• Robert Bell

Advantages of Game Based Learning


If there’s one common misconception about compliance training, it’s that the training itself – some might say like the rules and regulations – must also be stiff, dull and uninspiring. There is a lot to learn when it comes to financial services compliance and new developments every year can pile on the pressure to keep up. So, advances in training formats are always welcome, especially when they come with advantages such as enhancing knowledge retention. One of the more recent additions to the training suite is ‘game-based learning’.

Game-based learning is exactly that - learning through games, with the subject matter presented in the form of different styles of game. This is unique, and differs from usual formats of online training, where information tends to be presented in a linear fashion and the learner is expected to absorb the material either by listening, watching or reading. Instead, game-based learning provides an altogether different format, where the learner learns through trial and error by answering questions.

Learners can typically begin gameplay with very little subject knowledge – depending on the platform, learners can try each game any number of times, meaning that there is no ‘cost’ to the learner in getting a few answers wrong on the first go. In traditional tests, quizzes or exams, the aim is to score as highly as possible on the first try, or risk real-world consequences. One of the advantages of game-based learning is the ability to try and try again, and the learning happens through the answering of questions. There are a number of additional benefits to this type of learning:

  • It can make learning more fun – which is always a boon for compliance training! In general, subjects such as the FCA’s Complaints Rules and GDPR are not thought of as being riveting, so the possibility of getting the information across in a fun format will, in itself, attract more attention from learners. This is particularly useful where repetition of facts and themes is required – games can make this repetition fun, and repetition can aid knowledge retention. And if something is fun, we’re more likely to be more engaged with the material.

  • It can be used to complement existing training programmes: Introducing game-based learning doesn’t have to mean getting rid of current schemes, or starting from scratch, it slots in easily alongside other formats of training.

  • It can hone abilities while achieving manageable goals: This helps to increase confidence in learners while also helping them to feel like they are progressing.

  • Lessens the impact of failure: Again, this can help to build confidence, reinforcing the fact that failure is not a setback nor an outcome but an indication that knowledge or skills need to be built. Pretty useful when it comes to compliance subjects, which can be daunting, especially for new learners.

  • Allows learners to progress at their own pace: And in their own time! This makes for a more personalised experience, with the learner more likely to absorb information when they are free to play when it suits them.

  • Available online: Which makes access easier – any time of the day or night as it suits individual employees.

  • Provides a virtual world in which to learn: Which means that learners are able to learn from mistakes during the game, and in turn are less likely to make mistakes in the real world.

  • It appeals to our competitive natures: When taking part in compliance training most people would be forgiven for just wanting to achieve a passing score. But when training is presented in the form of a game, it automatically removes the implication of ‘hard work’, and our competitive natures take over. If learning happens while we’re trying to beat the highest scores of our colleagues, all the better.

  • Provides immediate feedback: Which means that incorrect assumptions aren’t embedded and the user can build the correct knowledge almost immediately. This also helps to retain interest in the subject matter.

Using games to teach compliance might sound counter-intuitive, but game-based learning is easily accessible, convenient, can increase engagement with the material, and can really help with knowledge retention. It slots right in next to existing programmes, and when it comes with additional benefits such as contributing to building the confidence and resilience of staff, the advantages are clear.

We’ll be releasing our new suite of e-learning courses in the near future, including game-based learning. Our new platform will have a number of modules for each subject, with team members using credits earned in their modules to build a financial services institution of their own. Each module is short, snappy and highly interactive, designed to keep them coming back so they can build their business faster!

You can register your interest by emailing us at: robert.bell@rbcompliance.co.uk

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