Applying Microlearning and Gamification in Virtual Training
Corporate Training; K-12 Education; Small Business Development | By: Erin Patrick
If you are tasked with delivering content for learning in a virtual environment and find yourself a little lost in the challenge of the last year…you are not alone. We have been asked to adapt to many things, including how we train and how we learn. Fortunately, the ‘need’ often innovates new pathways for the ‘how’. Microlearning, combined with gamification, can help us create a better (virtual) learning environment.
What is Microlearning?
There is no “official” definition of Microlearning, but the concept itself is not new, even though it’s been a recent “hot topic”. It can be described as short (“micro”) learning ‘nuggets’ that are easy to consume but pack a powerful punch. These mini modules are generally focused, specific, and part of a larger learning structure. While there can be variations in the application, the common denominator is based in brevity and engagement. How we consume social media for news is a great example of this: infographics, vertical text, memes, and articles that are written to be a quick read come to mind. They are meant to be short and sweet bursts of knowledge, that last no more than 3-5 minutes.
What is Gamification?
Like Microlearning, the concept of gamification is not new and quite ancient. Consider how many times you were taught a song or a game to learn something new as a child…or maybe you earned badges in an organization for mastering a skill. Many organizations have captured the potential to reach their audience via games in marketing. We also use games to measure our lives…from healthcare to education to finances. These are forms of gamification! It can be defined as the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications. We use games to make the hard stuff in life more engaging and fun.
When we combine all the tools available to us, we start creating learning experiences that are “sticky” and can lead to long term knowledge recall and retention.
Why is this Important?
The average human attention span is decreasing, regardless of age. But if we look at Millennials, a specific generation that will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, the average attention span is 90 seconds. That is a very narrow window to capture- and then keep- the focus for the learning process…and we say “process” because that is what it is. In its glory, that is what learning should be; an ongoing process that is intrinsically motivated with curiosity and engagement, and not a ‘program’ that suggests a start and end.
However, in the world of virtual training, compliance, and learning, this is easier said than done, am I right? The practical concerns are still present (without as many solutions or answers) as we blaze our new trail with new challenges such as virtual burnout, cognitive overload, and disengagement. This is in addition to the monetary concerns on whether we are getting the ROI on all our efforts, while navigating decreasing budgets from a global pandemic.
In addition, you may be familiar with the “Forgetting Curve”, which states an exponential nature of forgetting in adult learning by Herman Ebbinghaus.
According to his research, adult learners
forget 80% of what they learn in just 30 days.
This is hard to hear when we consider the number of resources we allocate to training and development.
So, what is the solution? We suggest employing more tools to transform that “Forgetting Curve” to a Retention Curve (while increasing engagement!) using gamification and interactive features. Plus, every age group loves games, so you are also providing a bridge for a possible age gap in training and development. In fact, we had another webinar on that very subject as well that you can check out here.
But don’t take our word for it…try it yourself! Test your knowledge with some bite-sized trivia with a quick self-paced quiz called SPARK, one of the templates offered in our suite.
The benefits of microlearning and gamification:
* “Just-in-Time” learning consumes less time (and resources) and meets your learners where they are and exactly when they need it
* It’s fun with a purpose
* It’s easy to build and easy to deploy which cuts costly development time
* It’s in Rich Media Formats for your modern-day learners who appreciate content packaged that way
* It is accessible for the audiences who are used to consuming information on their devices (usually a smartphone nowadays)
* It’s engaging for the ever-decreasing human attention span
* Bite-sized ‘nuggets’ of learning support and supplement primary and formal training through reinforcement
* It provides instant feedback for performance management
* It can drive positive behavioral change
Download the WHY GAMES for Trainers (PDF)
Studies show that when we repeat information through reinforcement in an engaging way, the more likely it is to wind up in our long-term memory. When we make training relevant and personalized, we increase the transfer of learning to the job. According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, learning in bite-sized pieces makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient.
Training now becomes a process of “One Size Fits One” to accommodate more learning styles and creates an enriched learning environment.
Whether you use gamification or microlearning or both, the time is now to evaluate whether your training is ready for the next step. If you are looking to transform your learning program with a powerful tool set of interactive ways to engage your learners, we can help. Our BravoZone platform is everywhere you need to be, with customizable game templates for content delivery for wherever it takes place: classroom, webinar, or mobile learning. Our intuitive builders provide step-by-step instructions that will have you creating content in no time that looks like it was made just for you (it was!).
Upcoming Workshop Webinars
Increase Communication with Games ------ Mar 16th, 2021 11am (CST)
Boost Productivity and Have Fun! ------ Mar 25th, 2021 11am (CST)
If you would like a free and private consultation with a quick walkthrough for you and your team to quickly determine whether this is the right fit for you, please visit our website or request one here.
Or, if you would like to start playing with some of the games and builders on your own time, we offer free 30-day demos as well! You can sign up for one here.
We look forward to helping you find more unique ways to engage your learners through gamification. Please visit our website for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org