On Thursday August 20th, our CEO Carol Leaman was the featured guest on a T&D Magazine webinar: Boosting Basic Skills Training With Gamification. In case you missed it, you can view the slides and get the T&D Magazine article (which the webinar is based on) here: axonify.com/basicskills. If you are a member of ATD, you can view the recording here.
Here are our big three takeaways from the webinar:
1. Boring can be dangerous
At the beginning of the webinar, Carol talked about some of the perceptions of basic training (see the slide below). One of the most dangerous perceptions is that basic training can be boring. We’ve written before about the cost of disengagement and boring training contributes directly to that cost. When material is not engaging, there is a lack of learning transfer and a dangerous false confidence that employees might develop because they believe they know the basics already.
Even at the very basic level, there are going to be knowledge gaps that exist and in order to reduce the cost of disengagement, organizations must uncover and close these gaps.
2. Pick your gamification elements appropriately
There are many different elements that make up a gamified learning experience. It might be easy to add challenges or rewards to your learning, but take a step back and think of your strategic objectives before diving head first into gamification. When it comes to basic skills training, is your goal to improve/change … attitudes/values/beliefs? … psychomotor skills? … cognitive tasks? Each of these different goals can have its own element of gamification to help support it. Take a look at the list below (slide taken from the webinar deck):
As a simple example, when trying to improve cognitive skills … perhaps the freedom to fail is the most important element. Better to fail in a safe learning environment rather than in front of a potential customer. The same could be said for psychomotor skills, better to get an answer wrong on a quiz, rather than use a ladder in an unsafe way. Which elements make sense for your goals?
3. Make the basics fun
When you’re having fun, your brain becomes more receptive to any content that’s coming your way. In a learning environment, this translates to a greater amount of learning transfer and not to mention, a much deeper level of engagement. As you can see in the pyramid below, basic skills lay the foundation for more intricate skills and as such, making sure that the basics stick is extremely important.
Did you get a chance to watch the webinar or read the T&D article yet? We’d love to get your thoughts on either and please share any additional takeaways you might have.
Written by Shum Attygalle