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Since the beginning of time, humans have been using failure as a tool to learn. It only takes one time touching a hot stove to remind someone to use caution the next time. The same can be said for education. Mistakes can and should be used as building blocks to a better understanding.
Elearning solutions are particularly valuable in this way, especially for the training of employees in a corporate setting. Failures and missteps are analyzed by the learner, increasing the chances that they will try again with a different outcome.
Some mistakes are more costly than others. There are some failures that can’t be recovered from quickly and easily. This is one of the main reasons that elearning solutions are so successful and make so much sense.
Take a look at some of the ways game-based learning allows a user to make mistakes without real-world consequences:
The ability to change course after receiving swift feedback. In a game, learners perform an action and immediately receive feedback that they can use to inform their next choice. They may be free to move on to the next task or they may need to try a different tactic before leveling up. Either way, they have the time and freedom to experiment after receiving feedback.
Games provide a risk-free environment. The reason that pilots learn to fly on simulators is the lack of life-endangering risk. Failure to control their virtual aircraft has no adverse effect on real life. While most jobs don’t carry risks that are that dire, the same philosophy holds true. For example, John is given a task in a game that requires him to handle a scenario in which a customer is disgruntled about a damaged product she received. John is free to experiment with different approaches to the situation, all without the risk of losing an actual customer.
Allows for learning from peers. Learning from one’s own mistakes is infinitely valuable. Learning from the mistakes of others is also very important. Being able to work cooperatively can open up different angles that one may not have considered on their own. Peers can also offer insight and encouragement, both of which keep a player motivated.
Games offer adaptability. As a player’s skill increases, so does the difficulty of the game. If a game doesn’t adjust to the player’s level, they soon grow bored because it has become too easy or frustrated because it’s too difficult. A game should be difficult enough that the learner still makes some mistakes along the way. This is how they get the most benefit from the exercise.
The reward factor. Overcoming mistakes and failures by changing course and pressing on is made worth it by the reward. The learner needs motivation to keep trying and a “prize” of some sort at the end provides that necessary push.
Elearning solutions support comprehensive learning by allowing a player to experiment, observe and interact with their peers, and take risks without the fear of real-life consequences. Employees have great freedom in learning to do their jobs by virtual trial and error. This type of learning creates greater employee retention and better trained employees.
Contact Designing Digitally, Inc. to learn how they can help your organization to develop customized elearning solutions to improve employee productivity, enhance employee satisfaction, and increase profitability.