Recently I was trying out Knowledge Guru, which, according to its site, is "a game engine that uses the power of play to help learners learn facts fast." I've been reading a lot lately about the gamification of learning but had never heard of Knowledge Guru before, so I thought I'd look into it and see what possible implications it could have for the eLearning field. I think a lot of companies will balk at the large price tag attached to the service, but if it's within your company's budget, the science upon which the service is based seems to be sound, and it might be an incredibly useful learning tool for your organization. This article, however, is not about Knowledge Guru, but instead about what testing the product made very clear to me: repetition in learning works.
I'm sure this is not groundbreaking information for anyone in the eLearning field, but as someone who is involved frequently on the designing and delivering side of eLearning and very rarely on the receiving side, I was surprised at how easily I was able to learn foreign concepts just with repetition.
Knowledge Guru's sample game revolves around football facts. Now you have to understand, I do not like football. I do not have any knowledge of the game or how it is played, and, what is more, I have little to no interest in acquiring said knowledge. But what I do have is an interest in being at the top of a leader board, so that was my motivation as I entered Knowledge Guru's world.
And that world turned out to be a place where the game throws you right into a question without giving backup information. My first thought was that this was a shortcoming. It seems counterproductive to throw a learner right into a quiz without first giving them the knowledge needed to potentially answer the questions correctly. But as the quiz progressed, the same questions were asked again in a different format. The new wording of the questions and the answers forced me to carefully read each question and all of the answer choices. And about halfway through the quiz, I realized that this quiz was doing something my boyfriend has continually failed to do: it was teaching me the rules of football.
Now I can't say that the next time football is on the tube I will enjoy watching it. But I certainly do plan to shock my boyfriend by knowing all (okay, some of) the rules!
Are you utilizing repetition in your eLearning? Is it working? What other learning mechanisms are you successfully employing? I'm looking forward to reading your comments.
AJ teaches a live, 3-hour class that offers tips/tricks for improving the look and feel of your PowerPoint presentations: Slide Sprucing: Remodeling Lackluster PowerPoint Slides for eLearning and Presentations.