No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Enhancing your Cognitive Function through Gamification


Cognitive skills are often overlooked when it comes to learning new information. People tend to see learning as how much you know, rather than how effectively your brain processes the information it receives.

Cognitive psychology is radically different from other psychological approaches in that it accepts the use of scientific method and rejects introspection. Ulric Neisser first coined the term in 1965 in his book, Cognitive Psychology (Princeton University).

Through enhancing the cognitive function of our brains we can become far more effective learners. There are a number of habits that you can develop to improve cognitive function, but one rapidly emerging approach that neuroscience theorists suggest we can do this through is gamification.

Simply put, gamification uses the elements of games to motivate and engage the user. The theory is that you can use game based mechanics to enable people to learn and solve problems in a non-gaming environment. Gamification is still a relatively new concept having first come to thought in 2002 and only receiving widespread academic recognition in 2010.

Engaging employees through gamification is becoming increasing popular in the workplace because games can:

·         Increase optimism

·         Enhance social skills through multi-player scenarios

·         Create meaning by making it possible for participants to achieve success

When you take these positive features into account, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that so many businesses are using gamification to engage their employees and evolve their learning capabilities.

In the following paragraphs we’ll delve deeper into gamification to explore exactly how it can help to enhance cognitive learning and if it is ultimately beneficial and healthy for the brain.

The Two Core Types of Gamification

Award winning training professional, Karl Kapp, is of the belief that there are two types of gamification, structural and content (Kapp, 2013).

Structural gamification

Structural gamification is the application of game-like elements but with no alteration to content. An example would be the learner watching online tutorial videos and winning points for each video they watch. The game-like point scoring system helps to engage the learner and as a result, cognitive functions should enhance.

Content gamification

Content gamification is different in that it applies game-like elements to the content. For example, content gamification is at the heart of many team-building sessions as course instructors add practical challenges and tasks to programs.

How gamification can enhance cognitive learning

Cognitive skills are the tools that enable you to successfully think, plan, prioritise and process information. Through developing well-rounded cognitive skills, you can learn more quickly and efficiently and studies have shown that gamification can play a major role in the process.

The Ford Motor Company of Canada were looking to train and motivate certain members of staff so that they could deliver the optimal customer experience and ultimately increase sales (Bunchball, 2014).

Gamification was at the core of the solution as the employees needed to be motivated to use the courses and resources that the company made available to them on a training website. The first step was to add levels to performance tasks and missions and for each level completed, the employee would receive a badge that was displayed in a virtual trophy case.

From day one of the changes to the program being implemented, the site received over 100,000 unique visits and by week five, activity on the site had more than doubled. Furthermore, a positive correlation was established between engagement on the training website and KPIs.

Ultimately, the application of Gamification to the training website help to instill a sense of competition amongst employees and they became much more focused on the training programs. Due to the increased engagement employees were able to learn and solve problems more effectively, which had a positive effect on their ability to carry out key parts of their job.

If you or someone you know struggles to learn, weak cognitive skills are the most likely reason. However, this can be corrected through stimulating the brain and employing techniques such as gamification. With the concept rapidly gaining widespread popularity both in the classroom and the workplace, there is no doubt that gamification can improve cognitive training and your overall quality of life.

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!