It is no longer a new phenomenon for corporate institutions to train their staff or employees for effective and efficient delivery, and the sole purpose of this type of education is targeted toward professional capacity building, which if properly planned and prepared for can yield maximum return on investment for the organization.
Previously, a lot of organizations have benefited from this type of education which its commonly referred to as Corporate Training. Corporate training spread across all professional practices: Banking sector, Agricultural sector, Educational institutions, Oil and Gas and all the financial institutions have somewhat benefited from corporate training.
Be that as it may, corporate trainings in the 21st century has more benefits than it has previously offered through traditional means. Prior to the infusion of Digital technology or ICTs in our society, Corporate bodies had organized their trainings in the traditional mode of instructional delivery, but with ICT in place, so many corporate bodies are making frantic efforts to equally use ICTs to organize the same corporate trainings by leveraging on the affordances of Technology (ICT). So, what does ICT have to offer? To answer this question, we need to look into what ICT means with respect to corporate trainings.
ICT has so many offerings: the fundamental among all of these offerings is that computers are engaged as a medium to offer these corporate trainings, at times several computers are networked together to communicate through internet protocol IP. Corporate training materials are converted into electronic format and then packaged into either CDs/DVDs, CDs or Flash drives for deployment. The target audience will also receive and interact with the material using the same media. There are now sophisticated media that could even create virtual reality, remove distance barriers, make content accessible anytime and anywhere which is now referred to as mobile learning. While establishing the rationale for using ICT for corporate trainings, it is also very important to state the need to ensure guaranteed learning for all trainees.
The main purpose of any corporate training is learning. Staff and employees must be able to have learned having participated in any modes of delivery. So why is this article written? The main reason is to gradually introduce a different strategy that could impact maximally the corporate training. This strategy is neither new nor old, it has always been part of our traditional system. A very good example is when an elderly person sends a younger fellow on an errand, to motivate that younger fellow and spring him up into action, the elderly would introduce a kind of incentive so that the task could be executed with speed and maximum satisfaction on both parties involved. The incentives could be as simple as giving some extra goodies-goodies. So, what are we driving at, here? The strategy has been termed as Gamification. Oh! Don’t worry, it is not a big word, in fact, its something you are familiar with.
What does it mean and how can it be used to drive home corporate training for maximum effectiveness and efficiency? Extant scholars and authors have made several attempts to accurately define it, but you know it’s easy to define because it is pervasive and covers a wider scope of applications and subjects. Therefore, Gamification is a method of using game elements in a non-game-based context. Didn’t I say, it’s simple. The next question would now be, what is a game.
Of course, every game is described in a context, everything around us is game-based, all the activities, jobs and schedules we run, all are game-based. It is so because, there is a goal to achieve, a meeting to meet up with, a job to finish, a challenge to catch up with. Every activity as executed by men on earth is game-based because they are either running against time, money or people. So, to situate gamification properly, there is a need to mention all the available game-elements or mechanics, which are applied in a non-game context. A non-game context is an environment that is not originally built for gaming but could be converted to a gaming environment when any of the game elements are adopted.
Game elements are so many: they range from, Points, levels, ladder board to scenarios. The following game elements have been identified by so many authors, professionals and Instructional designers, as capable of inducing learning or educating any learner or trainee: Conflict; strategy and chance, Aesthetic; Theme and Story; Rewards; Opportunity of mastery; Action; challenge; taking a risk; the uncertainty of outcome; visible signs of progress, and emotional content. Applying each of these game-elements to corporate training would take a junk of explanation, but the underlying factor is that when all these elements are employed in a non-game context, what we are undertaking is gamification.
Does that resonate with experiences in your organization? All of the field works and practices have shown that when one or two game elements are incorporated into corporate trainings, maximum interaction, engagement, high achievement and rapid learning of corporate cultures are enhanced. At GHI-Tech Solutions, what we do is to always garnish our offerings/learning solutions with game-elements digitally. This article will continue in the next series. The next series will focus on each of these game-elements and how each can be applied to corporate training for maximum results.