The Benefits of Gamification and Simulations as Part of the eLearning Mix

An effective training program is critical when quickly disseminating information across an organization and is necessary to ensure regulatory compliance and operational efficiency. That’s why creating eLearning content that is both engaging and specific to your team’s unique learning needs is so important. In order to maximize these meaningful learning opportunities, consider implementing advanced technologies — like gamification, simulations and mobile learning — as part of your eLearning mix.

For most organizations, the level of engagement during sessions is an effective barometer of the future success of the training program — likely why Gamification has been a part of eLearning for quite some time. It has long been recognized that game-like elements, such as the incorporation of scoring and level progression, increases involvement in the program and helps the learner to retain information longer. In fact, upwards of 79% of survey participants say gamification makes their learning more productive.

The ways in which gaming is being used in learning today is much more advanced than the gamification of yesteryears. Consider the impact of combining those more traditional game components with a relatable and life-like avatar that would allow your learner to become fully immersed as part of a narrative.

Along the same vein, utilizing simulations throughout training can not only enhance engagement, but make the learner better prepared to apply the knowledge in real-world scenarios, helping to increase confidence and productivity later in the process. A study conducted by the University of Colorado has shown that simulations can account for as much as a 14% increase in skill-based-knowledge assessment scores and a 9% increase in retention, meaning your team will be better trained quicker, saving time and money.

Now, imagine the possibilities when you take those elements and remove the restrictions of a traditional learning environment — mobility takes eLearning to another level entirely. We are living in mobile world, where nearly everything we need to do, from ordering dinner to depositing a check, can be accessed with just a couple of swipes on our smartphones. The same can be true for eLearning. Whether you opt to utilize mobile learning that is launched from the LMS within the mobile browser or via a custom mobile application, the flexibility that mobile learning provides has been proven to increase the learner’s willingness to actively participate in training (by allowing participation “anytime/anywhere”) while increasing training completion rates. Some mobile apps do not even require an active Internet connection, making the learning experience truly portable.

Advanced technologies are also making the reporting and secure collection of participants’ learning behavior easier and more dynamic. The widely utilized Tin Can application that provides data output and rich explanations of the learners’ experiences has traditionally lacked the easy handling of the SCORM content that many LMS administrators prefer. A recently developed hybrid approach, conceived by the creative forces here at OpenSketch and dubbed SCORM-Can, is an effective bridge that allows the passing of more robust information for a snapshot of the entire learning experience.