Game-based training makes learning more enjoyable — but it’s also specifically designed to get employees job-ready in less time. Here are three ways that game-based training improves learning outcomes.

1. Game-based Training Makes Learning Active

Game-based training is interactive, using active learning to help employees learn more, faster. By taking passive content (like videos and PDFs) and making them into interactive games, this method forces users to stay actively engaged with course content. Employees can’t doze off or zone out, because they’ll lose points or miss questions. They must pay attention and stay engaged to max out their scores and master the content.

2. Game-based Training Increases Knowledge Retention

Studies have shown that our ability to remember things we hear is significantly worse than our ability to remember things we see and touch. Encouraging active participation instead of passive engagement with training materials helps encode knowledge more effectively.

Game-based training also uses two practices shown by cognitive psychology research to improve retention: practice testing and distributed practice. Practice testing gives employees the opportunity to recall information in a low- or no-stakes environment, which helps encode it in their long-term memory. With distributed practice, training sessions are spread out over time, which helps to encode learned materials in long-term memory.

Game-based training combines these two techniques in short modules that are designed to be taken a few at a time, every couple of days. These modules combine quiz formats with game elements so employees learn through play.

3. Game-based Training Encourages Application of Learning

It’s not enough to just present content to learners; you ultimately need them to apply it to their day-to-day work. Game-based training encourages application of learning in two key ways. First is the use of interleaved practice, a study technique that combines topics and encourages application of knowledge because it “allows [learners] to more readily compare different kinds of problems.” While this type of practice can result in lower initial assessment scores, it helps learners organize content in their mind so they can more accurately apply it later.

Secondly, game-based training encourages application of learning with role-play scenarios. Role-plays enable employees to practice applying information in realistic scenarios without the risk of a live environment. These activities build confidence and help increase application by having employees think through how they would use the information they learned in real-world situations.

The Bottom Line

Game-based training doesn’t just make training fun. It also improves learning outcomes — helping employees learn, remember and apply more information. By making training more interactive, you can help make employees knowledgeable, confident and role-ready in no time.