Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2014 - (Page 15)

TOOLS IN LEARNING FOU R LE V E L S OF E N G AG EM ENT Why incorporate gaming into learning? The answer is almost always engagement. And, unlike traditional techniques of instruction, such as slide lecture or drill and practice, games are said to engage people in learning. But, what does that mean? Engaging game-play transforms consumers of information into developers of competence. Games are outstanding platforms for active learning. Players learn by confronting problems, making inquiries, experimenting with strategies, advancing through formative failures to attain summative success. They rarely thrive just by following instructions and doing what's expected. Games add the not-so-secret sauce of competition for rewards, situated narrative and visceral enjoyment. Participants become more attentive and involved when they have a tangible stake in the outcome of their play: to be a winner, to take home a prize. But we can't leave it there, because engagement is not a brass ring. You don't get to grab it in pursuit of operational excellence. Instead, engagement is a system and a process that produces different conditions and outcomes, depending on how it's generated. You'll need to think about the level of engagement that serves your learning objectives, and design a game for that specific purpose. According to Erving Goffman's book, "Encounters, the Sociology of Interaction," there are four levels of engagement. In explaining the dynamics of role play, he identifies the following: - ROBERT BECKER, PH.D. * Commitment. This level occurs when people perform within impersonally enforced structural arrangements, such as being assigned a well-defined task in the workplace or position on the playing field. They do what's expected and avoid deviations from norms. * Attachment. This level occurs when people express themselves in terms of their enactment of a role. Some people go so far as to self-actualize during enactment. This is how Type-A personalities on the trading floor and rock stars on stage typically engage. * Engagement. This normative level occurs when people "go with the flow" and "get in the game." They get spontaneously involved in role-play activities, making wholehearted investments of attention and muscular effort. Type-B personalities and athletes engage in this way. * Embracement. This level occurs when individuals disappear completely into a virtual self that has been made available in a role and situation. They determine to be fully defined in terms of that image rather than an authentic self, and to confirm expressively their acceptance of it. Each of these four levels of engagement produces a different class of outcomes. Each may be generated by the design of work and learning, but the fourth level, embracement, is especially rare. Embracement is the most thorough and deepest form of engagement. It is the gold standard in commercial videogames and T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - SPRING20 1 4 I WWW.TRAINI NGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE professional gambling, where the persona is the person while the game is being played. Embracement may also occur in elaborate training simulations, where participants are completely subsumed in their roles. You won't hear the word "embracement" uttered in the training industry, but it's what business leaders such as Walt Disney and Steve Jobs meant when they urged employees to live the brand and manage customer experience. Serious games and training simulations can generate all four levels of engagement. The farther down the list you go, the harder it is to accomplish. Since some jobs don't require more than impersonal commitment, for them the deeper levels may be over the top. GAMES ADD THE NOTSO-SECRET SAUCE OF COMPETITION. On the other hand, when your goal is for employees to co-create the roles they perform and become fully immersed in playing them - during a mission, on the shop floor, in front of customers - then gamebased learning provides robust and proven structures for making it happen. Robert S. Becker, Ph.D., designs advanced interactive learning for corporate and institutional clients. He operates Becker Multimedia and is an adjunct professor of serious games and gamification at Elmhurst College. Email Robert. 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2014

From Where I Sit
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Do You Feel Lucky?
Network Performance: The Power of Social Learning and Behavior
Meaningful Work: Not Just for Millennials
Four Levels of Engagement
What L&D Professionals Need to Know about Gamification
Enhancing Learning with Social Media
Gamification in Sales Training: Seven Critical Considerations Before the Games Begin
Let the Disruption Begin: Social Media and the Great Expansion of Enterprise Learning
Learning Made Fun: Gadgets, Games and a Safe Place to Explore
How Silicon Valley Inspired an Era of Social Learning
How Games Drive Learning
Roll the Dice: Learning with Board Games
Casebook: BAE Systems: Speeding the Business of Learning through Collaboration and Knowledge Management
Salespeople, Coaching and Gamification
Three Ways to Make Learning More Engaging
Stop Creating Dysfunctional Relationships with Employees
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2014