Using Games in Adult Learning

Designing Digitally


Learning games for adults

If you think games are for kids and can be used only in K12 learning, then think again. The truth is that games are played by people from all demographics, irrespective of age. With the explosion in the ownership of mobile devices, the technology hurdles are low too. Actually, games use features that are considered effective pedagogy, like scaffolding, task-based learning, learning from failure, and so on.

When compared to traditional learning, game-based learning boosts:

  • Conceptual knowledge by 11%.
  • Learning retention by 90%.

Why use games for adult learning?

#1: Games boost engagement and motivation.

Learning is not the most exciting thing your employees have at their disposal. No matter how relevant the content is, it is not something that your employees have as a priority. Adding a gaming element goes a long way to boost their engagement and motivation. The more engaged they are, the better they will retain the information. With more motivation, they will not treat the learning module as something they need to complete. Instead, they will look forward to taking it.

#2: Games put skills to practice.

In the traditional learning format, your learners are provided theoretical knowledge of a topic. They either read through it or watch a video or listen to a podcast. But, unless they apply their knowledge, they cannot retain their knowledge for long. Games allow your learners to have hands-on practice while learning. This goes a long way in minimizing their forgetting curve. They are given the opportunity to practice each concept they learn and apply their newly-acquired skill to real-life scenarios.

#3: Games provide immediate feedback.

Most game-based learning provides instant feedback to learners through dashboards and personalized feedback. Thus, the learners know exactly what they are doing wrong. They can rectify their mistakes and ensure that any wrong behavior is erased from memory.

#4: Games encourage emotional and social connect.

A well-crafted adult learning game will have characters and a storyline that the target audience can empathize with. When your learners associate themselves with the protagonist, they will be willing to go the extra mile to help him or her overcome obstacles weaved into the storyline. They become emotionally invested in the course. Leaderboards bring about a dose of healthy competition amongst the employees. Each one strives to top the board. There are courses that require learners to collaborate and solve a problem. These activities connect and bond peers.

#5: Games hone problem-solving skills.

A well-designed game includes a challenge that the learner needs to resolve. The activities eventually tie into the subject matter and provide the learners with the information and knowledge that they need to overcome the challenges. If they make a wrong move, they will be penalized immediately. If they take the right decisions, they get awarded. As a result, the learners get an opportunity to brush up their problem-solving and lateral-thinking skills. These skills boost their productivity and help them resolve issues in their job role.

Game-based learning applies game mechanics to non-gaming context. It presents the regular content in an exciting manner. This makes learning more appealing and enhances productivity. It also aids recall and retention of information.

There are some challenges in implementing games. But there is substantial research that shows how a well-designed game-based learning module can make a positive impact on learners. A survey from TalentLMS shows that almost 79% of learners believe that they will be more motivated to take a course if it was game-like. So, it’s time to give game-based learning its due and embrace it, instead of treating it as a distraction.

At Designing Digitally, Inc. we develop engaging, entertaining, and educational custom game-based learning experiences that are used to train employees and customers alike. Each learning module is built with specific game mechanics that are aligned with your learning objectives. Our aim is to help learners retain information while having fun.

To learn more about adding games into your training strategy, book a free consultation with our team today.

Related Resource: Game-Based Learning is a Game Changer in Corporate Training White Paper