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Learning by gaming / (gamification)

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
How is the market for learning/training via digital gaming for serious use in companies, in general or in your field (quality...) ?

If you have used it, what is your experience?
 

DrTBurns

Starting to get Involved
#2
We were extraordinarily successful with our quality training product, launched almost 3 decades ago. We gained over 500,000 users, across Microsoft, GE, Toyota and hundreds of others. The reason for our success was interactive games and exercises.

Our initial product was built with a tool called Authorware (now removed from sale by Adobe). It was long before popularization of the word 'gamification'. Since that time, development tools have multiplied greatly but capabilities have gone backwards. Today the aim of tools is churning out junk as quickly as possible. Talking head with text, clip art, continue button is the norm. Many tools now promote converting boring Powerpoint into even more boring e-learning. Many promote 'gamification' with standard 'pop out' games that would make even a 3 year old yawn.

The key to gamification is that games:
- must be directly relevant to the topic, which means the must be customized (we use true historical situations to great effect)​
- must be FUN, so much so that even the developer has fun playing them dozens of times​
- produce a worthwhile learning outcome.​
- able to be played meaningfully by anyone of any ability, from gamers to novices​

The above is not possible with the current generation of 'pop out' tools.

Almost a decade ago, we set out on a revolutionary new path ... to develop a full training package in quality and Lean, using a 3D game engine. The result has been far better than I could have ever imagined. The medium has allowed more interactive games and far more interactive exercises. It has meant tens of thousands of lines of C# code, so development is not for the faint hearted. However, an ability to customize has opened endless possibilities. Literally, anything that can be imagined is possible ... well, almost anyways. Our product is about 8 hours training in quality and Lean, equivalent to 2 days' classroom training ... but far more fun than the classroom. There's over 50 modules across over 40 scenes, teaching every key aspect of quality.

It runs on PC's, tablets and phones. Central reporting on employee progress and quiz scores.

Hopefully we will see others follow our lead in using 3D game engines, to develop far more motivating and engaging training than is the norm today.
 
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Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#3

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
Steve: Concerning military there is a lot "for fun" games, but I found that a lot of CEO's for larger companies could actually learn a lot about tactics & strategy by for instance playing RUSE.

I very often see in business life that strategy pretty much become the same as "Long term plans", unfortunately I guess it is a common understanding of strategy.
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
...
- must be FUN, so much so that even the developer has fun playing them dozens of times​
...

Hopefully we will see others follow our lead in using 3D game engines, to develop far more motivating and engaging training than is the norm today.
Thx, but I am not sure about the fun part, you dont want the employees to become addictive and not do their work ;)

btw where do you live?
 
#6
Haha! Good topic!
I used to be a big fan of Sim City, and often mused that anyone who could successfully manage a city on high difficulty at the very least demonstrates a decent level of planning and resource management. :p

There is an interesting conversation to be had with respect to games' ability to inculcate knowledge (facts, methods, process, ...), versus nurturing/developing abilities (planning, management, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness,...). Anecdotally, I feel that games are generally better at the latter rather than the former...but I don't know how much this has been studied.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
I am a big believer in simulations. I do teach a senior year Information Systems course for SIUC that requires the students to do a project. I actually have the work on a volunteer job I do of managing membership data. Gives them a chance to actually interview a customer for software requirements, make the project pitch, etc.

Another variation on this is "serious play" which Lego got involved in. LEGO.com Serious Play Home

"Build your way to better business – a powerful tool designed to enhance innovation and business performance
Tap into the hidden expertise of your organization
Transform insight and awareness into commitment and shared goals
"

I should add then there is the simulation at my house - Burnt Hills and Big Flats Railroad An N Scale Model Railroad
 

DrTBurns

Starting to get Involved
#8
Thx, but I am not sure about the fun part, you dont want the employees to become addictive and not do their work ;)

btw where do you live?
Mikael,

People had raised this question with our original product but in practice it was never an issue. It is far better to motivate people to learn about quality than to have them bored. Even my 8 year old son has been through both old and new products many times and probably knows more about quality than many adults.

One game in particular, based on a true historical naval story over a century ago, teaches an incredible amount about quality. It runs with great interactive realism. It teaches:
- the use and interpretation of histograms. Demonstrate that they are rarely the normal distributions of many poor texts.
- how histograms reflect process improvement
- the meaning of World Class Quality - ie not the number of hits or misses, but 'on target with minimum variance'. This alone justifies a few replays.
- how histograms relate to control charts
- how a process improvement was made. Employees have to try to work out what was done a century ago. It was a very simple change that had a dramatic impact. In thousands of learners, I have yet to encounter anyone who worked out what was done. A great thinking challenge.
- an interactive 3D model of the process improvement is shown for experimentation
- the effect of the improvement on the game is shown on control charts
- there is a fascinating true corollary to the story that teaches important lessons.

Employees who fully understand what is taught in just this one game, will have a knowledge that is way ahead of most folk.

I'm from the antipodes Mikael, the land down under.
 

DrTBurns

Starting to get Involved
#9
I am a big believer in simulations.
We have also used sims very effectively. One of the great challenges in development is imagination ... when would a sim, game or interactive exercise be best.

In sims for example, when use an interactive sim for teaching how TAKT time, WIP, cycle time, throughput and Little's Law interact. I feel this is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts to learn but the sim makes it very easy. Move sliders to see a realistic simulation. We simulate moving people rather than cubes or whatever, to make it far more entertaining.
 
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