Many moons ago when I was a new Content Producer at NogginLabs, my very first task was to write a script for a new tablet-based game. The premise for the game was a day at the ballpark, and the idea was to design it for intellectually disabled people who might otherwise not engage with a workout regime.
The mobile learning game would include basic workouts that anyone could do, all under the guise of attending a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Easy enough, I thought. Admittedly, though, I didn’t completely understand how a game like this might succeed. I was new to the Noggin circuit, sure, so my brain had yet to adjust to our way of thinking. But I quickly learned that engaged users really do learn more, as was the case with Foov at the Ballpark.
Our development team had the good fortune of observing some of the subjects while they interacted with Foov at the Ballpark. We also communicated often with Meg and Sylvie, our two contacts on the project. The users of the app were completely engaged in the experience and better able to develop critical skills and positive workout behaviors. Their engagement with the sounds, sites, and activities of a baseball game were exactly what they needed to successfully complete a workout.
When we gamify your content or create custom e-learning courses, we want to achieve this same level of interaction, enthusiasm, and wonder that happened withFoov. When users are engaged with a course, they might feel more ownership over their personal experience, giving them the motivation to follow through and learn as much as they can.
THE MORE YOU ENGAGE WITH THE CONTENT, THE MORE LIKELY IT WILL STICK.
Think about a class you took when you were in school. When a teacher lectured at you from the front of the room and expected you to passively listen, how did you feel? Did you have the motivation to take good notes or even raise your hand and ask a question? Now think about a class you took in which a teacher encouraged conversation, critical thinking, and proactivity. You probably felt more inclined to get involved and take ownership of your knowledge. We feel the same way about our courses. The more actively you can engage with the content, the more likely it will really stick.
When I think back on what I helped create for Foov, I can’t help but be a little proud that I contributed to so many people getting what they did out of a game. (I bet you had no idea this job could be so self-indulgent, right?) You don’t realize it as you’re writing, designing, or building, but there are lots of learners out there just waiting to be engaged. Different people learn differently, plain and simple, but engagement is becoming the best place to start.