In our modern setting, learning takes place anywhere and everywhere so experts are busy developing new forms of e-learning to meet this demand. There are many formats of the e-learning course that reflect learners’ busy schedules while incorporating flexibility and modern technologies in one. Excellent examples of this are mobile learning, micro-learning, gamification, etc. They allow the learners to choose their own pace, place, and method of learning that will benefit them at the best.
Looking back at the history of e-learning, we can find a pattern in the development of e-learning: it gets more and more learner-focused, flexible, funnier, and less time-consuming. The rise of gamification took learning to a new level, which was further improved by the introduction of “serious games.” These are games that teach kids about different illnesses and how to cope with them, helps students excel in business classes by running their own virtual companies, etc. In other words, these educational games set a higher standard for e-learning.
What is Gamification and How Does it Benefit E-Learning?
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. This is a process of incorporating an already existing element, such as website, application, etc., to an e-learning module using the principles of game mechanics and game design.
The main benefits gamification brings to each e-learning module include:
- Improved learning experience
- More attractive learning environment
- Flexible application to accommodate different learning styles
- Instant feedback
- Prompt rewarding of progress
Being an interactive form of learning, gamification is suitable for company training for all levels of the business hierarchy. It is one of the best forms of e-learning that can be translated and localized to be used in the corporate offices all over the world to provide consistent and yet funny training.
Why Games are Useful?
Playing educational games has a series of advantages for the users, regardless of their age. Adults, however, in contrast to kids, make a conscious choice to learn new things or develop additional skills. Therefore, the main benefits of educational games for them include:
- Increased engagement – Games are engaging. Period. Once you start playing it is hard to stop until you reach the next level or next milestone;
- Self-motivation – It is up to you how far in the game you will get. There are no specific targets that you need to reach each day or tasks to complete and report;
- Risk-free challenges – You solve actual problems without facing the negative consequences a bad decision will have in real life;
- Performance and knowledge boost – The more you play, the better you become in the field you have chosen. Eventually these improved skills lead to better performance in real-life situations;
- Better problem-solving skills – The educational games offer a great variety of problems that need to be solved. The result is a better attitude and quicker reaction when it comes to tackling different issues in your everyday life or at work;
- Sense of personal responsibility – As this is a game that you have chosen to complete and no one is constantly monitoring your process, it is up to you to finish the given tasks/levels. When transferred to the work environment, this skill means that you are the reliable sole-player who can be trusted to successfully finalize a given project;
- Independence – The whole game is developing because of your personal skill and knowledge. Thus, it teaches you to be independent and to stand behind your decisions.
We can sum up that the educational games account for more self-confidence, conceptual knowledge, and higher retention compared to traditional learning forms.
Examples of Adult Learning Games
If you are an adult who likes games, then you can play and learn at the same time with the help of a serious educational game. There is a myriad of fields, in which you can boost your skills. The list includes major spheres, such as:
- Business and management – Here you can try games like EVE online, Informatists, Gazillionaire Deluxe, etc. Such games can help you sharpen your management skills, improve your accounting performance or teach you how to build and run a business;
- Foreign languages – Adding a new language is always a plus, no matter if you need it for work, for school or just for pleasure. Some games that you can try include Grammar Ninja and Vocab Sushi (for those who need English), Babble games or The Polyglot Game for other languages;
- Political studies – If you want to see what political life looks like or if you would like to pursue a career in politics you should try Democracy 2, World Without Oil, Ars Regendi, etc.
- Communication – These skills are very importance for any business field, position, or age. Some of the good games to try are Contest: Speech Hero, Gwap, Voki;
- Computer science – Knowing computers is a must nowadays, it’s something that goes without saying. Useful games are: Code Hero, Uplink, TypeRacer.
These were just a few useful examples that represent only a fraction of the useful games adult learners can choose from. Other interesting options include humanitarian and environmental games, economics, health science, psychology, and many more.
We all agree that learning has to be fun, whether it is directed to kids, students, or working adults. Games have always been an amusing way to discover new things and add skills without even realizing it. Most of us have played Monopoly and enjoyed the time buying whole neighborhoods, charging rent, or acquiring hotels, without realizing that we are developing excellent entrepreneurial skills. Likewise, serious educational games, help adults develop in different spheres, acquiring the knowledge they need and allowing them to make mistakes in the safe virtual environment. Given the fact that adult learners have a more specific approach to learning and e-learning in general, as the notion of andragogy teaches us, it is safe to assume that serious games are one of the best options for further development both at the individual and company level.