"There is a fine line between training, and training reinforcement..."
When we train, or administer any sort of "learning", regardless of the method (e.g., Classroom, e-learning, hands on, etc.) there are some basic principles to be met.
- You want to be thorough and holistic yet engaging
- Having several questions or situations presented covering as much ground as possible.
- We need to pay attention to the "trainee's" environment. Free from distractions
- For e-learning, media such as pictures and video can help simulate hands-on training
However, we know that "generally speaking" we as humans simply do not retain what we're taught over time without revisiting the content in which we're needing to absorb. Even if we are able to "apply" what we're taught.Make your training stick!
Example: We have found that even Nurses and Doctors who train and have real-life experiences allowing them to put that training to practice straight away, still need to re-interact with the reference points of their training to ensure improper habits of application do not occur.
So... what are the tenants of "proper" reinforcement?
If you want to have your best go at properly reinforcing, without crossing the line back into "training", here is the training reinforcement solution checklist.
- Is it simple? (Repetition is key)
- Is it accessible? (Repetition is key)
- Is it appealing? (Repetition is key)
Gamification has been gaining popularity because it well covers bullet #3 "appealing" and sometimes bullet #1 "Simple" and easy to comprehend. However it's not always widely "Accessible".
If you incorporate "Gamification" into "mobile" (Smart-phones or tablets) now you've definitely covered the Bullet #2. Don't believe me? Next time you're at the mall or stopped at a stop light, take a look around. Studies have proven recently that our digital habits have evolved to where we are interacting with mobile applications far more than even "web-surfing" with no signs of slowing. What is the MOST appealing "type" of Gamification? Trivia....look it up! We all understand the concept and allure of Trivia. And Trivia is a "game" that directly represents your "content" so you get the best of both worlds. Disjointed "games" send the wrong message, and don't help to reinforce effectively.
Ok, so we are zeroing in on a "Mobile Trivia Game" that is designed to reinforce your training content, but the only thing left is ensuring that bullet #1 moves UP from "sometimes" simple to "always". This means that your "quizzes" should be short yet holistic and effective, FREE from video and complex question structures (Multiple choice and True/False will do). And although peer to peer competition is nice for engagement, you should make sure that happens organically, and it's NOT built into the design of your game. Player vs. Content is what we want right?
If your reinforcement solution does not hold true to these 3 simple bullet points, then you're most likely not effectively "reinforcing", in fact you may be "training" again.