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Corporation

       Serious Games and gamification in Business    Recently Elearning! Magazine published an  article  on Serious Games in the corporate sector. As there were so many good points, and it is our core business at Totem Learning, I’ve taken the opportunity to reblog it here.  In summary:  The first part of the blog sets the scene and explains some of the reasons why games are so effective in the corporate sector. Points include:   Deeper engagement in the learning experience =  higher retention of knowledge and skill transfer  Games encourage failure and exploration, which better reflects the reality of work where there is normally more than one right answer  They use multiple intelligences  Learners are more actively involved and focused than when passively listening to lectures for example   In the second section the author discusses attributes of serious games and compares them to casual, entertainment games. In both you’ll find:   Backstory and story line  Game mechanics (how the game environment reacts to player actions)  Rules  Immersive graphical environment (including 2-D or 3-D graphics, sound and animation)  Challenge or competition  Risks and consequences   In the third there is a little around the cost and timescales of creating serious games. The point is made that the time and cost of creating serious games is coming down making it increasingly viable – and we agree with GameOn’s Bryan Austin when he says: “There isn’t a more effective way to really install key behaviours.”  The fourth section looks at what the future holds and we second many of the points mentioned, having created a customisable new starters’ induction game, and currently developing our exciting new off-the-shelf multiplayer leadership game. Another point we would add is that there is a real opportunity in the corporate sector as well for simulations using augmented and virtual reality. Predictions from the blog are as follows:   “An increase in the acceptance and use of game formats in more and more corporate learning venues as research evidence comes to light about what particular game types work for teaching what particular content, skills or processes.” (Kapp)  “What could create a better first impression for new employees than learning about their new employer by playing games on their smartphone?” (Austin)  “More ‘off-the-shelf’ games aimed at corporate-focused topics like leadership, negotiation, problem-solving and other skills imperative for executives and managers of today’s modern workforces.” (Kapp)  “Platforms that combine sims with other forms of learning. Learning & development departments will partner more with I.T. as full-bodied sims become the norm." (Franklin)  “More gamification: the use of elements of games to enhance learning in the classroom and online but not necessarily always the development of a full-scale game." (Kapp)  “Social learning being incorporated into new formats such as online knowledge- sharing environments — types that leverage talent in creative ways contribute to exponential rates of corporate growth.” (Franklin)  Overall, more serious games in corporate learning as the word gets around.   I’ve pasted the original blog below or you can visit it  here :            How Well-Designed Games Can Stimulate And Enhance The Learning Experience  By Jerry Roche  Serious computer games, as they are designed with the intent of improving a specific aspect of learning, are a “serious” alternative to traditional learning.  Studies over the past decade — including those conducted on business and economics students by the U.S. Department of Defence — prove that more job-transfer benefits are gained through game-enhanced learning as opposed to other modes of learning alone. Since workplace perfor mance depends on the learners’ depth of engagement during their learning experiences, the more engaging the exercise, the higher the retention of knowledge and transfer of skills to the job.  The game rewards decision-making and reasonable risk-taking; can add coaching along the way; and provides diverse experience in thinking skills themselves.  “There is a rapidly growing body of research that learning designed from the ground up as a game creates an ability to cognitively process and apply learning at a much higher level than traditionally designed training,” notes Bryan Austin of GameOn Learning. “The game itself is based around scenarios where the learners must solve problems and challenges to complete the game. The application-level practice builds the confidence to apply the learning back on the job, and also results in significantly greater retention of the learning.  Moreover, games encourage failure and exploration, according to Dr. Karl Kapp, professor, author, consultant and internationally recognized serious games champion. “In most instructional settings, he notes, “any kind of failure is deemed wrong or ‘bad,’ and learners quickly discover that only one answer is appropriate. So they only focus on one thing: getting the right answer — not necessarily learning the content. In most modern work environments, there are many ways of solving problems, dealing with obstacles and creatively finding solutions — more than one right answer.”  Serious games use multiple intelligences for learning (logical, special, linguistics, intrapersonal, kinesthetic, music); they are immersive, engaging and motivating through new technology and interactions; and the game structure is one with which the younger generations of employees are well acquainted.  ”“No matter what age," Dr. Kapp says, “learners learn best from engagement, and [they] tend to be far more involved and active in a game than they are in traditional instructional situations. We know that engaged learners learn more and are more focused than learners who are passively listening to lectures.  Serious Game Attributes  According to Tyson Greer of Ambient Insight, there are four types of simulation-based learning: physical object/ environmental; process; procedural; and situational.  Researchers Stephen M. Alessi of the University of Iowa and Stanley R. Trollip of S.R. Trollip & Associates compressed these four into two instructional strategies: learning about something (physical and process) and learning to do something (procedural and situational).  Game genre, complexity and platforms are as varied as those found in casual games. But they all share a number of traits, including:   Backstory and story line  Game mechanics (how the game environment reacts to player actions)    Rules  Immersive graphical environment (including 2-D or 3-D graphics, sound and animation)  Challenge or competition    Risks and consequences   Mary Jo Dondlinger, an assistant professor of Educational Technology at Texas A&M University-Commerce, says that a well designed game motivates players to spend extra time mastering skills. “A number of distinct design elements, such as narrative context, rules, goals, rewards, multi-sensory cues and interactivity, seem necessary to stimulate desired learning outcomes, she says.  Sharon Boller, president of Bottom-Line Performance, believes that games should avoid merely giving learners with a “click-next” experience: “Instead of telling people what they need to know, force them to find it or figure it out if they want to succeed in the game. Make succeeding in the game mirror what it takes to succeed in their jobs.”  Yet care must be taken before exposing serious games to potential learners. “[They] are most effective when the instructor first briefs the learners on what they are expected to learn during the game, the learners play the game, and then the instructor debriefs the students,” notes Dr. Kapp.  What About Time And Money?  The average cost for a custom-built adult e-learning game can range from $15,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on complexity and levels of play. Some games can be bought off the shelf and repurposed for much less.  But “the cost of custom-developed serious games is coming down, so we’ll see them in use more, especially if the learning is strategic or the audience size is large, says GameOn’s Austin. “There isn’t a more effective way to really install key behaviors.  It has been suggested that employee performance improvement is directly related to return on investment (ROI). Whether the game or simulation is part of a blended-media course or a stand-alone course, in many cases it can complement or replace existing course materials cost-effectively, taking the overall program or curriculum to a higher level and positively affecting ROI and corporate profits. Regrettably, there is no specific research data that applies to this generally accepted concept.  Time is another consideration if a certain learning initiative is on a strict deadline, because (unless you can use an off-the-shelf solution) it can take months to create a serious game that will provide the desired results. That problem is not without a solution.  “We’re working with teams that develop game-enabled learning platforms, says Austin. “These allow our clients to develop more engaging, highly-interactive learning in 10 percent of the time required to develop traditional e-learning. [That approach is] great for sales training, call centers and onboarding.”  What The Future Holds  As serious games converge with virtual worlds, enterprise learning environments will become integrated into the actual work environment. This is likely to have considerable impact on game design, as learning designers will need to concern themselves as much (if not more) with organizing and structuring the learning experience as with parsing and presenting learning content.  Here is what some respected analysts forecast:     “An increase in the acceptance and use of game formats in more and more corporate learning venues as research evidence comes to light about what particular game types work for teaching what particular content, skills or processes.” (Kapp)  “What could create a better first impression for new employees than learning about their new employer by playing games on their smartphone?” (Austin)  “More ‘off-the-shelf’ games aimed at corporate-focused topics like leadership, negotiation, problem-solving and other skills imperative for executives and managers of today’s modern workforces.” (Kapp)  “Platforms that combine sims with other forms of learning. Learning & development departments will partner more with I.T. as full-bodied sims become the norm." (Franklin)    “More gamification: the use of elements of games to enhance learning in the classroom and online but not necessarily always the development of a full-scale game." (Kapp)  “Social learning being incorporated into new formats such as online knowledge- sharing environments — types that leverage talent in creative ways contribute to exponential rates of corporate growth.” (Franklin)  Overall, more serious games in corporate learning as the word gets around.      The gamification market will reach 5.5 billion dollars by 2018, a 67% CAGR according to Markets & Markets. Are you ready?

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SERIOUS GAMES AND GAMIFICATION IN BUSINESS

Recently Elearning! Magazine published an article on Serious Games in the corporate sector. As there were so many good points, and it is a subject so close to our core business at Totem Learning, I’ve taken the opportunity to reblog it here.

In summary:

The first part of the blog sets the scene and explains some of the reasons why games are so effective in the corporate sector. Points include:

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       How do we measure the effect of a serious game?       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     This post is taken with kind permission from our Lead Instructional Designer, Helen Routledge's "Curiosity Clinic", for more blogs like this  click here . Enjoy!  There are many layers of measuring the impact of a certain training approach of intervention. Typically the accepted measure of proving the worth of a programme was to look at the ROI result. The ROI or Return on Investment gives a financial baseline as to the monetary outlay vs the gained results for a company or organisation. However ROI only gives us a piece of the puzzle when looking at effectiveness.  Personally I don’t focus on ROI. I appreciate it is important to my clients, but I prefer to focus on ROE or Return on Engagement. I prefer to look at the wider organisational and personal (user level) impacts to judge effectiveness. I believe that if you engage someone in a topic, you pique their curiosity and open their eyes to new areas then they will be motivated to learn more, explore more, communicate more and this will have a ripple effect on the organisation.  When looking at engagement there are several stages we look at. And of course this very much depends on the situation at the time, how much access can we have with end users, what data we can capture etc etc but below I’ve outlined the main methodologies we use.  Observation: During play observation we can learn so much about a user’s engagement level. Examining their body language for example we can see if they are leaning in, exploring the game world, and paying attention to the information that is presented to them. By listening to the users, especially if they are playing together in a team, or discussing their actions in a debrief we can truly get an understanding of how much users have taken in. This is great evidence of self-evident assessment, which if you ask me is pure gold when trying to assess if someone has learnt something or altered an attitude or behaviour.  Replay Statistics: If you’re looking for more hard and concrete data you can look at how often users revisit your game. This data is readily available on most LMS’s and of course when we host the games ourselves we can easily access the number of times players re-attempt a scenario or module. An example of this is that we know our Business Game is played on average 4.3 times per player.  Behaviour Change: The gold standard for knowing if you have made an impact is if the end user makes a change, consciously or unconsciously to their behaviour. This may be in the form of internal requests to seek out more information on a topic or a desire to tell others what they have discovered to implementing lessons they have learnt in the game.  Formal assessment: The traditional approach to measuring the effect of a training programme is of course a formal assessment. Be it a multiple question quiz or situational judgement assessment, formal standardised testing is still popular in many courses. In games we can still build this in but we always try to approach formal assessment in a softer way. Games lend themselves naturally to situational judgement assessment, and of course we all know we can do multiple choice questions and branching tree structures.  That data can be captured as a score in the LMS or as a detailed breakdown given to the user highlighting their strengths and areas they need to focus on.  These are just a few examples of the areas we look into when evaluating the success of our products. Every client and every situation is different and we always take into account their unique environment and situation to craft an evaluation piece that is suitable. Sometimes the data is built into the game interface as a numerical score and in other instances we impart the softer consequences of choosing a particular path. The mechanics we choose depends greatly on the audience demographics, environment culture and intended outcome.  But what is important and where I want to end is to reiterate the Return on Engagement. If you want to measure training impact then look at your training as a whole. Does it offer users opportunities to explore content freely and openly, does it encourage them and does the tone of content give meaning to them as individuals as well as the business.

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HOW DO WE MEASURE THE EFFECT OF A SERIOUS GAME?

There are many layers of measuring the impact of a certain training approach of intervention. Typically the accepted measure of proving the worth of a programme was to look at the ROI result. The ROI or Return on Investment gives a financial baseline as to the monetary outlay vs the gained results for a company or organisation. However ROI only gives us a piece of the puzzle when looking at effectiveness.

Comment