“I need to harvest, mine and trade resources to ensure the survival of the human race. The Earth is going to turn into a ball of methane after 365 days,” said one of the participants excitedly during the masterclass facilitated by the CEO and Chief Game Designer of Memcorp Immersive Learning - Mohsin Memon and his team. The participating teams initially struggled to survive in the assigned unexplored terrain. However, they gradually looped into hard hitting learning along with their teams through an experiential simulation process and then finally completed their assigned task with a cheerful applause.
Such powerful and stimulating game techniques are changing the world of learning. With a focus on the outside VUCA world, this experience of immersive learning that the participants derived was something worth remembering. Alternatively, it fostered a team spirit with people whom they never knew earlier and also collaboratively supporting each other to navigate through their uncertainties in search of the right direction. It was indeed a dynamic and interesting session that helped the participants to actually apply immersive learning experience with Memcorp’s cutting-edge immersive learning games.
In recent times, game-based learning and the use of simulations are giving the opportunity for learners to help identify their existing skill sets, use games to rehearse the needed skills, explore open-ended spaces, learn in groups and to develop higher cognitive skills. It is exploratory in nature and therefore relies upon experiential and problem-based learning approaches. The process allows learners to formulate responses and rehearse activities within a controllable environment. During the activity it allows learners to build confidence and self-esteem, permitting learners to explore environments freely.
With Immersive technology being adopted by L&D specialists; the learners are all set to see themselves as they naturally react to a similar situation in the real workplace. The attempt to emulate a physical world through the means of a digital or simulated space creates a sense of immersion that is being much appreciated in the industry. Some of the key factors that are being seen impacting learners’ motivation are - a player sense of challenge, game realism, learner control and opportunities to explore more.
However, immersive learning tools need to be well researched, executed and tested in collaboration with domain experts and gaming veterans. By working closely with experienced learning experts, the design team in Memcorp comes from Applied Behavior Science background with specialized coaching certifications from renowned global Universities. They believe that in order to make a game immersive, the core areas that they focus on are:
The learning outcome requires to be mapped in context to real life scenario. Making it contextual will enable learners to consciously articulate knowledge that might otherwise remain tacit.
Weaving all the elements of the pedagogy for the fitness of purpose of an effective game-based learning with mixed media environments is critical and makes it composite.
Give learners or the players a second chance to repeat the experience with a higher difficulty level so that they can do it better from their initial learning stage.
Provide opportunities for reflection upon learning. Plan for pre and post reflection methods. That’s imperative!
Memcorp’s extended immersive learning intervention themed around ‘Evolve’ transforms e-learning into a fun game-based learning system with interactive content, timely quizzes, and regular progress reports. This transforms a typical classroom training into an immersive learning environment where participants learn by trying, failing and adjusting. The gamified learning modules bridges the ‘learning-doing gap’ that results in improved efficiency, productivity and better cash flows. They also have introduced a feedback loop into learning activities to ensure that game-based learning remains relevant and effective during real learning practice.
In particular, the participatory technologies associated with immersive learning are bringing a shift on how learning frameworks are being planned in companies. The process of learning is undergoing changes with the increased adoption of such gaming platforms that are being designed and developed keeping today’s tech-savvy generation in mind. While these new developments are interesting and may have greater implications upon learning in the future, it is also important to ensure that these are well tested before using them with learners.
The alignment between learning objective, game activities and assessment is critical because such immersive learning technology can change not just what is learned but also significantly how we learn. Hence, L&D specialists must be vigilant while mapping their implementation model. Hopeful to clearly experience the substantial potential that immersive learning with games and simulations are going to bring in recent times in the world of learning.
The article is based on the topic ‘Using games to create immersive learning experiences’ at People Matters TechHR 2019.