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Cisco Illustrates How Gaming Could Work for Corporate Learning
Research indicates the average 21-year-old has played about 10,000 hours of video games. Other studies show adults learn and retain more in courses that incorporate game elements such as competitive scoring, increasingly difficult player levels and fantas
Research indicates the average 21-year-old has played about 10,000 hours of video games. Other studies show adults learn and retain more in courses that incorporate game elements such as competitive scoring, increasingly difficult player levels and fantasy role-playing. With this in mind, Cisco Systems, a worldwide leader in Internet networking, in 2005 introduced its online Learning Game Trilogy: Rockin’ Retailer, Network Defenders and SAN Rover.
Learning experts say, if companies make employee-education programs more fun and more like computer games, they will be more engaging and more effective. Cisco agrees — it’s online CCNA Prep Center, part of the Cisco certifications group, has helped hundreds of thousands of IT professionals become certified in different technology.
“We have sites to support them, and on those sites, there are practice quizzes, simulations, etc.,” said Jerry Bush, Cisco Systems program manager. “We decided to try learning games as an innovative way to help our audience. The CCNA Prep Center tends to have a younger much wider audience, and they respond really well to technology and games and things.”
For learning games to gain advocates within the enterprise learning space, developers must work closely with CLOs and instructors to make sure the games are properly integrated into curriculum in a way that encourages greater interaction with the subject matter and keeps students engaged.
“There are three pieces that are really important,” Bush explained. “The first one is the educator — somebody who has expertise in learning such as a CLO. Then, we find a subject-matter expert (SME) who really knows the subject we’re trying to teach really well, and the third component is a game developer.
“Once you put those three together, you can come up with a successful game.”
Bush said it’s critical to integrate the game into learning. If CLOs were to develop a game on their own without gaming experience, the game that would result might be educational but that much fun. A game developed by the developer, who likely doesn’t have an education background, might be really fun to play, but it also might be missing critical learning elements.
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