get a key, I need to build something.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: It starts with instantly putting that learner in a situation where they have to try and practice a skill that we haven’t yet taught them. The idea is that there’s a promotion of failure. And if they fail, they will instantly learn why they failed and they will learn from that as they go through each and every component or level.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: There’s also a sense of escalating difficulty. So you start building skills incrementally. Oh, now I know how to do these three things, I get through the next stage, I’m going to be taught how to do another few things.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: Engaging learners is the secret to our success.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Some of the things to think about are avatars, some kind of a learning path, some sense of strategy. There is a sense of competition, although the competition may not be against another player, it may be an internal sense of competition to get to the next level.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: The gamification really helps learners become part of a community, feeling like they’re on a path or on a journey that’s meaningful. So, passing these levels or getting new badges really creates that level of engagement we’re looking for.

Kenny Simon – Client Director: So don’t develop a game just to develop a game, make sure it makes sense for the objectives you’re trying to achieve.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: If you can think through a game that will help the participants get the knowledge, build the skills, exhibit the behaviors you’d like to see, that’s a huge win.

Dr. Laura Hume, Kenny Simon, Freddy Mitchell: So I think that’s the balance - games can be really engaging and engaging is good, but it should be making sure that you meet those learning objectives, because it’s all about the learning objectives.

All about the benjamins, baby!