5 Ways to Utilize E-Learning Games in Employee Training

In the ever-changing world of technology, the race to stay up to date is an exhausting feat. Modern learners are bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, push notifications, and all kinds of digital distractions throughout the day. Simplifying the training experience is pinnacle to both effective learning and knowledge retention. Integrating eLearning games into your training increases training interactions by 3x, improves knowledge from beginning to end by 64%, and boosts employee engagement (who doesn’t love a good competition?).

Gamification in Business

Gamification is a buzzword these days as one of the most popular learning styles for both learners and educators. Gamification is the application of game mechanics in non-gaming contexts, such as employee training, to increase engagement. Examples of game mechanics include badges, points, levels, and leaderboards. 

corporate university meister learning retention triangle data

Statistically speaking, people only retain about 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear/see. Corporate Universities author, Jeanne Meister, notes compelling evidence for incorporating gamification in business today:

“Interactive learning games can increase long-term retention rates by up to 10 times.”

5 eLearning Games

In a previous blog, we talked about some questions to consider before introducing games in training. The question isn’t if your organization should introduce games, but how. To understand how you can start utilizing eLearning games in employee training, consider the following.

1. Jeopardy!®

Documenting all of the ins and outs of company products, policies, and best practices could quickly fill a 50-page manual; thankfully, those are long gone! Use the traditional Jeopardy!® format to train employees and reinforce specific topics, relevant to various job descriptions. Assess both hard skills and soft skills with customizable categories to fit your company’s needs.

Jeopardy!® for training includes all of the same rules as the top-rated quiz show on TV with wagers, Double Jeopardy!®, Final Jeopardy!®, and “Daily Doubles.” For cybersecurity training, the categories might be “Passwords,” “Don’t Do This,” and “Crack The Code.” The possibilities are endless and employees will most likely be familiar with the game rules making adoption easy.

2. Recall

Everyone learns differently, so using a mix of training games supports a range of employee learning styles. Recall uses visual learning to test employees’ ability to memorize using videos and images. 

For instance, the game will display a picture, such as a work environment, without giving the player any hint as to what they need to remember. The player is then challenged to recall specific details about what they just saw during a series of questions testing memorization and retention.

3. Trivia

Not a good test taker? No problem. Trivia transforms the negative sentiments around assessments into an exciting, competitive game using points, timers, and leaderboards. Employees are more engaged when tests are gamified into trivia questions. 

Trivia helps learners make the right decisions, faster. Use Trivia to test product knowledge, terminology, encourage asymmetrical thinking (i.e. Think Outside™ the box) and improve retention.

4. Scenarios

Product knowledge and negotiations can be difficult to practice when there is no application for on-the-job instances. Virtual scenarios provide employees the opportunity to learn in a fail-safe setting before being in the “real world.” 

Scenarios are a great training type for customer service representatives, salespeople, and management. Gamified scenarios allow employees to step into the shoes of a virtual character and engage in different conversation paths to test soft skills. Realistic, contextual simulations also help to assess cause and effect decision making.

5. Scramble

New job, new everything. A new employee can feel like they just walked into a foreign country as they begin integrating into the workplace. Colleagues may seem to be speaking another language if new hires are not well prepared with training. Onboarding is an important process to effectively equip new hires, but it doesn’t have to be all mundane.

Scramble is a great resource for terminology and can be played in two ways: Word Scramble and Sentence Scramble. Sentences are either written with a word missing or laid out in a word bank where players are challenged to correctly reorganize them. Learners are tested on knowledge retention whether they are new or seasoned employees.

Game On

Gamified learning management systems (LMS) motivate learners to excel, progress, and achieve final outcomes with anticipation. Each game is easily tracked for robust reporting on an individual or team data. Identify knowledge gaps, improve retention, and empower employees with more effective training experiences. 

When gamification is implemented into eLearning, companies increase employee engagement by 60% and improve productivity by 50% (eLearning Learning). Who’s ready for a performance review now? At Unboxed Training & Technology, we offer a full list of customizable employee training games. Learn more about how to level up your training with eLearning games by watching our Beyond Gamification webinar!

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Take Your Training Beyond Gamification

As gamification has been an increasingly popular training technique to motivate modern learners over the past decade, we’re sure you’ve applied some of these practices to increase engagement and reinforce learning with your employees. But if you haven’t started using actual games in your training yet, you should look to this opportunity as a way to have an even greater impact on your learners.

The enemy of modern training is distraction, and games have been scientifically proven to heighten attention, sustain focus, and drive action. It’s time to go beyond gamification with your training.

You might be asking yourself, “Great, I’m sold on using games in training, but what are the best practices when implementing games into my training programs?” Answer: Games have the most significant effect on learner behavior when used to reinforce and sustain new learning.

This means it’s probably not the best idea to use games to introduce brand new product or compliance information. Here are some best practices questions to consider before jumping into games (pun intended):

  • What skills do you want your learners to gain?

Are you looking for your learners to be able to explain, infer, relate, solve, interpret, or recognize? The type of outcome you want will change which game you should choose.

  • What type of setting will the training take place?

Will your learners be taking a self-paced course where they’ll likely be competing against themselves or will this be used at a live training event with many people playing the game at once?

  • Do you want the game to be collaborative or competitive?

Each group of learners have different preferences. Your sales team might enjoy a competitive game more than a collaborative game, but you need to know your learners and what motivates them.

  • What type of performance objectives are you looking for?

Similar but slightly different than the skills question, when your learners finish their training, what part of their performance should improve? Strategic thinking, knowledge acquisition, or increase in comprehension?

Data has shown that through games, learner engagement increases from a few minutes to an average of 10 minutes of practice. Additionally, through repetition, we’ve seen a knowledge lift of 63% by the third encounter with the reinforcement material.

We’re Game

Before you start asking around the office for a coder, we can help! Unboxed can now create a variety of games for your team. Check out our games page for more information.

 

Game Description When to Use
Jeopardy Traditional Jeopardy format Assess and reinforce hard skills and soft skills
Jump Mobile-style arcade game Memorization of key info turned fun and competitive
Trivia Complete with points, streaks, and leaderboards Transform traditional assessments
Match Mobile-style match-3 game Memorization of key info turned fun and competitive
Scramble Reorder scrambled sentences Test terminology retention
Scenarios Realistic contextual simulations Assess cause and effect decision making
Sort-It Sort answers into correct categories Practice strategic thinking skills
Recall Recall info from a video or image Encourage visual learning and memorization

 

Need more?

Listen to a recording of our webinar, “Beyond Gamification: 3 Secrets on How To Level Up Your Training With Games.”

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3 Secrets on How to Level Up Your Training with Games

Gamification has become an increasingly popular technique to motivate and engage modern learners over the past few years. But gamification can only motivate a learner but so far. Join us to find out what 3 secrets you can apply to experience growth on learner attention, engagement, and knowledge retention.

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State of the Modern Learner

Welcome to 2019 – a time when people expect to be entertained. Why should their training be any different? Think about it, according to The Game Agency, on average we consume nearly 11 hours of media each day and shift our attention between our smartphones, tablets, and computers 21 times every hour. With that in mind, it makes sense that your training should grab your learners’ attention quickly, hold it long enough to make an impact, and above all else, be so entertaining that they want and enjoy it – even with seemingly infinite media options at their fingertips.

Distracted… but Want to Learn

Who are these modern learners that are overwhelmed with entertainment choices all throughout the day? They’re consuming information in shorter, more personalized, more engaging ways. When seeking new information, they’re likely to Google something or check out a video on YouTube, but that’s typically done with the intention of using that information right away. What if the knowledge needs to be retained for an extended period of time? Consider, 50% of information is forgotten within one hour without some type of reinforcement training.

 

State of the Modern Learner graph

They also have short attention spans, crave instant gratification, and are distracted – but not too distracted to want to learn. According to Learnkit, 53% of employees feel they could do their job better if they had better training and per Intercall 47% want the freedom to complete that training at their own pace. It follows that in order for training to make sense for the naturally distracted lifestyle of the modern learner, it has to be:

  • High quality
  • Efficient
  • Personalized
  • Available on demand

Competing for Attention

So, when it seems everyone is fighting for the modern learner’s attention, how do we train? With so much time already spent looking at screens, what if you could reach your learners through any and all of their devices? Better yet, what if you could use those devices to teach them while simultaneously entertaining and delighting them? Good news: you can – and you should.

Fun and Games!

For the greatest impact, ensure that your training includes gamification and games that:

  • Transmit information simply
  • Grab your learner’s attention
  • Keeps them engaged
  • And perhaps above all else, helps them reinforce and retain what they’ve learned

Games not only provide an engaging learning experience that can change behaviors and improves comprehension, but thanks to the fun they provide, learners often want to continue learning and thereby reinforce their training.

Secondly, games provide a competitive element that drives action, sustains focus, and heightens attention. Consider these statistics:

  • The average learner will play a game three times during training.
  • On average, they will experience a 64% increase in knowledge from the beginning to the end of a game.
  • Each gameplay session lasts an average of six minutes.

Lastly, training with games provides you with robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Each game can be used to collect player data to help you identify knowledge gaps – thereby enabling you to rework training content to maximize effectiveness.

In short

Modern learners have minimal time to devote to training. They’re working from several locations and expect to access information on-demand. Luckily for them, games are a form of micro-learning that provide quick, compelling training that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This form of training is ideal for the modern learner’s short attention span as the information taught is bite-sized and easy-to-digest. And when people are entertained, they focus and retain information more easily.

Additionally, if an experience is enjoyable, people naturally return for more. Training so good that it compels a return visit increases the odds of retention (and the amount of information that can be retained) – and that’s exactly what the distracted, modern learner needs in 2019.

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Galileo Maintains Renowned Culture While Moving Training from In-Person to Online with Spoke®

Since 2002, Galileo relied on a two-day, in-person training session to prep their counselors for the coming camp season. But as their team grew to 2,000 plus members, so did the tactical challenges. After trying another industry-leading LMS, Galileo realized they needed a partner who also practiced and supported innovation to support their dynamic learning and teaching environment.


Backstory

Galileo logoGalileo Learning is a summer day-camp provider that offers children pre-K through 8th-grade confidence-building challenges and one-of-a-kind summer fun at over 70 locations in the Bay area, SoCal, and Chicagoland. Their mission: to develop innovators who envision and create a better world.

The curriculum is hands-on, iterative, and designed to reinforce the mindset, knowledge, and process needed to innovate in the modern world. In pre-K, campers may build a functional catapult or design their own space vehicle, all with simple materials. By 8th grade, they may program their own video game, design a fashion line, or build something entirely of their own invention.

“Something powerful happens at Galileo that doesn’t happen at other camps. Kids have fun, but they’re also encouraged to explore and fail without fear, which is the essence of innovation,” says Tom Bowen, Galileo’s Director of Professional Development & Training and Director of Technology.

Opportunity

Only the most talented instructors, counselors, and interns are trained to facilitate Galileo’s innovation approach. Since 2002, they had relied on an all-hands in-person training model of up to 2-days to impart new methodologies and curriculum, exchange experiences and ideas, and strengthen the vision and relationships that facilitate their mission.

Galileo Spoke News Post

The yearly meeting was enjoyed and cherished, especially by returning staff, but as Galileo grew to over 2,000 counselors, so did the tactical challenges. Aside from the time and travel costs, the lectures and break-out sessions had so many attendees that it was difficult to ensure that each trainee’s learning objectives were being met. And, while memories of conference camaraderie lingered, once camp was in session, there was no easy way to revisit key points and best practices covered in training.

“We needed a modern solution that could help us move our training from in-person to online without losing the incredible culture we’re known for. We also needed a way for counselors to access role-based content and answers to their questions on demand. We were concerned a traditional learning management system couldn’t deliver what we needed. I guess we wanted the best of both worlds: the convenience of an online community and an immersive cultural experience – a tall order, ” Tom explained.

“We needed a modern solution that could help us move our training from in-person to online without losing the incredible culture we’re known for. We were concerned a traditional learning management system couldn’t deliver what we needed.

After trying another industry-leading LMS, Galileo soon realized they needed more than “bells and whistles” to support their dynamic learning and teaching environment. They needed a partner who also practiced and supported innovation.

Partnership

Wiser and more determined than ever, Galileo connected with the Unboxed team and soon became convinced that Spoke, Unboxed’s collaborative and social learning management system, met their criteria.

Members of Unboxed’s Spoke team met with the Galileo team to identify and prioritize their goals – and to address obstacles to adoption. For example, the returning group of counselors was a little anxious about losing the connections they made at the annual conference. It was a powerful bonding experience that they were hesitant to give up for an online application.

The Unboxed and Galileo teams partnered together to work towards the solution: relevant content and connections could be developed and accessed on Spoke Community; while the more interactive and improvisational training exercises would be held in-person at each location’s discretion.

Galileo Spoke Training

And to “hook” the skeptics who were missing the action and excitement of the annual get-together, Unboxed recommended tapping into Spoke’s gamification features like Spoke coins, badges, levels, and a competitive leaderboard to spark competition and keep learners motivated.

“It was the perfect solution. And even though we bombarded the Unboxed team with new information and questions as we learned more about Spoke’s capabilities, they were always patient, professional, and as excited as we were. I soon discovered that was typical of the “white glove” service Unboxed delivered.”

“[Spoke] was the perfect solution. And even though we bombarded the Unboxed team with new information and questions as we learned more about Spoke’s capabilities, they were always patient, professional, and as excited as we were. I soon discovered that was typical of the “white glove” service Unboxed delivered.”

Solution

Galileo realized that making gamification the launching pad for Spoke was a stroke of genius. Plus, Spoke’s simple and modern user interface made it easy to navigate and explore all the content, news, eLearning, videos, classroom training, job aids, etc.—all in one place.

Galileo Spoke Devices Lockup

But the real magic happened in the Spoke Community. For the first time, it was easy to connect with and learn from one’s peers, from SoCal to Chicagoland. Now, if a new instructor wanted her kids to build a go-cart and had no idea how to design the steering column, she could simply search or ask for help on Spoke and advice would come in from across the Galileo ecosphere.

Spoke not only facilitated the exchange of knowledge, it created friendships and strengthened the culture. Soon Spoke was no longer viewed as a “second-best” substitute for in-person training, but rather an enhancement and extension that could grow and change with the culture.

Results

For Galileo, it was always important to measure counselor acculturation and training progress, so they appreciated Spoke’s ability to provide metrics and insights into areas like course performance, social participation, and counselor engagement.

Galileo Spoke Dashboard

The benefits of Spoke were almost immediate. Everyone loved the gamification and social elements, and that provided the “gateway” to more logins, higher engagement and, eventually, more training completed.

“We were super excited when Spoke revealed a 15-20% increase in new staff engagement. And while Spoke was busiest before camp started, with staffers completing on average 54 courses each, counselors continued to log in and benefit from Spoke during camp sessions (8.6 per user on average).”

“Honestly, we couldn’t imagine working with a better partner than Unboxed. The entire team consistently has our back. We have a partnership where we have the opportunity to influence the product, and that feels really good as a customer.”

“Honestly, we couldn’t imagine working with a better partner than Unboxed. The entire team consistently has our back. We have a partnership where we have the opportunity to influence the product, and that feels really good as a customer.”

Learn more about Spoke and Galileo Learning.

 

Spoke Wins Two 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards

We’re thrilled to announce Spoke, our next-generation social LMS, won two highly-coveted 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards in Technology, including:

  • Gold for Best Advance in Rewards and Recognition Technology, and
  • Bronze for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology.

Brandon Hall awards

The awards recognize two innovative features we added to Spoke in 2017 – Spoke News and Spoke Rewards.

Enterprise organizations using Spoke have measured a 5X increase in training completion and a 2.5X increase in non-required activity since introducing these two new features.

Spoke News

Spoke News helps training leaders improve the execution of training initiatives by using targeted and engaging news articles, notifications, and email newsletters to announce new training content, share company updates, and keep their teams in the know.

Spoke-new-homepage

Spoke Rewards

Spoke Rewards allows employees to earn and redeem Spoke Coins for real-world rewards for completing their assigned training.

Brian Leach“We’re thrilled to add these awards to our growing trophy case,” said Brian Leach, Unboxed’s CEO. “Brandon Hall has long been viewed as the industry experts when it comes to researching the human capital management space, and it’s exciting to receive their recognition for the success our clients are experiencing using our innovative training and technology.”

“Brandon Hall has long been viewed as the industry experts when it comes to researching the human capital management space, and it’s exciting to receive their recognition for the success our clients are experiencing using our innovative training and technology.”

“Human capital management is evolving faster than at any time in its history, and it is powered by innovative technology developed and implemented by organizations big and small,” said Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. “The technology innovators who won Excellence Awards this year were focused on providing users with a better overall experience. That is what our research says employers want, and our award winners are leading the way.”

Mike Cooke, Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group, said, “Our technology award winners are truly outstanding and set a high bar for others. We have learned a great deal from what they have accomplished. The awards programs supplement our quantitative research in providing our team with unique insights to share with our members and clients.”

A panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, and Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executives evaluated award entries based upon the following criteria:

  • Product: What was the product’s breakthrough innovation?
  • Unique differentiators: What makes the product unique and how does it differ from any competing products?
  • Value proposition: What problem does the product solve and/or what need does this product address?
  • Measurable results: What are the benefits customers can expect to experience as a result of using this product?

Meet Spoke

Want to get a personal tour of Spoke News, Spoke Rewards, and everything else that makes Spoke a next-generation LMS, reach out!

About Brandon Hall Group, Inc.

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 25 years of delivering world class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is the most well-known and established research organization in the performance improvement industry. We conduct research that drives performance, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results.

Brandon Hall Group has an extensive repository of thought leadership, research and expertise in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Human Resources. At the core of our offerings is a Membership Program that Empowers Excellence Through Content, Collaboration and Community. Our members have access to research that helps them make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, combined with research-powered advisory services customized to their needs.