Gamification wasn’t hard to come by at the Learning Technologies exhibition this year. Everywhere you turned there was an exciting game that lured attendees to exhibitors’ stands. Different forms of gamification were on full display. Leo set up a train game simulation for attendees. Unicorn drew in crowds with their QuizCom product where attendees took the unicorn-themed quiz, with the hope of winning a fluffy unicorn (yes they do exist!). This provided Unicorn with over 500 leads.
Noticeably, Virtual Reality (VR) was a common thread amongst most exhibitors. Goodhabitz drew in crowds by showcasing a VR game, which was unrelated to their product offerings. However, most businesses offered VR related services.
When gamification is concerned, does new always equal better?
Gamification comes in all shapes and sizes. Businesses believe that users want these options to become smaller, cheaper and easily accessible.
The learning industry has made strides in creating apps that meet these requirements. However, no one seems to be interested in apps anymore. It’s all about using VR headsets to create scenarios that are customised to meet your organisation’s needs.
“Everybody wants the latest and greatest in learning but we simply cannot keep up with the demands from the business and from our employees,”– CLO Financial Services Company.
How useful is gamification?
Studies suggest that gamification encourages motivation, engagement and social learning amongst peers. Although the question still remains, are we choosing entertainment over relevant learning methods?
During one of the seminars, Matt Donovan explained that the question isn’t “…is gamification good or bad but is gamification going to give organisations the results they are looking for?”
There has been debate over the usefulness of VR in a learning organisation. Is it just an exciting new technology or does it provide essential learning skills that other methods simply cannot compete with? VR Learning Studio believes VR plays an important role as employees develop various soft skills. This can be seen in the customer service industry. Trivantis‘ newly released product emphasises its effectiveness on situational training and scenario-based roles, ie health and safety jobs. Siyona Tech maintains that because VR displays very realistic scenarios, users have a higher learning retention rate compared to traditional learning methods.
Businesses looking to invest in VR learning courses might hold back because of the giant price tag attached to this method of learning. You can expect to buy a VR package from £20,000 – £150,000 (excluding headsets). However, companies such as Virtual Training Suite are giving users a cheaper alternative. through the development of the CenarioVR (CVR) app, which can be downloaded on any smartphone. Users can connect their phone to a budget-friendly cardboard VR headset and have access to a variety of scenario-based learning modules. The cardboard headsets are significantly cheaper than normal VR headsets. Virtual Training Suite claims to be the most user-friendly app in the learning space, allowing you to build immersive training in hours not weeks. This process normally takes anywhere from 12 weeks to 6 months.
Immerse has also found a way to make VR more accessible for multi-users. By setting up learning hubs across the globe, employees in different parts of the world can benefit from using this form of learning which allows everyone to engage in the same scenario.
Virtual College believe Augment Reality (AR) will surpass VR in the coming years due to its accessibility and usability.
Conversely Unicorn believes the future of gamification is mobile learning as educational games become more popular on mobile. “China are also investing heavily in this area and are far ahead of the UK in applying gamification to drive set behaviour patterns across all age groups.”
Whether you think VR, AR or mobile will drive gamification further, what is clear is that the learning industry is set to grow in the years to come as businesses invest in technology that promotes inclusive and impactful learning.