How Gamification might REALLY Change Training.
The recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference showcased the hottest trends in video games from motion controls, social gaming , 3D, and mobile options. With Gamification as a hot buzzword in training, it’s good to be aware of developments (after all, we all want to Level Up, right?).
For training gamification, I hear a lot about engagement, interaction, tablets, mobile, 3D, immersion, and occasionally social (usually social and gaming are separate discussions, but you do find a few social gaming concepts like checkins, badges, and leaderboards enter into training discussions).
These things are great, but what I don’t hear is discussion around a powerful element of gaming mechanics: assessing performance against shifting objectives in a dynamic team environment.
Currently, I don’t see any instructional design construct that can come close to fairly assessing performance when the user is placed in fluid scenarios and must play a different role in a dynamic manner. The change in role is not just based on variances in the situation. It is largely dependent on how other players, whether fellow team members or opposing players, are interacting in the system.
Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games seem to have game mechanics and algorithms that allows the system to track each user’s contributions as they perform within the context of the system as well as the actions other players. This rating is done continually despite frequently changing roles.
Current training development systems don’t do this, which is a serious gap. The trends are clear:
- No worker today works independently; we work in teams and need to be evaluated as an individual knowing how to perform in a team context
- The pace of change is accelerating; objectives shift over time; evaluation mechanics must adjust to fairly assess performance against these changes
- We change our individual actions based on all factors of a scenario which includes the actions of our other team members
All of these characteristics mirror the world we work in. Targets shift, and team member actions impact how we contribute. MMOs seem to have more of the secrets to measuring all these factors worked out than any traditional training development tool or measurement construct I have seen. I think exploration into these techniques can allow training designers to more fairly assess performance in a way that reflects the work landscape today: dynamic and team-based.