Brain Science for Gamification

Why aren’t we using Gamification more within our organizations to sustain change?  Ironically it’s the organizations resistance to change.  Go figure.  Unless the organization is able to see the benefits and value of using a gamification vendor, it will not want to spend the budget needed to integrate game mechanics into enterprise software.

What I am seeing however is that organizations are using gamification through mobile ready vendors like Axonify, Ring-O-Rang etc to quickly develop question based gaming models to increase awareness and sustain knowledge.

I am going to be writing a multi-part series on using game mechanics to sustain knowledge and also use it as a means to develop awareness of change across the organization.  Before we dive deeper into Gamification, let’s understand Brain Science.

Brain Science, a relatively new and trendy term that exudes credible information about how the mind is able to learn and keep the knowledge.  There are three key areas where Brain Science focuses.

  1. Spaced Repetition – The practice of practicing concepts and remembering the knowledge is what hardens the memory of a specific subject.  It’s similar to building muscle memory in martial arts or your golf swing.  Keep practicing and over time, it will become natural.  Cramming for exams do not allow us to have long term memory retention.  Spaced memory repetition helps the mind remember.
  2. Retrieval Practices – How do we know if our minds have absorbed information?  Not by simply reading the information but by having to regurgitate the material back in a question-answer format.  Yes, quizzes and tests check to see if we know the material but they can be easily passed by cramming our brains and doing a brain dump after the exam.  Spaced Repetition plus using a constant Retrieval Process through question-answer scenarios develops the mind to know the material and store the knowledge.
  3. Confidence Based Assessment – By providing incentives or disincentives to succeed at knowing and understanding the knowledge, individuals are likely to increase their desire to learn.  Through game mechanics, you can develop leader boards, give prizes, badges, points etc. gives learners the hunger to want more and compete to have the knowledge.

Knowing these three key concepts of Brain Science will allow us to dive deeper into why Gamification works and how it can be used in your organization.

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