There’s no question about it: technology has opened up worlds of possibilities.
No longer are we tiptoeing past the novelty of advanced systems, but we are moving straight into streamlining its application across all areas of study. Whether studying for the GMAT exam to get into business school or a company training program to improve your work productivity, efficient e-learning is vital. However, with the vast amount of content shared through the internet and technology, key strategies have come forward to enhance digital learning processes made through technological operations. In fact, two that have earned their well-deserved credit for their benefits in e-learning are microlearning and gamification.
As its name implies, microlearning is the process of focusing specifically on ‘small’ pieces of content with positive reinforcement to raise retention rate and effectiveness from its learners. By dividing and reducing the scope of large information into distinct smaller parts, learners are able to process material faster and better.
Gamification is the process of utilizing game aspects into an activity. History has shown some bad rep with games on productivity. However, it can challenge individuals through positive reinforcement while testing for their understanding of the learning.
Taking these two different strategies and applying them to corporate training ensues overall company efficiency. Specifically, gamification and microlearning applied to digital learning for comporate training has shown significant advances. New discourse dictates that the synergy of these two processes can improve training in the corporate world through developments in e-learning processes.
What Efficiency Requires: A+B = A+B+C…
The idea of being efficient means maximizing outcomes within a set framework. This framework could range from physical resources such as raw materials to opportunity cost factors such as time.
Microlearning and gamification have been well introduced according to its positive return on learning processes. When looking at the sum of each concept’s part, the complementary nature of their parts provides perfect cause for their harmony.
This is because the two processes target essentially the same issues.
What does this mean?
The issue of short attention spans and poor productivity are common goals that are settled in different ways by each process. Within a company, these processes prove to be beneficial in training employees of all levels. As short attention spans and poor productivity are two critical limitations in company productivity, the goal of gamification and microlearning in digital learning applied to corporate training helps resolve these issues.
The Story of John and Kate
To show these two processes, we’ll look at how they would come together in a typical company.
Take two employees, John and Kate.
John is an employee who is good at his work. He has worked with the company for five years under the same management. He knows the ins and outs of the business more than most veterans. That’s why he finds trouble thinking of work training as a truly necessary process for someone like him. Sure, the company changes things a bit every year but they’re never ‘make it or break it’ type changes. So he secretly completes the training lessons as fast as he can, not really paying as much attention as he should.
On the other hand, Kate is new at her job. She’s still learning the ropes and the microlearning activities help her with some information, but not all. She would like more information about her work without looking like she’s inadept, but she just doesn’t have the time to spend all her time looking through everything.
If both John and Kate are employees at the same company, their problems are essentially the same. Their short attention span, for whatever reason, hinder their learning and thus overall company productivity is affected by their lack of understanding.
Synergy through Gamification and Microlearning
Gamification and microlearning are flexible enough to be incorporated together. The basic idea would be taking microlearning lessons and adding gamification elements to force an activity on the learner that is motivated through positive reinforcement.
In the field of digital learning, this motivation is especially important. It’s completely too easy for a company worker to get distracted or unmotivated for a job training online.
- For workers like John, microlearning wouldn’t give him the challenge to learn the new information from companywide training. His sense of comfort and familiarity at the job overwhelms any need to become more knowledgeable about his work. As it is a companywide training, information he is aware of is ever present in any training session.
- For workers like Kate, the current system doesn’t provide her with what she needs as a fairly new employee.
The virtual aspect of elearning/digital learning makes it difficult for companies to identify these problems until it’s too late. Both Kate and John could see easily conduct an online learning session for the company by simply ‘clicking’ through the session. The fact that no one is watching them and the fact that they aren’t being tested for their digital learning makes it easy for workers to bypass information simply to go through the action to just finish the corporate training.
- Time previously wasted is utilized.
- Engagement levels go up – for everyone.
- Employee knowledge rises.
- Completion rates reflect actual learning progress.
- Area of training broadens without making it tedious for veteran workers.
- Levelized learning motivates workers
By implementing gamification with levels and challenges, microlearning lessons can be specifically tailored to the employee’s position or knowledge.
Game levels would act as the lesson markers where veteran workers can stream through common learning and go up in their level while newer employees can work their way up through the common levels. A leaderboard brings competition for more knowledge. As with microlearning, any of these activities could be done stress free in short periods according to the needs and desires of the worker. It can in the future increase company productivity as incorporation of new ideas becomes easier.
The short, quick nature of microlearning in combination with the attention grabbing, testable aspect of gamification increases study efficiency as the whole process not only remains quick and focused but also specifically formulated for workers’ needs to increase productivity overall. Meanwhile, all information of the microlearning lessons can be reviewed or tested through gamification.
Going back to John and Kate’s situation, microlearning with gamification increases retention of concepts for both a veteran John and inexperienced Kate due to the content specific nature of the process. Company workers obtain higher morale and satisfaction through the synergy effect of these two ideas. No longer will the digital aspect of corporate training become a problem. Rather, it could be utilized for optimal output. Changes are no longer something to be worried about as they can easily be incorporated through a higher level of gamification.
Incorporation of gamification and microlearning in companywide digital training will ultimately increase effectiveness in their training programs and efficiency in how that training is facilitated. This will in turn bring positive results straight to the company.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Thankfully, you can have two different cakes and instead eat both.
Gamification and Microlearning are your two cakes. Taking the best parts of both ideas creates the ultimate solution to possible company issues. While gamification provides for the ‘appealing’ factor in digital learning that microlearning lacks, microlearning’s helps workers perform/remember their training to a greater extent in gamification through its ‘one focus study’ method.
Needless to say, efficiency and effectiveness are two values many stand by. Even in a non-business environment, the synergy of these two ideas would help increase study efficiency.