Gaming and analytics are two very hot technology topics right now. You can’t read too many articles or blogs on technology innovations and trends these days without stumbling over a discussion on how gaming is going to transform how people learn. Or how access to massive data sets and continuously evolving business intelligence tools can provide insights for businesses about their customers, prospects and employees. Wouldn’t it be great if we could leverage these two domains of interest and innovation together? We think so, and that’s our passion and vision as we develop the mLEVEL platform. In today’s post, I’ll talk about the gaming trend and what we’ve done with it, and in my next post I’ll discuss our take on analytics.
“I don’t want to learn, but I would love to play“
Whether you are a K-12 student, a retail store associate, or an executive in a Fortune 500 company, you typically share a common view about learning or training. People really don’t want to, or necessarily benefit from, sitting down for hours at a time to learn new information. But if they could play a game in 90-180 seconds, they’d be more likely to engage in that form of learning throughout the week. Add in the competitive element of playing with and challenging peers, and it’s even more fun.
We call this “casual learning,” and it’s the basis for our user experience in mLEVEL. We challenge ourselves on a daily basis to build fast, fun and simple games that will engage people with content in a way that they’ll actually enjoy.
“We looked into building games, but it’s really expensive and time-consuming…”
Based on they way most people and companies have approached gaming to date, it can be a very expensive and resource-intensive effort. There are a ton of great examples of games available online or in the various app stores that companies have developed. However most of these games are built so that the technology and design of the game is inextricably tied to the content. In the corporate world of training if you build a game on negotiation or the sales process, you can’t use that same game for product training, marketing promotions, process change, new hire orientation, corporate communications on strategic initiatives, etc.
Many of these corporate games support the content that they are trying to teach, so the game is structured to highlight the nuances of that content. This approach makes sense, but it isn’t very scalable if you need the games to work across multiple topics and disciplines in an efficient and cost-effective way. Furthermore, if you want a game to be about your own company’s proprietary content, it becomes too expensive to justify. With this approach of tying game content to the game logic, you can really only benefit from using the game for one initiative or topic.
With mLEVEL, we’ve developed a way to leverage a sophisticated set of cloud applications and infrastructure to store a Knowledge Base of information. That Knowledge Base feeds a series of game templates designed to align with Bloom’s Taxonomy (a classification of learning objectives). We see numerous benefits to this approach, including the ability to deploy cost-effective games quickly.
You start by populating the Knowledge Base with information that you want individuals to learn. You don’t have to think about the format of the questions – you just focus on the content that needs to be shared or taught. That structured content then feeds the various game templates that we’ve developed based on the learning progression of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Content is presented to the players in various formats and using different games to ensure true mastery of the information, not just memorization of the questions and answers. And you only enter the content once – that single Knowledge Base feeds the content into the various game templates that exist today and those that we will build in the future.
“Maybe gaming will work for us”
Companies now have the ability to deploy games on a variety of topics in a cost-effective and timely way. In my next post, I’ll speak more about how adding access to extensive game play data for performance and knowledge insights makes mLEVEL even more appealing. We’re so excited to share more about it.