The Open University’s ‘Trends in Learning Report 2019’ has a section on ‘playful learning’ in response to increasing recognition that adults respond well to playful learning in the workplace. It says: It’s easy to pigeon hole it as being just role play or gamification, but it’s actually much broader than that. Playful learning is about experimentation, exploration and curiosity. It is as much a state of mind and an environment, as an actual medium of play, so while it can be role play and gamification, it can also be a lot of other things.”

The report refers to Google’s analysis of what made some of its teams highly successful and innovative and others not in 2012 which found that the number one characteristic of high- performing teams was psychological safety – people feeling able to play around with ideas, explore and take risks. It recommends that organisations in 2019 take learners out of their day to day routines, enabling them to try new ways of doing things and new behaviours to develop problem solving skills, critical skills and communication.

The tips given to L&D teams are:

  • Create realistic challenges where people can play in situations that resemble real life, but it’s safe to fail;
  • Don’t be misled by edutainment marketing;
  • Look at badges of accomplishment and the role of gamification;
  • Experiment with Virtual Reality. It’s early on in the adoption curve so have a play with it.

As one of the UK’s leading training providers, we make it our mission to stay ahead of the curve of the latest developments in L&D at Premier Partnership. We have been busy over the last couple of months experimenting with a range of learning that is both motivational and playful. Gamification, virtual and augmented reality, actor led role-play and ‘challenge the boss’ have all featured in a range of learning we are providing to our public sector clients and partners.

The outcome? Engaged learners who have fun learning and find it much easier to retain relevant information that influences future behaviour. We have found that our digital games and virtual reality (VR) are great for this, allowing people to try different ways of being and doing, but in a safe way.

If you want to talk to us about making your learning more fun and more impactful, get in touch.