IMG_1947Lynda Donovan and Mark Reilly head this session about games together. Lynda is working for Learnovate in Dublin and has research evidence for the impact of games. We are scraping the surface of the technology innovation hence research is very important to know what works. The challenge for organizations in 2015 is dealing with the skills gap and identifying skills. The 21st century skills are multi-dimensional, hence we have to look beyond the traditional assessment methods. Enter GAMES – ilearn. While playing games, people get immersed and leave traces. iLearn is an immersive learning environment for collaboration and problem solving. Within ilearn there is a team task to improve the energy usage of Ecostreet. You can earn gold, silver or bronze levels and collaboration badges.

iLearn had various trials. The engagement evidence was very high, by statements like: “This is deadly”. “Brilliant”. “So much fun.” The task completion was 79% which was higher than expected. 80% was engaged in task related chats. The problem solving evidence showed that people were searching for the best solution “trying to see what the best buy is”. Collaboration evidence was also high, 95% voted more than 15 times, 89% tagged more than 15 times. Participants expected technology to work as social technology. Team 3c for instance was highly systematic, divided up tasks, focussed and driven.

The role of coaches

There was an in-world coach who provided scaffolding like monitoring the chats and having private chats. The effect of the in-world coach was evident because a higher percentage of the Gold and silver medal winner had chatted with the coach. The next step will be to go to the corporate world.

What are the implications for corporate learning? 

IMG_1948We have the practical example of McDonalds, the largest employer of young people. They way they learn is very different. They use technology which is part of their soul, and bombards them with lots of messages. The challenge McDonalds was facing was to introduce a new tool for orders and servicing customers. The subject is dry, it is technical and workers need just in time support. Shoulder to shoulder training would be too expensive. They searched for something fun and engaging. So the game ‘Crew challenge‘ was designed (see picture). You have to serve customers in the game, beat the clock and there is an individual score. There were 3 different levels and in every level the customers are more demanding/difficult. They should the games live to us, and we heard several orders for milkshakes :). We then had to choose the right answer for multiple choice. Feedback to the players comes from a customer score and visual customer expressions. The scores really kept people coming back, with 1200 daily plays. The crew starting using the score boards and posting it on Facebook for instance.

The business results

The results were extremely good. The service time decreased and customer complaints decreased, and the average cheque was increased with 15 pence. The game provided 90.000 hours of training and the players didn’t realize it was training. The beauty of the game is also that it is still up and being played. It was also relevant for older staff – we shouldn’t forget that the highest population in certain games are middle-aged women.


It is easy to get excited about gamification but don’t forget it has to be right. Gamification is an important part in the blend of learning. It can create a pull for learning rather then a push. Furthermore it is fun to develop too. You can play the game and test it if you like, just go to Kineo and play.