Experiential learning is arguably the most effective learning style. When given the opportunity to learn in a practical, hands-on environment, individuals become self-directed learners. In fact, according to the 70-20-10 Model, a reference formula used to describe the ideal mix of learning sources, 70% of what individuals know comes from experience.
Although the concept of learning by doing isn’t unconventional, the application of experiential learning in a virtual setting has increased in popularity and use in the learning and development (L&D) community. According to a new forecast, the market for game-based learning and education is projected to reach more than $24 billion by 2024. As the L&D landscape continues to evolve, game-based learning has emerged as an innovative training method that drives transformation and growth across organizations.
What Is Gamified Training and How Does It Tie to Role-Playing?
Many learning professionals describe gamification or gamified training as the utilization of gaming technology for educational purposes. Whether it’s with two-dimensional Adobe Flash–based tools or three-dimensional digital simulations, learners are self-driven to work toward a clear objective in their skills development. In contrast to traditional training that relies on a fixed structure, gamified training engages learners and improves confidence by encouraging individuals to think creatively.
Rooted in the hands-on approach of experiential learning, gamified training is highly immersive and visceral in nature. Often mirroring reality, game-based learning enables individuals to practice by doing and produces predictable learning. As a medium, role play in a virtual setting can allow a learner to simulate real work conditions. By creating realistic and relevant scenarios, role play provides an immersive environment with the opportunity for trial and error.
Hands-on Learning Approach for Interpersonal Skills
Gamified training can help reinforce learning and skills for learners, as well as bolster their confidence to apply what they’ve been practicing in the workplace. In online simulation, direct feedback is a key element for learners to solidify skills. The combination of reinforced learning and real-time feedback in gamified training is the key to success in driving behavioral change.
Gamified training can help develop and refine not only technical skills, but also interpersonal skills. Such skills require practice and real-time feedback; gamified training creates the optimal environment for deliberate practice to strengthen interpersonal skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. By creating realistic interactions, virtual role play is an effective training strategy for developing these skills.
A Safe Space
One of the key advantages of gamified training is the opportunity for individuals to bridge the gap between theory and practice in a risk-free environment. In a virtual context, it provides a psychological safety net for learners to make mistakes without the fear of failure that occurs in the workplace. By eliminating traditional training deterrents such as embarrassment and shame, gamified training empowers learners to be persistent as well as feel more confident in high-risk situations.
Learners seeking more opportunities for engagement in virtual game framework highlights a larger trend. The increasing shift to gamified training is indicative of a greater, significant trend in the L&D industry- employees are taking greater control of their learning journey.