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There is much yet to be discovered about how the human brain works. What is already known is that many factors can influence the way that people learn, take in, process, and comprehend information. Advances in educational practices occur as more and more about the brain’s capacity to learn comes to light.
Elearning solutions have come to the forefront of education and the benefits are numerous. Learners are more engaged, retain more information, and are better able to synthesize and recall what they’ve have learned, when it’s time to utilize it in a real-life scenario.
A study was conducted to examine the effects of game play on attitudes and behaviors. This information can be utilized to create new and innovative game-based learning experiences.
The study was performed by Stanford University in conjunction with HopeLab. While the subjects studied were cancer patients, the results have universal implications, including the realm of elearning solutions.
The study involved subjects playing a game in which they controlled a microscopic robot traveling through the body of fictional cancer patients, killing cancer cells, and fighting the side-effects of cancer and treatments. Some subjects were given the role of playing the game, while others were in a more passive position, and just watched the game being played with no actual participation in the game. During the process, MRI tests were conducted on the subjects.
The data that was gathered from this study showed that the neural circuits associated with reward were activated while the subjects were playing the game, but not while they were resting. There was no stimulation shown in the brain of the subjects who were simply watching the game being played.
What this means is that the process of playing a positive game had an effect on the attitudes of the players.
Brian Knutson, Ph. D. is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Stanford University and was involved in the study. His words sum up what the results of the study mean for the future of elearning. He said, “Identifying a direct connection between the stimulation of neural circuits and game play is a key step in unlocking the potential for game-based tools to inspire positive behavior.” Game-based learning has an actual, measurable effect on the brain that is displayed in attitudes and behaviors.
This data solidifies the validity of simulations, serious games, and gamification’s use in the capacity of corporate training. The use of these technologies taps into higher levels of thinking that are left unreached when an employee is passively listening to a lecture, watching a video, or reading a manual.
The interaction with the content changes everything. Elearning solutions are paving the way for more comprehensive understanding of employees’ roles within their companies. They are better prepared to face the challenges of their jobs and can approach interactions with peers and clients in a confident manner.