Xerox used game mechanics in a manager course offered to 1,000 newly promoted managers. The course doesn’t look like a traditional game such as “Jeopardy” or an adventure game such as “Halo,” but it uses similar game mechanics that are easy to deploy. The content was originally a series of eight one-hour modules on traditional managerial development. In addition to offering a blended solution of bookending and interspersing the online course with live coursework and webcasts, Xerox Learning added game mechanics to increase engagement, completion rates and data retention.
Learners were put into cadres, and their names and badges posted on a leaderboard where those with the most badges had their names on top, utilizing a game mechanic called status. After completing the online modules, learners are given assignments to apply the content on the job, then they report back to their learning cadre using the firm’s microblogging tool, Yammer. These assignments are quests, and the reporting to a social group is called community collaboration. The quests are increasingly difficult as the learner progresses, which is called leveling. The company was able to create and deliver an effective course with gaming elements without a complex or expensive game engine design.
Xerox Learning uses a three-phase foundation, immersion and reinforcement model to determine a blended learning approach and whether or not gaming can be used for each phase of learning.Foundation:
Foundational knowledge is the pre-work to formal learning — content that must precede the main event. Games can be used in the foundational learning phase as pre-assessments to guide learners’ focus or as an eye-opener, helping learners find value by identifying what they don’t already know about a topic.Immersion:
From live workshops to webinars, online learning to books, games can help engage or encourage the learner to apply content or act as a knowledge check along the way. Complex games can immerse the learner and allow the individual to apply skills.