ERG SES E 13, Gamification and Education
This research study aimed to explore various aspects of game-based learning and learning with five senses for adults in business. One of the best ways to effectively learn is to feel, share, and have fun because using games and having fun tools increase motivational levels and learning curve (Mitchell, & Savill-Smith, 2004). Gamification in learning provides interactive communication (Schwartzman, 1997). Learning is a process of understanding, feeling, and using knowledge. It is a kind of discovery rather than memorizing information. It provides exploring higher-level cognition (de Freitas, & Levene, 2004), and learning occurs best when used with an inspiration.
Game-based educational learning can be applied with adults or students. When the aim of the learning is to use the knowledge in real life and turn the information into behavior, there should be a reason for the learner to get the information. If a learner has reason to listen and have fun, we may observe how game-based learning affects the learning. Game’s focus is not solely entertainment. Its focus is both entertainment and learning in an effective way and to lock that knowledge.
Research who study games in learning showed that motivational part of the games in learning was used for student engagement (Dickey, 2005). However, there is a scarcity of research in integrating games into adults learning. Therefore, this study focused on the importance of gaming and its effects on adult learners.
Gaming is a historical activity and it is a part of the sense of humor that goes back to 3500 BC (Bartfay & Bartfay, 1994). Game-based learning and using senses are for all ages and having fun triggers learning. According to Jungman (1991), the results and behaviors become positive and motivational when game-based learning is used.
As the National Training Laboratories showed ‘Learning Pyramid,’ to retain the information for all ages, interactive learning is very important. It is noteworthy to mention some information-retention rates according to different learning methods (Jonassen, 2005): a) Teaching others/share information, %90, b) practicing by doing, %75, c) seeing a demonstration, %30, and d) getting a lecture, %5.
This research study aimed to find answers to the following questions:
- What are the effects of designing games in adults learning?
- How can different types of methods be designed for the trainings in business?
The design of this research study is a qualitative case study. Case study has a contribution on theory and practice experience and experiential learning (Britton, 1983). The case, in this study; is the trainer and learners of a ‘Sales Team.’ Learners are Perfume & Cosmetic Sales Team from Travel Retail Duty Free company in Istanbul International Airport which is one of the busiest airports. The aim is to learn by playing, and to internalize the knowledge to boost up the sales numbers. Special games for adult learning was designed for Sales Team. Number of the Sales Team is sixty people. The duration of the workshops that included gaming was 12 hours in total. The aim was to learn about a new product; teach other about the product; sell the product; and have fun. First of all, trainer selects a product. The aim of the trainer is to teach the product information with a game. To make sure for the learning, she uses stickers during workshops: Red apple sticker shows that learner has learned. And learner puts him/herself second red apple after selling the product. A commercial system was used to check the sales numbers at the end of the day. The game was whisper ‘On the Job.’ While sales team was working, they learned the product information and they had a goal to teach this information to their friends. To understand designing games for adult learning in this case study, hands-on practices were used. This systematic way was designed for one of the adult groups, and to understand how we may see the effects of gaming and motivation on behaviors of the learner and on the business which means sales in a practical way instead of a theoretical way. Sales team members’ reflections after the workshops were written down; follow-up interviews with the participants were transcribed. Qualitative data were analyzed to identify emergent themes related to gamification in adult learning.
Preliminary findings have shown that motivation and energizing learning atmosphere might occur when people learn by playing a game. In addition to gaming, another engaging and motivational learning is to include various senses. Learners in Sales Team touched the product and they felt the shape of the bottle and they sprayed the perfume to smell and to understand the feeling. These senses were about smelling and touching. And the team said that they became more engaged after those experiences. They “related a product to each experience and it was memorable.” Respect for individual preferences There could be different designs according to the topic and the needs of the learners. Most of the Sales Team members stated that they engaged easily by learning with games, but few of them stated that they couldn’t engage easily in gaming. Those few participants said that “learning could have been easier for us if lectured.” Sales Results and follow up Preliminary findings also show that when we design gaming for adults in business especially in sales, following up with the motivation of the participants and sales numbers is important. When this project is finalized, we believe that most retail companies and adult learners in business will benefit from the findings from gamed-based and multi-sense activities. This study would also help show engagement with simple ways and show the effect of success and performance of the adults with game-based learning systems. On the other hand, with various types of group and topic, the games have to be different from each other. Although gamification increased the effectiveness in this case, and it is an effective tool for adult learning especially in business, because games sometimes make learners socialized and exposed, it might not be suitable for all learners such as introverts.
Bartfay W.J.& Bartfay E. (1994) Promoting health in schools through a health game. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 16(4), 438-446. Britton, J. (1983) Language and learning across the curriculum. In P. L. Stock (Ed), Forum Essays on theory and practice in the teaching of writing (pp. 221-224) Portsmouth NH Boynton/Cook. de Freitas, S., & Levene, M. (2004). An investigation of the use of simulations and video gaming for supporting exploratory learning and developing higher-order cognitive skills. Dickey, M. D. (2005). Engaging by design: How engagement strategies in popular computer and video games can inform instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(2), 67-83. Jonessen, D. (2005). Constructivist learning environments. University-Missouri, Columbia, College of Education. Jungman, S.I (1991). The effect of the game Anatomania on Achievement game on Nursing Students. Thesis. Drake University, USA. Mitchell, A. & Savill-Smith, C. (2004). The use of computer and video games for learning. A review of the literature. London: Learning and Skills Development Agency. Schwartzman, R. (1997) Games serves as a model for improving learning, Education, 118(1), 9-18.
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