Playing to Learn = Higher Retention

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” - Confucius

We can read all we want and study until we can recite definitions like an encyclopedia, but none of these studying methods will ever be as impactful as getting behind the wheel ourselves.

Consider how young children learn. Babies aren’t taught to read and write until kindergarten. By which point they have already have a pretty good grasp on their immediate environment. This is in part due to their parents' disciplines, but it is also due to the inherent human behavior of learning by doing. Babies learn through playing and actively exploring their surroundings. Their brains, in response, are being developed through use. Children develop best when they are brought up in stimulating environments with ample opportunities to discover the world around them.

This sentiment remains true for learners of any age. People old and young respond to teaching methods in the same way. Concepts are far more likely to stick if a person has the opportunity to be actively involved in the “experience” themselves.


Cone of Learning example from Wikipedia (Jeffrey Anderson) 


As seen from the graph above, there’s a large discrepancy in how we learn and retain information. Visuals and hands-on experience are major deciding factors in what makes a concept “stick”. The lower third of the triangle illustrates the most effective ways that a person learns such as reading aloud while writing. The very end of the pyramid shows the most advanced level of understanding, at which point people are able to analyze, define, create, and evaluate. 

This learning realization is particularly important to consider for university students. Once they complete their studies, many of them will be faced with the dreaded “catch 22” professional experience gap. This is when students aren’t in the running for the jobs they want because they don’t have the experience. However, in order to get experience, they need someone to hire them first. 

What if a sort of pseudo experience could be embedded into the student curriculum? Thus enabling students to develop first-hand experience in tandem with their lecture courses. Thanks to education technology, it can be done! We have begun to see this play out in universities all over the world as more and more schools embrace the power of technology in the classroom.

Medica Scientific

Companies such as Processim Labs help students advance their critical thinking and analytical skills through the use of a mobile simulation game, Medica Scientific, which allows students to manage their own virtual companies. Learners become personally and emotionally engaged in a way that isn’t possible through conventional teaching methods alone. 

Through game playing, students gain an advanced understanding of complex operational concepts such as lead time management, queueing, forecasting, capacity planning, inventory control, and much more! The game’s team dynamics instantly engage classrooms and transform students into players highly motivated by competition and strategy. 

Simulation applications such as these are also being used outside of the classroom. Businesses are using simulation games to build on-the-job skills and improve their employees’ analytical thinking and problem-solving capabilities. 

Whether in a classroom or at the office, business simulation games are helping learners take what they are taught virtually, and apply it to their daily lives. Find out more about how education technology can help provide your learners with the skills they need to succeed!

Visit us today for more information. 

Meaghan Browne