Do Learning Games Work in an Adult Learning Context?
Growth Engineering
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Scenarios are one thing, but games are something else in my organization. We have piloted many different “adult learning gaming best practices” over the years and found that people tend to hate and complain loudly about anything that has been gamified. Folks feel that any sort of gaming format is a waste of time in the workplace, even if they do enjoy hours of Candy Crush or Clash of Clans outside of it.

We have formally and informally tried to pinpoint the “why” of the game hate and our best guess is that people would much rather have just in time facts or resources when they need them and where they need them. Time that must be dedicated to learning is seen as a hoop to jump through or a box to check.

We have had much better luck with real-time simulation and scenario training where people have the opportunity to practice and achieve proficiency in complex skills. I would not characterize any of that as gamification, however, as it is done F2F and there are no points, badges, or otherwise game-like features associated with it.

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