Experiential Learning Games – Should they be part of your training program?

Posted on : February 11th, 2013
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Let me start with a question – how many of you remember the story of the movie Avatar? My fair guess would be that most (if not all) of you would remember outline of the story, and some of you may even remember the dialogs!

Next question, how many of you remember content of the training that you attended 6 months ago? Not many I guess.

So, we remember story of a movie that we saw more than 3 years ago, but we can’t remember what was taught in a training session a few months ago!

Well, that’s a problem we in the L&D domain constantly struggle with – how to make training stick so that the knowledge gained can actually be used in time of need.

Before looking at whether experiential learning games can be a part of the solution, here are some statistics on the business impact of training –

  • Per year revenue increase for effective training of > 5 days: $72,000 (APQC)
  • A firm’s investment in employee training is the single most powerful predictor of the firm’s stock price (McBassi& Company)
  • An average voluntary turnover costs 4 times the annual salary of the employee (ASTD)
  • The majority of CEOs surveyed agreed that the chance to learn and grow on the job increases employee engagement (ASTD)

 

These stats reinforce the power of effective training. But it’s also a fact that today organizational leadership doesn’t feel that L&D is delivering the value that is required out of it. Another set of stats to prove this –

Corporate Executive Board – L&D and its Impact on Business Outcomes – 2011 survey

Corporate Executive Board – L&D and its Impact on Business Outcomes – 2011 survey

 

So only 23% line leaders agree that L&D does an effective job, and just 24% agree that L&D has a role to play in achieving business outcomes. That the situation is alarming would be an understatement!

I believe that the big reason for such low expectations from L&D is because the learning from trainings is not being applied in the work environment, and learners don’t have access to the right information at time of need, which then pushes them to other sources of learning, such as Google, peers, or just experimenting with the situation. One of the answers I think is to let learners take control of their growth (as discussed in my last month’s post Time to pass on training & development charge to employees), but another important aspect to solve the low stickiness of the trainings is to have more and more experiential learning experiences in the training program.

The best way to do this is to make learners perform the required task under personal supervision in a controlled environment, but that is often not possible due to cost considerations and geographical challenges. Experiential learning games are a good alternative because –

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And, here are some stats to back up the claim that experiential learning games are actually better than traditional training methods –

Source: A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-based simulation games by Tracy Sizmam

Source: A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-based simulation games by Tracy Sizmam

This research clearly indicates improvement in all parameters for both procedural and declarative knowledge with game-based learning. We strongly recommend you evaluate experiential learning games to check if they can add value to your trainings.

Do feel free to get in touch with us at [email protected] if you would like to see some samples of experiential learning games, and learn from our customers’ experiences with them.

manishg@gc-solutions.net'

Manish Gupta

Mr. Manish Gupta is the CEO and co-founder at G-Cube Solutions- an eminent e-learning products and services company. He holds expertise in different domains including Business Management, Consulting for e-learning activities, sales and marketing for diverse industrial domains. He loves reading, jogging and exploring spiritual things.

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