It’s important to create an immersive, fun and engaging learning experience but that is not enough if you are using games for serious learning. If you want to leverage games for the power of learning, you need to have a robust back end with carefully constructed analytics. Without having analytics for your games, you may have a fun, engaging learning experience but you don’t have data on information on which you can base decisions, improve your learning curriculum or even help employees become better at leadership or sales or empathy. You need a method to determine how learners performed, where the gaps are in knowledge and what types of role-play questions or other information are causing issues within your team. In short, without analytics, you are not able to provide the follow up or remediation you need as a person designing, developing and delivery learning. When you look for game-based learning platforms, ask to see the backend analytics so you can determine what data is being collected and how you can make informed, educated decisions about what the data is telling you. The beauty of games is that they can capture authentic activities. People don’t spend much time trying to manipulate data or answer questions how they think you want them answered when playing a game, instead, they become authentically engaged in the game experience. When a person is playing a game, you are seeing the real person. As Plato supposedly said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation1.” When you collect data from a person’s game play, you are gathering insight into what they know, how they behave and their decision-making process. If captured correctly, you can use their game play to provide valuable learning insights and help them to improve their skill and behavior by point out to them opportunities for improvement gaps in knowledge and other important information
1: There is some controversy as to whether or not Plato actually ever said these words. There is no evidence that he said anything like that. However, there is also no evidence that he did not. Either way the sentiment is accurate.
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