The way of learning has changed substantially in recent years, and is still today constantly evolving. Methods that not so long ago were considered “science fiction” are now a routine in the “classroom”. E-learning was the first step towards change, but are serious games the real tool of the future of e-learning? Are they already “games” in the present?
Nolan Bushnell, renowned American engineer and businessman and one of the pioneers of the video game industry, argues that if we teach our brains to learn differently, results between 10 and 20 times more efficient can be obtained.
Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza, believes that the integration of video games and educational software will lead to a historic change and it will significantly transform our way of dealing with learning for the following reasons:
- 1. It will become cheaper. Cost reduction is an inherent property of game-based learning, with a system accessible from any computer anywhere in the world.
- 2. Simple and guaranteed connections, allowing users to get rid of administrative barriers from the past.
- 3. The pressure of results. Bushnell refers to children who don’t learn in their schools how to get along in real life, but the truth is that many adults complete their training without acquiring real job skills. Learning with simulators like Merchants (negotiation) or Triskelion (time management) tackles this problem in an easy way.
- 4. The adoption of “brain science“: the new way of teaching is based on the new way of learning.
Ibrahim Jabary, CEO of Gamelearn, a pioneer and world leader in game-based learning, predicts an impending change in corporate training. For the creator of Merchants and Triskelion, in 20 years most of the training will incorporate elements of gamification and game-based learning, trends to which many companies worldwide have already adapted and which, arguably, all organizations are to follow eventually.
Jesse Schell, founder and CEO of Schell Games, believes that these changes are not a thing of the future but of the present. The future is already happening. Schell predicts an “avalanche” of tablets in school systems and an immediate goodbye to textbooks. Yes, it’s true: tablets are not cheap but, as with mobile phones, they will become more affordable over time. Schell, Jabary and Bushnell, therefore, agree on one thing: change is inevitable, the only question is when.
When asked if games cannot be considered a learning tool, experts like Schell trust in the power of learning while having fun. We often hear parents complain that their children don’t show the same enthusiasm when studying Maths as when playing Call of Duty. Games, if implemented in the system as learning tools, will have significant impact.
It’s not only about engaging students, but also obtaining data on the learning experience. In the case of serious games already on the market, such as those developed by Gamelearn, feedback is an essential part of the benefits gained with these tools.
Users receive constant feedback on what they are doing well and what they are doing wrong, and they are offered an opportunity to change and improve in order to achieve the goal. It is a fundamental change in experience for those who are willing to develop their potential and grow personally and professionally.
What do you think is the future of e-learning? What do you think will characterize the training of the future?