14 February 2017

Game-based learning and Cortex Interactive

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There is no doubt that people are striving for more interactive and engaging training content. But for me, there are some question marks around how people are going about the development and delivery of such content.

We’ve all heard the word "gamification” and for those who are not familiar, gamification is simply the act of introducing small rewards in the learning process in order to trigger dopamine hits in the brain. That got technical real fast, but it’s important to understand as this feel-good drug is vital to retention of information and, as a side effect, makes it both fun and addictive.

The poker machine industry has leveraged this concept for years, turning basic gambling games into billions of dollars.

So how does gamification transfer to the online learning industry?

From my experience, unfortunately too many companies have tried to apply these concepts like a Band-Aid on an existing solution rather than designing it from the core.

We often see gamification promoted as another “buzz word” which seemingly allows a provider to sound like they were doing something revolutionary. Further to this, it’s often added on as an afterthought. It addresses only one element of improving learning and simply does not provide the learning outputs and outcomes that are required if we truly want to assess skill, increase knowledge, and provide the learners with an experience they will remember and want to do again.

So is this it for game advancement in learning?

Far from it. Industry has looked for inspiration in the gaming industry itself. Instead of tacking on elements of gamification onto traditional education approaches and content, the next revolution in education is Game Based Learning (GBL).

At Cortex Interactive, we are developing these frameworks and technologies. We develop training content using advanced gaming engines that are designed from the outset to leverage gaming technologies and to allow content to be extended over time.

This approach starts with the concept that learning is about discovery, immersion and curiosity.

By building engaging, entertaining and enjoyable immersive solutions, and adding learning content into the core design, we can truly test one's skill and knowledge. This approach puts fun at the centre of the process and allows the content to be added as part of the story.

By using GBL, opportunities also open up to leverage the latest in immersive Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality platforms which then take the experience to a whole new level.

As communication and technology lab director and VR author Frank Biocca says,

“Virtual reality is the first step in a grand adventure into the landscape of the imagination”.

There are little to no boundaries with GBL and, coupled with Virtual Reality, it is truly changing the way we learn and interact with digital training. It allows for immersive and engaging environments rather than passive content presentation. It allows users to explore and interact with any environment, rewarding people for a deep understanding of concepts and enabling development of new skillsets. It’s simply a matter of applying this technology as it’s ready and accessible.

Join Russell Francis (Velpic CEO) and me on an exciting Virtual Reality roadshow in March 2017. Find out more and register now.

Visit Velpic VRSources

http://www.growthengineering.co.uk/dopamine-the- science-behind- gamification/
http://www.growthengineering.co.uk/the-neuroscience- of-gamification- in-online- learning/
https://elearningindustry.com/6-killer- examples-gamification- in-elearning
https://elearningindustry.com/secrets-gamification- success-corporate- elearning
http://theconversation.com/bright-lights- big-losses- how-poker- machines-create- addicts-and-rob-them- blind-49143
https://elearningindustry.com/what-is- gamification-differs- gaming