Immersive Learning Experiences And The Power Triad: mLearning, Microlearning, Gamification
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Use The Power Triad To Create Immersive Learning Experiences

Corporate training investments are made to help employees learn, apply, achieve improved performance, or drive change in thinking and behavior. However, one learning strategy may not help you achieve all these. In this article, I show you how you can use the power triad: mLearning, microlearning, and gamification to create immersive learning experiences that will help you meet this mandate. I share 4 ways this rich combination will help you achieve the desired impact.

Why Should You Adopt The Power Triad: mLearning, Microlearning, And Gamification?

It makes sense to adopt immersive learning strategies that will help you match the way modern learners are learning today or would prefer to learn. Take a look at the key aspects of their wish list:

  • Learning on the go: on the device of the learners’ choice
  • Training that syncs up with their lifestyles
  • Flexibility to seamlessly move the training sessions across devices
  • Shorter, action-oriented training—preferably personalized
  • Learning courses and supporting resources should be easily searchable and on-demand (they should be able to “pull” rather than these being “pushed”)
  • Having fun as you learn
  • Rewards, recognition, and immersive learning journeys
  • Keen to be connected to further learning: love to receive updates and notifications and are willing to invest time if these inputs are relevant and will help them grow

As you can note, only through a combination of strategies can you successfully meet the varied expectations of learners today. Try the powerful combination of mLearning, microlearning, and gamification to meet your corporate training mandate.

I begin with the value of each, and then show you the manifold high impact they can create once you use the triad in combination with each other.

What Value Does Each Strategy Bring To The Table For Learners, Organizations, And L&D Teams?

Mobile Learning-Based Training (mLearning)

mLearning is “learning on the go.” It is typically consumed on smartphones/tablets, allowing learners to move seamlessly across devices. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workplace, the need to offer mLearning solutions, which can be consumed by remote learners working from home, has become a necessity.

Value For Learners

From the learners’ perspective, mLearning offers several benefits, including:

  1. Training on the go or as they work from home
  2. On-demand, anytime, anywhere access
  3. Control over when and how to consume content
  4. Ability to consume at their own pace
  5. Can be pulled by them, as required (rather than pushed)
  6. Syncs with their lifestyle

Value For Organizations And L&D Teams

With COVID-19, the need to train the remote workforce has created a clear need for mLearning. Here are 5 key benefits mLearning offers to organizations and L&D teams:

  1. Addresses remote learners as well as a geographically spread out audience
  2. High engagement
  3. Better completion rates
  4. Easy to update and re-deploy
  5. Lower costs, as compared to classroom/ILT

Microlearning-Based Training

Microlearning is short, bite-sized learning that features short learning nuggets (often between 2 - 7 minutes each). Each nugget is designed to meet a specific outcome.  And, the training may be delivered through a stand-alone nugget or as multiple nuggets and is offered as a learning journey/pathway.

There is a natural synergy between microlearning and learning, as the short nuggets are often consumed by learners on the go, on their smartphones.

Value For Learners

Given the distractions and need to multi-task (all the more pertinent, as employees work from home), they will not block hours for training. However, they can easily carve out time for shorter bites. Additionally, microlearning-based trainings:

  • Are available on-demand and can be easily pulled, at the moment of their need.
  • Are relevant and provide an action-oriented learning experience.
  • Create a sense of fulfillment and achievement.
  • Offer personalized learning pathways that match their aspirations and can serve as effective career pathways.

Value For Organizations And L&D Teams

Microlearning-based training can address the majority of corporate training needs and can be used effectively in the following ways:

  • Learning (its application), a change in thinking, or driving behavioral change
  • Formal Learning, and
    • Performance support—application
    • Just-In-Time learning aids
    • Practice
    • Proficiency gain
    • Challenges
    • Reinforcements
  • Social learning and to nudge self-directed learning
  • To foster continuous learning

Gamification For Serious Learning

Gamification for learning is all about using the principles of gamification and game mechanics for training to meet specified learning objectives.

It typically uses several elements of game mechanics like learning across multiple levels, challenges, instant feedback, as well as performance indicators like scores, badges, and leaderboards. On their journey, the users may compete with others or collaborate for learning.

Value For Learners

Recognition and reward matter to all of us and using these cues to have a learning journey where you can have “fun as you learn” resonates with the learners.

Well-crafted gamification concepts provide high value for the learners translating to:

  • Higher motivation
  • Higher engagement
  • Creating more immersive learning journeys
  • Facilitating a sticky learning experience
  • Flexibility: can be used to facilitate application, practice for proficiency gain, and influence thinking and drive behavioral change

Value For Organizations And L&D Teams

The appropriate use of gamification (whether complete or partial) helps:

  • Meet learning outcomes—on par with other learning strategies
  • Create better recall and retention
  • Lead to better completion rates
  • Provide flexible for application across different training needs—learn, apply, practice, upskill, and so on

How Can You Use The Power Triad, mLearning, Microlearning, And Gamification?

You can use the combination of mLearning, microlearning, and gamification to create an immersive learning experience and achieve:

  • Sticky learning and its effective application on the job
  • Skill building
  • Reducing the proficiency gap
  • Influence change in thinking
  • Trigger behavioral change

Also, it can:

  • Be delivered in mLearning/mobile app format.
  • Feature gamified microlearning (as nuggets or as a learning pathway).
  • Have microlearning nuggets that could be gamified elements (or only the learning path featuring the nuggets may be gamified).
  • Integrate immersive approaches like Virtual Reality (VR) in part or over a gamified learning journey driven by the VR approach.

Sound confusing?

Let me show you how this is possible through 4 interesting combinations. These can be used to help your learners: learn, apply, practice, or upskill. The extended application will also help you influence/trigger change in thinking and behavior.

1. Gamified Microlearning Activities: Delivered As mLearning (Featuring Microlearning Nuggets)

Gamified microlearning activities offer short, focused, gamified tasks. You can design these nuggets to offer highly experiential training.

These can be offered as individual nuggets to match the required outcome, including:

  • Learning
  • Solving a problem
  • Apply the acquired learning
  • Practice
  • Proficiency gain

You can use microlearning gamified activities to offer both formal training as well as Just-In-Time learning aids or job aids [1]. Their value lies in facilitating proficiency gain and behavioral change over a period of time. You can design learning to leverage social or collaborative learning.

2. Gamified Learning Journeys: Delivered As mLearning (Featuring Microlearning-Based Learning Pathways)

You can use gamification to further enhance the impact of microlearning-based learning pathways/journeys for both formal training and performance support intervention.

  • You can leverage gamified learning paths that can support the learning journey, which includes multiple nuggets. The learning path can have multiple levels, challenges, awards, leaderboards, and so on.
  • You can have gamified assessments as microlearning nuggets.
  • You could also offer gamified assessments as micro-challenges. These are stand-alone nuggets that can be pushed as challenges after the training is completed. They encourage learners to refresh or review previous learning.
  • You can offer gamified nuggets in various microlearning formats that enable learners to:
    • Learn something new
    • Practice for perfection and gain proficiency
    • Apply the acquired learning
    • Solve a problem/challenge

3. Personalized Gamification: Delivered As mLearning/Mobile App (Featuring Microlearning Nuggets-Based Learning Journey)

Personalized gamification enables you to offer highly customized, relevant gamified experiences to your learners through the following ways:

  1. Relevant learning journey
    Through personalized gamification, you can offer a relevant learning path (based on the learner’s interests, aspirations, or a pre-test). Or, you can give learners the control to select the most appropriate learning path.
  2. Personalized feedback
    You can go beyond the standard scores, badges, or leaderboards and provide highly relevant and personalized performance-related feedback. The personalized feedback can give them a more relevant view of where they stand against the learning goals.
  3. Personalized performance support
    Based on learner behavior, you can offer specific tips or additional resources that will help them fix their current gap or help them enhance their proficiency.
  4. Calls-To-Action
    Personalized gamification is a great way to trigger Calls-To-Action that will help them meet their learning goals faster.
  5. Staying connected
    After successful completion, you can keep the learners connected by pushing gamified micro-challenges. These nuggets can help them refresh their learning or review what they have forgotten.

4. Gamified Immersive Learning Strategies: Delivered As A Microlearning-Based Learning Journey Accessible As mLearning

You can use a combination of immersive learning strategies [2] and gamification to amplify the impact.

You can create gamified learning journeys that feature a partial or complete backdrop of highly immersive learning strategies. For instance, you can have some microlearning nuggets in the gamified learning journey that feature immersive techniques like Virtual Reality (VR). Alternatively, you can also use a completely gamified VR-driven learning path.

I hope this article gives you the necessary ideas on how you can leverage the power triad: mLearning, microlearning, and gamification to create immersive learning experiences.

Meanwhile, if you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.

References:

[1] Gamification And Microlearning: A Dynamite Combination

[2] Tips and Strategies to Convert Your Existing Training to an Immersive Virtual Learning Experience

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