When speaking to our leads, we often hear the same painful problem from Training Managers: «Only 10% of our workforce completed the training they are supposed to take on the Learning Management System».
Then, they all pretty much have the same explanations: «The completion is low because the content is not engaging». Consequently, they are all coming to us, like a starving crowd, begging for a game-based learning platform that could fix their problem.
However, even if there are some game-based learning platforms out there, they remain tools. There is no «easy button», and a game-based learning platform is not a cure-all for boring content or bad learning design.
5 Ways To Use The Game-Based Learning Platform ITyStudio For Creating Engaging eLearning Games
Obviously, using a game-based learning platform can improve learners’ engagement, but only if you start with a strategy.
Actually, a game-based learning platform will increase your learners’ engagement, but it will also result into both higher retention and completion rates.
Although it is a matter of fact, today many companies are still struggling to correctly implement games that bring meaningful results.
Now, the question is: How to implement a game-based learning strategy that will actually work? In other words, a strategy where learners retain at higher levels? All in all, a strategy that drives measurable results?
Well, in this article, we are going to share with you some key points to keep in mind when setting up your strategy:
1. Know your audience.
When creating your simulation using a game-based learning platform, the very first question you have to ask yourself is: Who is my audience? or Who am I creating this training for? This step is crucial.
Too much training managers get this wrong. It’s quite logical: How can you create a relevant and impactful simulation without knowing who your learners are?
Once you understood your audience, it suddenly becomes way easier: You will speak their language, you will engage them, they will retain the information, and, last but not least, you will get results!
Practically speaking, the authoring tool ITyStudio makes this step easier.
Indeed, if your audience is composed by 50% of men and 50% of women, you can give your learners the choice, when starting their serious game, to choose whether their character is going to be a male or a female.
2. Make it relevant.
This stage is the harder, and this is where many game-based learning strategies fail.
Your success is highly linked with how well you completed the audience targeting stage.
As stated earlier, once you understood your audience, it becomes very easy to put in place relevant training content, in order to engage your learners and get results.
That being said, attendees usually want learning materials that are relevant to their job, daily situations and environments.
If the simulation enables them to acquire new skills or give them time to practice with material they will use often, then it’s worthwhile. Otherwise, learners will reject it.
You have to make your audience identify with your training. It may sound obvious but still, it’s true.
To illustrate my point, I have a question for you: Do you think that a sales person would care about a technical training in chemistry? Unless he has a hidden passion for the topic, the correct answer is definitely no.
When you setup irrelevant content in your training simulations, it’s exactly the same phenomenon: the learning material you are providing is out of topic.
The good news is, if you are looking for a friendly game-based learning platform, ITyStudio is the way to go. It has a lot of ready-made characters and environments available for you, whether it is in 2D or 3D.
The only thing you have to do is choosing the very best for your situation. And once you have your relevant content ready, it’s time to go live and make it happen.
3. Make learning the focus.
What is so cool about serious games is that it brings a lot of fun and interactivity into the training.
However, some people abuses it, and you have to be careful when adding stuff like sound, action, special effects… Sometimes, putting too much will overcomplicate the training, and worse, the learners are going to lose focus on your main objective: Skills improvement.
Overall, I’d say that you have to balance learning material (which is skills improvement oriented) with funny actions (which is fun and engagement oriented).
This is the way to go when using a game-based learning platform for your simulations.
Fortunately, ITyStudio provides you all the features needed in order to balance these two areas. From inserting attitudes, to videos and / or sounds within the simulations, you will be able to create a compelling training.
4. Choose the appropriate method.
When setting up your pedagogical strategy, you have several options, in order to give your learners the knowledge expected, as well as making them practice what they learned. Basically, there are three ways of sharing knowledge with your audience using a game-based learning platform, and all have pros and cons:
- Classroom training.
This kind of training is great because people actually meet, talk and exchange face to face. Nevertheless, the main con of this method is that it will cost you a lot of time and money. Think about it. Every single learner in your classroom isn’t working for the company. Thus, they are not producing any value during this amount of time. Moreover, there are a lot of additional costs, such as transports, lunches, hotels… The bottom line is that even though your attendees’ skills may increase, the return on investment usually isn’t that good.
- Blended learning.
Blended learning is all about mixing classroom training and distance learning. To illustrate this concept, here is an example: You can create a digital training around sales skills, targeting your sales force audience. So, during two weeks they could follow your training on their digital devices. However, by doing so, one key ingredient of a great training is missing: practice. To solve it, you can organize a classroom training session, in order to make sales sketches for instance. A game-based learning platform enables you to create digital training modules efficiently and easily, at the best costs. Thanks to its easy to use features and dynamism, ITyStudio is perfectly adapted to blended learning because its modules will instantly catch you attendee’s attention, adding interaction to the training and engagement from your audience.
5. Distance learning.
Finally, distance learning is the last way of sharing knowledge with your audience.
When doing so, you aim for a solid, engaging simulation training. The pros of this method are that it is kind of cheap compared to classroom training, and you can reach a broader audience in less time.
You can also have a greater impact on the long term learning process of your attendees, by providing them with quality content that they can review over and over again.
Even if there are a bunch of eLearning solutions out there, yet the best way of coming out with great pedagogical and skills results is to use a game-based learning platform.
This will enable you to gamify a little bit your modules, making it more dynamic and engaging for your learners.
Besides, by allowing attendees to interact with your simulation’s environments, they will get a more immersive experience, leading to better results as well as increased knowledge on the topic covering in your training.
You can smartly do that by using branch scenarios, allowing learners to have impact on the overall simulation’s behavior, thus crafting their own scenario.
You will find below some screenshots of this concept, powered by the game-based learning platform ITyStudio:
Measure The Outcomes
Once you have created your eLearning training module, powered with the game-based learning platform of your choice, the very last key factor to keep in mind is evaluation.
This very last step is crucial, because this enables to measure the pedagogical outcomes of your training. Even if it seems obvious, there are still so much training managers that get this wrong: You have to settle a purpose for your simulation.
Questions such as: “What are the main skills that I want my learners to improve on?”, “What are my learners’ weaknesses”, or “Which skills could be profitable for the company to have on board” are powerful statements that will be a good starting point in order to help you tighten and define your pedagogical approach.
When your goals are set, you now have to measure it. To drive measurable results, you have to know what you want the desired learning outcomes to be and have a way to access the data you need to measure those outcomes.
A game-based learning platform such as ITyStudio can perfectly fit that need of dedicated and sharp reporting on learners performance.
Now, It’s Time To Take Action: Create Your First Learning Simulation For free!
Hopefully, this article gave you an insight on how to create engaging eLearning games on your own, using the game-based learning platform ITyStudio as an example.
As you have seen, you will not get overwhelmed by all the technical stuff, as everything related to web design is already done for you, and the pedagogical structure can be easily laid out through right click and / or our drag and drop system.
The most beautiful part is the outcome: Learners do love interactivity, and you will be able to offer them plenty of it!
Moreover, you will see that your pedagogical results will be better as well!
Ready to go to the next level? Give it a try!