WHY FUN IS SERIOUSLY GOOD FOR YOUR LEARNING
The Science of Fun in Learning
Fun has a positive effect on motivation levels, determining what we learn and how much we retain. Learning isn’t a one-off event. It requires repetition and dedication. If the experience is fun, learners will stay curious and keep coming back for more.
Learning needs fun, if learning isn’t fun, it won’t be effective. That’s not just a sneaking suspicion – it’s a cold, hard, scientific fact.
A study in the journal, College Teaching, found that students could recall a statistics lecture more easily when the lecturer added jokes about relevant topics.
In her book, Neurologist, Judy Willis showed how fun experiences increase levels of dopamine, endorphins, and oxygen – all things that promote learning.
In a study for the Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Michael Tews found that employees are more likely to try new things if their work environment is fun.
Dr Laura Kubansky has undertaken research which demonstrates that fun is good for your health.
Many influential researchers (Dulay & Burt, 1977; Krashen, 1982) have found evidence that people learn better when they’re feeling strong positive emotions.
The science proves it, learning is fun. So take the hint and make your session exciting!
These are just five examples from the masses of research into the impact of making an enjoyable learning experience. Though it’s a small sample, it’s clear to see the impact that fun can have on learning effectiveness, memory retention and in promoting self-led learning. So why not let your students and learners have some fun in the classroom?
What Does it Mean to Have Fun Whilst Learning?
The idea of fun in learning or fun in education can be a hard one to grasp. Yet, at heart, we all know that learning is fun. Or at least… it should be. It shouldn’t be so hard to learn and have fun, should it?
Do you remember the last time you sat down just to learn something new or improve your skills at work? Though the idea of self-development is exciting, the process is usually a bit dull. There’s a lot of hard, boring work to do before you can reap the rewards. Sometimes it’s tough to motivate yourself.
Winston Churchill said, “Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught”. This is how most of us see learning and development. That’s because the approach to training hasn’t evolved since Churchill was yawning at the back of a classroom. The thought of accessing an online learning platform probably doesn’t fill you with a sense of giddy joy.
Shouldn’t we be excited to unleash superpowers we never knew we had? Shouldn’t we wake up each morning wondering what new lessons the day might bring? If that’s the case, why is corporate training so… well… corporate? So how do we make learning fun for adults?
How can Learning Technology Help?
Too large, scattered or remote to make this happen throughout your company? Learning technologies can help bring all this fun to your staff wherever they are.
Want to get students' attention within a few clicks? Padka provides a reaction board (with memes and sound effects), a library of background music for different types of activities and contents, a collection of professional transitions, tools for games (set of timers and dices), also a feature to share multimedia files directly on your streaming video. Padka makes your life as a teacher and instructor much easier while keeps you students engaged.
What could be more fun than a good game? Gamification, the application of gaming mechanics to non-game environments, allows you to bring all the fun of the Zelda and Angry Birds, straight to your LMS. Points, levels and rewards will keep your learners engaged and motivated.
Use the power of social to bump up the fun element. Introduce chatrooms to your LMS where people can celebrate success, share ideas and cheer each other on. Why not add a healthy dose of competition too with a leaderboard feature? It doesn’t just have to be about learning – why not take an idea from us at Growth Engineering and encourage people to share their favourite weekend selfie – best one wins!
Whether based at the company’s head office or in a remote wilderness out posting – people can stay connected to the fun wherever they are with mobile learning. Mobile means no one has to miss out the leaderboard top spot or the latest company competition.
Our brains are 68% more active when we're having fun
Learning is Fun: Engagement is the key!
Fun, pleasure, excitement – call it what you will, the essential ingredient in any training endeavour is engagement. If you don’t spend the time to make the learning experience a compelling and enjoyable one, how can you expect your learners to spend any time on it?
Unlocking engagement in your learning platform isn’t some dark art known only to mystics and seers – it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think.