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Game Based Learning

By August 7, 2023Blogs

Game Based Learning

The uptake of digital and experiential training programmes has accelerated in recent years in the financial services sector, with an increasing number of companies are taking up game-based learning initiatives, including Banco Santander and Deutsche Bank. By bringing new, interconnected structures of learning, for example through film and storytelling techniques, and by bringing learner autonomy to the forefront, does gamified training lead to better, longer-term retention of knowledge and skills?

With reportedly high completion rates amongst participants, as well adaptive learning pathways that are tailored to learners needs, game-based learning is one solution being used to educate professionals on pressing topics like cybersecurity. The ever-evolving nature of the challenges faced by companies in the digital age requires staff to be well-informed, confident, and competent around cybersecurity and the associated day-to-day risks, which in turn requires solid in-house or external education that is fit for the future.

According to one provider of gamified training based in Germany, Arc Institute, “Game-based learning refers to the use of leveraging the inherent excitement and stickiness of a game environment as the framework for an educational course. To be effective, participants must develop real life knowledge and skills while immersed in an entertaining and addicting game.” Arc Institute make the case for the use of game-based learning in the finance sector as follows:

  1. Learning must be fun! – More engaging learning yields more motivation.
  2. On demand – For you to choose, anytime, anywhere, at your personal learning speed.
  3. Technology is a game changer – Technology permits global learning in multiple languages.
  4. Experiential learning – Instant takeaway of knowledge for use in the workplace.
  5. Content – the teams of the future require changing competencies.

They also give examples of the different ways in which Serious Business Games can be implemented as part of a wider education and training offer:

  • as independent training for employees;
  • as Blended Learning, preceding a training course;
  • integrated into an on-site training, i.e. methodical input alternates with live training in the simulations of the Serious Business Games. Individual scenes can be discussed together and thus direct learning effects can be developed.
  • live business game conventions, such as company championships, virtually decentralized or jointly on-site;
  • individually designed business games for a unique business context.

Serious Business Game trainings are reported to have been successful in certain contexts; however, to be effective they are often used alongside other learning programmes and tools, especially taking into consideration different skills, levels, varied learning styles, and of course the broad range of personalities and learning preferences within a company’s staff team. The longer-term impact of such training programmes is perhaps yet to be seen, but what seems certain is that providing innovative learning environments, fostering creative and critical thinking alongside more technical skills, and taking student-centred approaches are necessary to train the workforce of the future.

Strategic reflections

  • Adapting to the digital landscape and embracing new technologies, platforms, learning environments, tools and training programmes – including but not limited to Serious Business Games – could support companies’ efforts to upskill and reskill.
  • As with any training offer, quality is key, and with a growing number of courses and providers it is crucial that firms assess the quality and impact of game-based training offers.
  • EBTN and other global education and training networks could further investigate the impact (and potential) of game-based learning in the sector for the future, especially in areas of strategic, international importance, like cybersecurity and resilience.

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