Entertain to learn or learn while being entertained? An article from Jean-Marc Tassetto in l’Agefi

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1 month ago

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Time is a scarce resource. Thin line between personal and professional lives, abundance of unsolicited notifications, limited attention span… According to a Josh Bersin for Deloitte study, which described a corporate learner today, ⅔ of respondents complain about not having enough time to do their jobs. From there, it seems a bit unreasonable to think that these will find and allocate some time to train in addition to their daily work…

Because it is massive, ubiquitous, fast to implement, digital learning can help. But it is not enough for you and me to train everyday assiduously. Engagement rates on digital learning platforms are historically low. Engage learners, maintain activity or high course completion rates as well as keeping a high user satisfaction – which can be monitored by the Net Promoter Score – are still big challenges. 

How do we raise then these indicators while keeping in mind that we lack time and that training is still usually something that is mandatory and enforced more than something we really want to do? To bring some elements to answer this question, let’s start from a simple factual observation: what do we regularly do when we have some time to spare? We watch a movie, a TV show or any other form of entertainment: in one word, we have fun!

Tackling the issue the right way

One way to tackle the lack of time issue while delivering training is to consider the Netflix, Disney, Fortnite side. The entertainment companies. To tackle the issue the right way: we don’t want to add fun, engaging and playful features to something boring but we want to start from an engaging format and add learning to it.

From Jean Piaget to Donald Winnicott, from Mélanie Klein to Anna Freud, psychoanalysts, psychologists and pedagogues acknowledge the importance and the impact of the game in learning processes. It seems obvious then that the entertainment field seems to be the right one – engaging, fun, ludic – for learning to be added to it. 

Did you like Bandersnatch, the Black Mirror interactive episode with multiple endings, available on Netflix? Using the same format, why not conceive a course taking a learner through a recruitment interview, where you can use different answers, with multiple endings, with alternative routes, while you actually learn how to conduct a business interview?

Are you playing Escape Games during your corporate events or with your friends? We have developed a digital Escape Game at Coorpacademy for a learner to know better the Coorpacademy platform and its content. And engagement rates showed it was a major success!

Avoiding the ‘pure game’ dimension

Entertainment creates habits, recommendation engines bring a communitarian dimension: it is very clear that the game – and it’s not new – is a very powerful ally to education. According to the study The Future of Entertainment from Havas x Cannes Lion published in May 2019, to the question “Which field should be improved by entertainment?”, 62% of respondents said ‘education’. And to the question “What should entertainment do?”, 88% of respondents answered ‘to educate and empower people’. 

In the end, we need to reapply the digital experience to what scientists and pedagogues know already – while avoiding the trap of going ‘full game’. Entertainment and learning can and should work together. So let’s dream of a course a learner will praise at the coffee machine in the morning, like this exciting movie he or she saw the day before…

This article from Jean-Marc Tassetto, co-founder of Coorpacademy, was originally published in French in the Swiss newspaper l’Agefi. If you want to read it in its original form, it’s here. 

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