Archive for June, 2008
You get more direct knowledge and skill transfer to the job.
Trainers and front-line supervisors alike have long observed that emotion encodes experience in memory. The competition inherent in games provides that emotional boost to learning and its transfer to the job. Any athlete or coach will tell you that repetition plus the emotion of competition makes practice most effective.
In the business world, game-based simulations of realistic situations allow for “safe failures” so the participants can learn from trial-and-error, one preferred learning mode for learners who exhibit leadership talent with a can-do attitude. The gaming experience rewards decision-making and reasonable risk-taking, can add coaching along the way, and provides diverse experience in thinking skills themselves – not just getting the one right answer.
These benefits have been observed and reported anecdotally for decades and explained in part by studies of brain function. (Ruth Palumbo Weiss, Emotion and Learning – implications of new neurological research for training techniques, on BNet.)
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Empirical research proves it.
Now, ground-breaking empirical studies conducted upon business and economics students by the Department of Defense have proven the job-transfer benefits of game-enhanced learning (the experimental group) over other modes of learning alone (the control group).
“Three research studies were conducted at a national university to examine the difference in academic achievement among students who did and did not use video games in learning. Three different video games were added to approximately half the classes of freshmen Introduction to Business and Technology courses, 3rd year Economics courses, and 3rd year Management courses. Identical testing situations were used in all courses while data collected included game use, test scores, gender, ethnicity, and age. ANOVA, chi-squared, and t tests were used to test game use effectiveness. Students in classes using the game scored significantly higher means than classes that did not. There were no significant differences between genders, yet both genders scored significantly higher with game play. There were no significant differences between ethnicities, yet all ethnic groups scored significantly higher with game play. Students 40 years and under scored significantly higher with game play, while students 41 and older did not. These studies add definitive research in the area of game-based learning. The DOD now has studies proving the efficacy of digital game-based learning and how it can improve learning.” (See Richard Blunt, Ph.D., “Does Game-Based Learning Work? Results from Three Recent Studies.” The published version of this paper was presented at the I/ITSEC conference in November, 2007. An abstract is available at http://digiplay.info/node/3143.)
Those means-based results reflect simple post-test numbers. Your organization’s performance measurements can provide even more meaningful metrics related directly to employees’ performance criteria and objectives. To discover the bang serious games give for your buck, start using them and measuring the performance results.
What do think? Please share your comments.
Serious Games = Serious Learning!™
For more information about Sealund’s Serious Games, please visit our website at www.sealund.com.