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Most of us have grown up believing that education is a domain entirely different from fun, play or any recreational activity. Even if someone ever tried to merge the two domains, the efforts only ended up creating the alphabetical blocks, or the Rubik’s cube. It is interesting to note that the general perceptions that have always maintained a clear demarcation between education and fun have started to fade and with the emergence of game-based learning techniques, the acquisition, retention, and consumption of information has completely transformed.

2209 23/01/2018

Game-based learning: the not-so-obvious future of eLearning

The integration of gaming into education has abolished the excuses of 'no time to play' or 'no time to learn'. People now learn while they play and play while they learn.

Due to the influx of gaming techniques in digital learning methodology, the coming generation of learners might never have to go through the pain of finishing their learning tasks before being allowed to play.

Credible statistics validate that the game-based learning domain has seen a huge influx of growth, particularly in the past couple of years. While it emerged as a promising $1.2 billion global industry in 2011, it has increased at a significant 15.4% growth rate. By the end of 2015, the industry had efficiently doubled its value, estimating around $2.5 billion.[1] It is estimated that by 2018, the global game-based learning market will reach a huge $5,500 billion value.

Game-Based Learning - A Sneak Peek into the User Preferences

Where there are choices, there are preferences as well as dislikes! Game-based learning is being offered in a variety of shapes, sizes and types, each one of which is receiving a different degree of response from the learners.
Here are some of the most preferred game-based learning techniques:

  • 24% learners prefer activity-based gaming feeds
  • 25% opt for progress bars
  • 26% fancy instant performance feedbacks
  • 27% favor point scores
  • 30% prefer a level-based progression

Similarly, following trends have been receiving a significant dislike from the learners:

  • 2% users do not like virtual currencies
  • 3% oppose avatars
  • 11% do not like playing in a story-based scenario
  • 12% disapprove the idea of virtual gifts
  • 13% deprecate competing with friends

Here’s an insight into the top trends that are driving the influx and evolution of game-based learning methodology and bringing about a groundbreaking revolution in the educational domain.

§  The Demise of Traditional Learning

Just like the multimedia presentations transformed the idea of board lectures, game-based learning techniques have started to turn multimedia-driven classroom lectures into mundane and humdrum. As per statistics, 94% of learners have been reported to go online on a regular basis.[2]
The modern approach to learning completely negates the idea of educating the entire cohort of learners through a generic stack of content, even if it is through multimedia. Hence, game-based learning has evolved as an effective substitute, since it accommodates for all the deficiencies of traditional learning methodologies.

§  Scientific Research-Based Objective of the Curriculum

Since game based learning has strengthened a strong repute for its efficacy, it has become a subject of immense interest for modern researchers. Social scientists, academicians, and researchers are seeking a deep and elaborate insight into the phenomenon, and inferring scientific evidence for its efficacy.
These scientific, analytical and research-based studies are also making it convenient to forecast the projected gains of learning and establish feasible learning objectives and goals.[3]

§  Game-Based Professional Training

As the functional paradigms of game-based learning continue to awe and inspire the domain of education, business and corporate organizations will adopt the methodology and use it as the prime means to train and educate their employees on specialized skills and organizational procedures.
The organizations will seek to foster a thriving workplace culture and create competitive work teams by setting up collaborative gaming platforms. Around 40% of the top 1000 global leading organizations are seeking to incorporate game-based learning in their business training mechanisms. 

§  The Mobile Approach to Game-Based Learning

A number of surveys indicate that around 51% of the digital media is being consumed through mobile phones and smart handy gadgets, and mobile devices have become the prime means for the users’ activities in the cyber sphere.
To keep up with the changing patterns of virtual browsing and media consumption, game-based digital learning models are being modified to be compatible with the paradigms of mobile technology. So, this won’t be a surprise if the next version of Temple Run comes with a specific learning motive attached.

§  Quantified Activity and Engagement

Since the learning curve has a major inclination towards mobile learning content that is imparted in the form of graduated chunks, it has become convenient for learning facilitators to measure the outcomes of learning.
The quantified approach to outcome evaluation is not merely confined to assessing the learning score. It also allows the facilitators to track and measure the magnitude of engagement at frequent intervals, on a regular basis. This way, it becomes convenient to identify the piece of content that has been able to gauge optimal engagement and identify the elements which didn't yield much involvement and response.
This quantified analysis of outcomes as well as engagement has enabled the digital learning facilitators to circumscribe the content aspects yielding maximum results, and devise an on-point learning curriculum.

§  Social Gaming for Collaborative Learning

Social networking and instant communication is the ultimate mantra ruling the era, and game-based learning is no exception to it. Networked gaming platforms have emerged as the top sites visited by users on a regular basis.
The numbers are only increasing, with as many as 120 million (and even more) new users signing up every month and becoming a part of the global gaming community. Inspired by this social gaming trend, digital learning facilitators will seek to design learning games that require teamwork, interaction and strategic collaboration on part of the learning cohort. 

More Trends to Watch Out For!

Ambient Insight, in their report titled “The 2011-2016 Worldwide Game-based Learning Market: All Roads Lead to Mobile” has observed the major trends in the global learning market that will reinvent and transform the future of the domain. Some core catalyst producing major currents in game-based learning arena are:

  • World’s leading gaming gear manufacturers hopping onto the bandwagon
  • The evolution of GPRS-driven edugames
  • Game-based learning meets augmented reality
  • Strategic games for an intense brain workout
  • The incessant influx of private investments in game-based learning organizations
  • Learning games to be designed on research-based parameters

As you can see, game-based learning is on the roll and steadily transforms the field of eLearning. Are you prepared to embrace it? What was your experience with implementing these methods? Please share your opinion and insights!

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