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Gamification in Adult Learning: Intouch ICES It!

Greg Kirsch

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At Intouch, we strive to keep our employees up to date on the latest tech and effective business practices. We also provide opportunities for professional growth through leadership, and hard and soft skills training. We take adult learning seriously, but we also recognize that it’s more fun to learn when learning doesn’t feel like a chore. 

Recently, Brainier Solutions recognized our efforts at the E3 Learning Conference. There, I spoke about our Intouch Continuing Education (ICE) program. I also accepted their award for excellence in learning. 

Brainier created the platform for our ICE learning management system. They serve nearly 1,000 client companies, over a quarter of which could have received this honor. Speaking for the Intouch Learning and Development Team, receiving this recognition from these industry professionals is extremely gratifying and affirming.  

What Sets Intouch Apart?
So what makes our approach to training special? One element is gamification. We’ve talked before about the ways gamification can be used in healthcare scenarios, for example:

  • To help caregivers and healthcare providers empathize with patients 
  • To help manage chronic pain, anxiety or PTSD 
  • To educate healthcare providers about conditions and new treatment options

Applied to adult learning, gamification can turn a potentially dull subject into something fun to learn. It helps learners feel invested in the learning process. Perhaps most importantly, it results in better retention of information. Research conducted at the University of Colorado confirms the impact of gamifying the learning process. Adults in the study scored:

  • 14% higher in skill-based-knowledge assessments
  • 11% higher in terms of factual knowledge
  • 9% higher in retention rate

What Drives Gamers (and Learners)?
Yu Kai Chou, founder of Octalysis and author of Actionable Gamification, has identified eight core drives that are key to developing a successful game (or learning tool or app). According to Chou, these drives, if applied correctly, can lead to success in many areas, including ultimately, daily living. The eight core drives are:

  • Epic meaning and calling: the belief that you’re doing something — or have been chosen to do something — greater than yourself
  • Development and accomplishment: the drive to make progress, accomplish something
  • Empowerment of creativity and feedback: the process of creating and seeing the results of that creativity
  • Ownership and possession: the desire to own, acquire or possess something 
  • Social influence and relatedness: the impulse to be like someone else or even surpass their capabilities
  • Scarcity and impatience: the desire to have something that seems out of reach
  • Curiosity and unpredictability: the desire to find out what happens next
  • Loss and avoidance: the desire to avoid something negative

Appealing to one or more of the eight core drives engages learners, thereby leading them to retain more of what they learn. 

Looking Forward
Whether we’re applying gamification theory to developing award-winning apps or award-winning training, we look forward to bringing even more strategic, innovative and practical learning to Intouch and our clients in 2017. Meanwhile, have you considered how you can make gamification work for your company?

 

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