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How to engage learners: 3 lessons from Google Doodles

Posted on: January 17, 2014Updated on: June 20, 2023By: Axonify Team

I know you’ve seen, played or in some way engaged with a Google Doodle before. If you fall into the 55.8% of the world that uses Chrome as your default browser, then the odds are a Google Doodle is the first thing you see when you decide to browse the web. What lessons can Google Doodles teach us about how to engage learners? Here are three to think about:

Google Doodle from June 21, 2013 – To celebrate the first day of summer

Google Doodle from June 21, 2013 – To celebrate the first day of summer

1. Keep learning short and simple

The beauty of a Doodle is that it hardly needs much explanation. If you are confused about the purpose of the Doodle the answer lies at the click of a button (just click on the Doodle and the first result will explain the purpose of the Doodle). The entire interaction with a Doodle can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and the beauty of it all is that you can actually learn something from them. Even the Doodle games are extremely simple, yet challenging enough to engage a user multiple times. I cannot think of a single Doodle game that I’ve only played once. Speaking of games …

how to engage learners with games

A game for Google’s 15th birthday – warning clicking on the image could mean endless fun.

2. Make learning fun and interactive

As we learned on our gamification webinar with Karl Kapp, a user is the most engaged when they are challenged by a game. What this means is that a user can be playing a game and losing but if it’s challenging enough, that user will still remain engaged. The beauty of many Google Doodle games (including the one featured above) is that there really is no winning or losing, there is a score and many times you just play to try and better your previous score. When combined with how simple the games are, this makes Google Doodles highly interactive. Have you tried utilizing gamification as a way to make learning more engaging?

How to engage learners with social elements

A Doodle to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Flintstones.

3. Embrace the fact that learning is social

Chances are, if you’re played a Doodle game before you haven’t played it alone. You very likely shared the game with your colleagues and held a mini-competition to see who could get the highest score. Learning is this social. No longer are employees learning in isolation, they are learning through a variety of social-centric means such as internal messaging systems and social media platforms. If learning is this social, what are you doing to support it?

If you’re looking to have a little fun right now, explore Google’s entire library of Doodles.

Axonify Team

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