Games have never been the sole prerogative of the very youngest among us. Since time immemorial, humanity has been practicing playful activities to various ends. The Lydians thus relied upon gamification to help make their food reserves last for as long as possible. Card games have also been utilized throughout the ages. One of the most relevant examples is that of Thomas Murner, a 16th-century Cordelier monk. The latter had created a card game based on logic to make the subject more accessible to his students. The success of his invention was such that he was even accused of sorcery as the pupils used to abhor the topic so much! Nowadays, learning through gamification harnesses the incredible technological progress our era is well known for.
Learning Through Gamification in Today’s Digital World
Of course, learning through gamification can be adapted to the expectations of a modern-day audience all while promising even more convincing results thanks to significant educational and technological advances. Memorization, for instance, has been the subject of numerous studies that revealed the importance of personal involvement on the part of the learner. The very principle of this enjoyable teaching method relies on user engagement, which peaks when the latter has to face just the right amount of challenge. When administered in the ideal proportions, difficulty contributes to creating a feeling of accomplishment when the task is carried out successfully. If the challenge is too simple, the player loses interest. If it is too complex, they lose motivation. Immersive Factory, leader in immersive learning solutions, calls upon virtual reality to promote optimal engagement.
VR: The Ideal Instrument in the Gamification of Professional Training
Learning through gamification cannot be done without an adequate medium. This is where digital solutions prove especially compelling, with educational programs already having been adopted by numerous and eclectic audiences. What makes immersive virtual reality training so special, however, is without a doubt the benefits it shows in terms of aiding in memorization. In practice, the user is immersed in a virtual universe within which they need to play their part in order to get the scenario to progress. From behind their computer screen or, better yet, by wearing a VR headset, they evolve through this world where they are presented with problems. Each one requires the player to take very specific actions if they wish to solve the issue.
In the case of EHS training, for instance, active learning can take the shape of a serious game. This provides a ground on which to ask the participant to perform a series of actions. If they are to execute tasks at height, for example, the learner may have to actuate devices in the right order to reach the desired elevation and carry out the assignment in question. If they create a hazardous situation by omitting to observe the guidelines to the letter, the consequences they experience are as close to real as it can get. In this particular case, failing to remember to put on a safety harness could cause a fall. Learning through gamification provides a vivid way to make participants aware of that fact. If they do fall due to their own negligence, the mission cannot be completed: game over.
On the other hand, if the player manages to carry out every action required without making any mistakes, the program can keep track of their success on the form of points, give out rewards, and even compare their score with their colleagues’. A little competitiveness thrown in contributes to higher engagement.
Simulation: Towards Better Memorization
Learning through gamification is an effective way to mobilize both physical and mental alertness on the part of the participant. Their progress within the simulation is directly correlated with how acute their reflections and reflexes are. The user therefore finds themselves in a situation where they are encouraged to “learn by doing”, all without ever facing any actual dangers. They receive real-time feedback, yet the consequences of their actions are entirely fictitious. This helps learners to feel confident and to experiment with their theoretical knowledge by putting their newly acquired skills to the test.
The principles of learning through gamification, by definition, make it the ideal method to invite those who may be worried about “doing wrong” to let go of their inhibitions. Inside the simulation, an incorrect move will have no knock-on effect in the real world. In-person training also tends to foster other types of reservations not always connected to a fear of making mistakes. Sometimes, even shyness can constitute an additional issue for participants. The “video game” format, which can accommodate those who choose to practice entirely alone, provides a helpful answer to such problems. Freed from any apprehension, intrigued by the playful side of the program and motivated by a will to step up to the challenge, users find themselves at the heart of the perfect trifecta to encourage memorization.
Because of the experiential nature of methods that involve learning through gamification, participants are given the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice. Such emergency situations are obviously what we all strive to avoid in the first place. In addition, reproducing them for the benefit of in-person training sessions would require the mobilization of immense resources. Thanks to virtual reality, even a fire is a viable scenario. Such multi-sensory experiences would leave a long-lasting mark in anybody’s mind.
The great strength of learning through gamification is its propensity to adapt to every industry. Though prohibitive costs used to confine it to the bounds of aeronautics or, more recently, medicine, virtual reality training is now accessible to all manners of businesses. Its unique paradigm creates many interesting opportunities by including the notion of gaming in contexts where it previously did not belong. It also boosts knowledge building by promoting accountability. When taking active part in bolstering their own skills and utilizing them right away, participants feel more committed and memorization happens more naturally. The concept of learning through gamification, revived and modernized, makes professional training more effective and more enjoyable, pleasing employees and companies alike.