5 Ways to Utilize E-Learning Games in Employee Training

In the ever-changing world of technology, the race to stay up to date is an exhausting feat. Modern learners are bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, push notifications, and all kinds of digital distractions throughout the day. Simplifying the training experience is pinnacle to both effective learning and knowledge retention. 

Gamification in Business

Gamification is a buzzword these days as one of the most popular learning styles for both learners and educators. Gamification is the application of game mechanics in non-gaming contexts, such as employee training, to increase engagement. Examples of game mechanics include badges, points, levels, and leaderboards. 

corporate university meister learning retention triangle data

Statistically speaking, people only retain about 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear/see. Corporate Universities author, Jeanne Meister, notes compelling evidence for incorporating gamification in business today:

“Interactive learning games can increase long-term retention rates by up to 10 times.”

5 eLearning Games

In a previous blog, we talked about some questions to consider before introducing games in training. The question isn’t if your organization should introduce games, but how. To understand how you can start utilizing eLearning games in employee training, consider the following.

1. Jeopardy!®

Documenting all of the ins and outs of company products, policies, and best practices could quickly fill a 50-page manual; thankfully, those are long gone! Use the traditional Jeopardy!® format to train employees and reinforce specific topics, relevant to various job descriptions. Assess both hard skills and soft skills with customizable categories to fit your company’s needs.

Jeopardy!® for training includes all of the same rules as the top-rated quiz show on TV with wagers, Double Jeopardy!®, Final Jeopardy!®, and “Daily Doubles.” For cybersecurity training, the categories might be “Passwords,” “Don’t Do This,” and “Crack The Code.” The possibilities are endless and employees will most likely be familiar with the game rules making adoption easy.

2. Recall

Everyone learns differently, so using a mix of training games supports a range of employee learning styles. Recall uses visual learning to test employees’ ability to memorize using videos and images. 

For instance, the game will display a picture, such as a work environment, without giving the player any hint as to what they need to remember. The player is then challenged to recall specific details about what they just saw during a series of questions testing memorization and retention.

3. Trivia

Not a good test taker? No problem. Trivia transforms the negative sentiments around assessments into an exciting, competitive game using points, timers, and leaderboards. Employees are more engaged when tests are gamified into trivia questions. 

Trivia helps learners make the right decisions, faster. Use Trivia to test product knowledge, terminology, encourage asymmetrical thinking (i.e. Think Outside™ the box) and improve retention.

4. Scenarios

Product knowledge and negotiations can be difficult to practice when there is no application for on-the-job instances. Virtual scenarios provide employees the opportunity to learn in a fail-safe setting before being in the “real world.” 

Scenarios are a great training type for customer service representatives, salespeople, and management. Gamified scenarios allow employees to step into the shoes of a virtual character and engage in different conversation paths to test soft skills. Realistic, contextual simulations also help to assess cause and effect decision making.

5. Scramble

New job, new everything. A new employee can feel like they just walked into a foreign country as they begin integrating into the workplace. Colleagues may seem to be speaking another language if new hires are not well prepared with training. Onboarding is an important process to effectively equip new hires, but it doesn’t have to be all mundane.

Scramble is a great resource for terminology and can be played in two ways: Word Scramble and Sentence Scramble. Sentences are either written with a word missing or laid out in a word bank where players are challenged to correctly reorganize them. Learners are tested on knowledge retention whether they are new or seasoned employees.

Game On

Gamified learning management systems (LMS) motivate learners to excel, progress, and achieve final outcomes with anticipation. Each game is easily tracked for robust reporting on an individual or team data. Identify knowledge gaps, improve retention, and empower employees with more effective training experiences. 

When gamification is implemented into eLearning, companies increase employee engagement by 60% and improve productivity by 50% (eLearning Learning). Who’s ready for a performance review now? At Unboxed Training & Technology, we offer a full list of customizable employee training games. Learn more about how to level up your training with games by watching our Beyond Gamification webinar!

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Training Delivery Methods: Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

Content is a huge focus in the training world, though it’s really only one part of the learning equation. The magic happens, though, when strong content is shared through the most effective training delivery methods, enabling the message to be absorbed, retained, and implemented by learners.

Whether your aim is to impart knowledge, sharpen skills, or adjust behaviors, there are a lot of different methods of training delivery to choose from. But there’s no silver bullet. In fact, data continues to prove a blended approach, incorporating more than one modality to deliver your content, increases retention by up to 60%.

So, how do you determine the most effective training delivery methods for your needs? Start by considering the options available and how they align with your goals, audience, and content.

Below is a list of our recommendations.

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    Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

    Training Delivery Methods for Building Knowledge

    When we speak about training for knowledge, we’re referring to helping learners understand the what and the why of a concept. To tackle these topics, the training delivery methods we recommend hinge greatly on well-organized information and storytelling. These include:

    •  Podcasts
    Borrowing from the popular media format, Podcasts are an excellent way to educate team members, allowing them to absorb information at their own pace in a familiar style.

    •  Infographics
    Visual tools help to reinforce concepts, and the Infographic remains a popular delivery method as it clearly outlines vital data and information in a memorable and engaging way.

    •   Animations
    Another popular visual option, Animations are a great way to educate learners. By imparting critical information in an entertaining way, you can increase both retention and engagement.

    •   Group Discussions
    Part team-building, part training, Guided Group Discussions are a great way to build relationships among team members while educating them on key concepts.

    •   Interactive Training Tools (Pitch)
    These interactive modules from Unboxed’s Training Technology team organize key concepts in an interactive, data-based tool, making it effective for knowledge acquisition and knowledge sustainment (refresher training).

    Training Delivery Methods for Improving Knowledge & Skills

    Building on those, there are several modalities that bridge both knowledge and skills, helping learners to understand the how behind the what and the why. This category of modalities includes:

    •   Instructor-Led Trainings (in-person or virtual)
    Instructor Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) allows you to build upon learned knowledge by giving learners a chance to put knowledge and skills into practice through classroom activities.The bonus of vILT is it allows you to reach learners near and far with training that’s as equally engaging, interactive, and effective as in-person training — without the pricey travel costs.

    •   Interactive Learning Guides
    Self-paced and fully interactive, our Interactive Learning Guides (ILG) keep learners engaged at every step. With a modern, web-like interface, video, animation, gamification, and interactive exercises, ILGs create an engaging experience for learners, making them effective for both knowledge and skills training.

    •   Videos
    Taking cues from what many learners engage in on their own time, training videos are an incredibly popular choice to help learners improve their skills in addition to reinforcing their knowledge.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Sharpening Skills & Behaviors

    Moving further into training for skills, the delivery methods below allow you to focus more deeply on the tactical responsibilities of your team. These modalities also lend themselves to training for behaviors, educating learners on the action taken, and include:

    •   Group Participation, Hands-On Activities, Role Plays, On-the-Floor Training, Mentor Shadowing
    Each of these training delivery methods differs in their approach but share the same goal: to allow team members to improve their skills in settings and situations where they actually use them.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Shaping Behaviors

    Behavior-specific training goes one step further, allowing you to work with team members to help them make changes in their interactions, approaches, and performance with direct feedback. There are two modalities that are ideal for this type of training, these are:

    •   Huddles
    Combining the benefits of group participation, hands-on activities, and role play along with direct coaching, Huddles are an excellent training method to help shape and improve behaviors.

    •   Video Simulations
    Offering the same advantages of a Huddle, Video Simulations allow geographically dispersed teams the opportunity to observe team member behavior and coach them to be more effective in their approach.

     

    Need Help?

    We recognize there are a lot of options out there, but choosing a training method doesn’t need to be a chore. We can help you analyze and understand both your goals and content to select the best option for your needs. Reach out to schedule some time with our Training Content Strategists to learn more.

    Want to know more about choosing a training method? Download our free guide!

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    Take Your Training Beyond Gamification

    As gamification has been an increasingly popular training technique to motivate modern learners over the past decade, we’re sure you’ve applied some of these practices to increase engagement and reinforce learning with your employees. But if you haven’t started using actual games in your training yet, you should look to this opportunity as a way to have an even greater impact on your learners.

    The enemy of modern training is distraction, and games have been scientifically proven to heighten attention, sustain focus, and drive action. It’s time to go beyond gamification with your training.

    You might be asking yourself, “Great, I’m sold on using games in training, but what are the best practices when implementing games into my training programs?” Answer: Games have the most significant effect on learner behavior when used to reinforce and sustain new learning.

    This means it’s probably not the best idea to use games to introduce brand new product or compliance information. Here are some best practices questions to consider before jumping into games (pun intended):

    • What skills do you want your learners to gain?

    Are you looking for your learners to be able to explain, infer, relate, solve, interpret, or recognize? The type of outcome you want will change which game you should choose.

    • What type of setting will the training take place?

    Will your learners be taking a self-paced course where they’ll likely be competing against themselves or will this be used at a live training event with many people playing the game at once?

    • Do you want the game to be collaborative or competitive?

    Each group of learners have different preferences. Your sales team might enjoy a competitive game more than a collaborative game, but you need to know your learners and what motivates them.

    • What type of performance objectives are you looking for?

    Similar but slightly different than the skills question, when your learners finish their training, what part of their performance should improve? Strategic thinking, knowledge acquisition, or increase in comprehension?

    Data has shown that through games, learner engagement increases from a few minutes to an average of 10 minutes of practice. Additionally, through repetition, we’ve seen a knowledge lift of 63% by the third encounter with the reinforcement material.

    We’re Game

    Before you start asking around the office for a coder, we can help! Unboxed can now create a variety of games for your team. Check out our games page for more information.

     

    Game Description When to Use
    Jeopardy Traditional Jeopardy format Assess and reinforce hard skills and soft skills
    Jump Mobile-style arcade game Memorization of key info turned fun and competitive
    Trivia Complete with points, streaks, and leaderboards Transform traditional assessments
    Match Mobile-style match-3 game Memorization of key info turned fun and competitive
    Scramble Reorder scrambled sentences Test terminology retention
    Scenarios Realistic contextual simulations Assess cause and effect decision making
    Sort-It Sort answers into correct categories Practice strategic thinking skills
    Recall Recall info from a video or image Encourage visual learning and memorization

     

    Need more?

    Listen to a recording of our webinar, “Beyond Gamification: 3 Secrets on How To Level Up Your Training With Games.”

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    Beyond gamification Webinar

    3 Secrets on How to Level Up Your Training with Games

    Gamification has become an increasingly popular technique to motivate and engage modern learners over the past few years. But gamification can only motivate a learner but so far. Join us to find out what 3 secrets you can apply to experience growth on learner attention, engagement, and knowledge retention.

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    State of the Modern Learner

    Welcome to 2019 – a time when people expect to be entertained. Why should their training be any different? Think about it, according to The Game Agency, on average we consume nearly 11 hours of media each day and shift our attention between our smartphones, tablets, and computers 21 times every hour. With that in mind, it makes sense that your training should grab your learners’ attention quickly, hold it long enough to make an impact, and above all else, be so entertaining that they want and enjoy it – even with seemingly infinite media options at their fingertips.

    Distracted… but Want to Learn

    Who are these modern learners that are overwhelmed with entertainment choices all throughout the day? They’re consuming information in shorter, more personalized, more engaging ways. When seeking new information, they’re likely to Google something or check out a video on YouTube, but that’s typically done with the intention of using that information right away. What if the knowledge needs to be retained for an extended period of time? Consider, 50% of information is forgotten within one hour without some type of reinforcement training.

     

    State of the Modern Learner graph

    They also have short attention spans, crave instant gratification, and are distracted – but not too distracted to want to learn. According to Learnkit, 53% of employees feel they could do their job better if they had better training and per Intercall 47% want the freedom to complete that training at their own pace. It follows that in order for training to make sense for the naturally distracted lifestyle of the modern learner, it has to be:

    • High quality
    • Efficient
    • Personalized
    • Available on demand

    Competing for Attention

    So, when it seems everyone is fighting for the modern learner’s attention, how do we train? With so much time already spent looking at screens, what if you could reach your learners through any and all of their devices? Better yet, what if you could use those devices to teach them while simultaneously entertaining and delighting them? Good news: you can – and you should.

    Fun and Games!

    For the greatest impact, ensure that your training includes gamification and games that:

    • Transmit information simply
    • Grab your learner’s attention
    • Keeps them engaged
    • And perhaps above all else, helps them reinforce and retain what they’ve learned

    Games not only provide an engaging learning experience that can change behaviors and improves comprehension, but thanks to the fun they provide, learners often want to continue learning and thereby reinforce their training.

    Secondly, games provide a competitive element that drives action, sustains focus, and heightens attention. Consider these statistics:

    • The average learner will play a game three times during training.
    • On average, they will experience a 64% increase in knowledge from the beginning to the end of a game.
    • Each gameplay session lasts an average of six minutes.

    Lastly, training with games provides you with robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Each game can be used to collect player data to help you identify knowledge gaps – thereby enabling you to rework training content to maximize effectiveness.

    In short

    Modern learners have minimal time to devote to training. They’re working from several locations and expect to access information on-demand. Luckily for them, games are a form of micro-learning that provide quick, compelling training that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This form of training is ideal for the modern learner’s short attention span as the information taught is bite-sized and easy-to-digest. And when people are entertained, they focus and retain information more easily.

    Additionally, if an experience is enjoyable, people naturally return for more. Training so good that it compels a return visit increases the odds of retention (and the amount of information that can be retained) – and that’s exactly what the distracted, modern learner needs in 2019.

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    Spoke LMS: The 9-Time Winner

     

    We’re proud to announce The Craig Weiss Group has named Unboxed’s Spoke LMS as the #1 LMS for Consumer Goods for 2019, #5 in their Top Nine LMSs for the United States. And the #11 LMS in 2019. The Craig Weiss Group continuously monitors the training marketplace for the best providers and services, and we are pleased to receive such an honor.

    Spoke has previously been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition over the past few years for its modern, intuitive user interface, and social, blended learning capabilities. These awards include:

    •  2018 Top 50 LMS, The Craig Weiss Group

    •  2018 Training Industry names Spoke to its 2018 LMS Watch List

    •  2017 Top 50 LMS, The Craig Weiss Group

    •  2017 Training Industry names Spoke to its 2017 LMS Watch List

    •  2016 Top 50 LMS, eLearning 24/7

    •  #2, Gamification

    •  #3, Social Learning

    •  2015 Top 50 LMS, eLearning 24/7

    •  #5, Social Learning

    •  #8, Next-Gen LMS

     

    Spoke has also been a part of the blended learning strategy that won Spoke client, Ultraceuticals a 2017 Platinum LearnX Award and helped Xfinity Mobile see results like, 5.5x increase in course completion and 2x more user engagement.

     

    Word around the street about Spoke:

    The Senior Vice President of Comcast said, “Spoke has led to increased performance for every team member. They connect with each other in the Community, and tell me they can’t wait for more training to earn more coins.”

    Another client representative from BH Media Group said, “I have to tell you how grateful I am for Spoke’s user-friendliness. It makes my job a lot easier! Thanks for all your hard work in making this a positive experience!”

    We want to thank our clients, who provide the user feedback we need to help us continually improve our Spoke platform. An additional thanks goes to our hardworking Unboxed team members; they continue to raise the bar.

    About The Craig Weiss Group

    Providing consulting and advising services, The Craig Weiss Group analyzes the effectiveness of various e-learning platforms for buyers and suppliers.

    About Spoke LMS

    Spoke is the modern social learning management system that connects training, communication, collaboration, and gamification to help you train, engage, and reward your teams. To learn more, watch our Meet Spoke video or request a demo.

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