August 23, 2021

Edutainment: Why Learning While Having Fun Works

By: ELM Learning

learning as edutainment
Artwork by Kevin Bannister
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Edutainment—combining education and entertainment—translates to learning while having fun. And it’s as effective for adults in corporate settings as it is for children.

 

This article will help you understand what makes edutainment so effective. It’ll also teach you how to implement edutainment in your current eLearning efforts.

 

What Is Edutainment?

Edutainment could be another word for learning engagement. Nowadays, corporations seek ways for their employees to engage with training programs. That’s a clear shift from an era in which the goal was to feed—almost flood—employees with the information they had to retain.

 

In the edutainment learning era, the aim is for employees to feel enthusiastic and excited about learning. Mixing education with entertainment is key to achieving that.

 

Despite being fun, edutainment is serious and professional. And just because it’s enjoyable or amusing doesn’t mean that it lacks meaning—quite the opposite.

 

A documentary is a great example of using entertaining media—the TV—to educate (or edutain). The documentary presents the learning content in an entertaining way that captures the learner’s attention and focus.

 

Want to find out what edutainment can do for training at your organization? Read below.

 

The Benefits of Edutainment 

Edutainment is a method of driving learner engagement. And it’s effective when applied to an educational TV show for children or an edutainment-based corporate training program. In other words, the context to which the method applies changes, yet the outcome remains the same.

 

When training involves more of your employees’ senses, you get even higher engagement. Plus, entertaining learners through multimedia increases the amount of information they retain.

 

Edutainment acknowledges that learners often have short attention spans. So, by adding entertaining elements to the learning experience, your employees will focus more.

 

Besides engagement and focus, edutainment:

  • Inspires learners
  • Helps them get the most of the learning experience
  • Is highly effective and resource-efficient
  • Improves performance on the job
  • Attracts the millennial workforce at corporations

Now let’s delve into how you can train your employees with edutainment.

 

Adding Entertainment to Your eLearning Programs

These are a few ways in which you can blend entertainment and training at your company:

 

1. Gamification

Gamification is a widely used edutainment tool. It consists of adding elements of friendly competition to the learning experience. For instance, employees can earn points or badges, or move up levels for succeeding at specific learning activities such as passing a quiz-style test. Or they might need to beat an hourglass in the process. Perhaps employees have their names on a company-wide leaderboard—encouraging good-natured competition for the top slots.

 

This competition-based reward scheme is highly motivating to learners. When they win, they feel a sense of achievement, and when they don’t, they want to win next time. Altogether, these factors make employees motivated to learn more.

 

On top of that, gamification teaches how to define winning strategies, solve problems, and work as a team.

 

2. Game-based learning

This is more than gamification. In game-based learning, the whole learning experience is a game, and your employees must play the game to learn. They develop knowledge by absorbing new information on the topic while they progress in the game.

 

When using games to deliver training, it’s important to align the game with learning objectives. It’s also important to base the game rules on performance criteria.

 

Games make your employees feel autonomous. Additionally, they learn without the weight of the risks they’d face if they made poor choices while doing their jobs. Games also teach logical reasoning and decision making, which improves efficiency. At the end of the day, your employees will feel more confident at work! They’ll overcome obstacles and reach goals more easily.

 

3. Storytelling

Telling stories is entertaining…and educational! Storytelling is a way of engaging your employees with training programs through empathy and representation.

 

When a training course uses a story and your employees recognize themselves in the characters, you’ll win their attention. Stories always have a hero, a problem, obstacles, and victory—or, on rare occasions, defeat.

 

4. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)

AR and VR technologies create immersive—and very entertaining —learning environments. And they are appropriate for corporate training too! VR simulations can provide your employees a hands-on learning experience that’s very effective and risk-free.

 

At this point, the remaining question is, “What technology do I need to give my employees edutainment experiences?” The answer is in the next section.

 

Platforms for Edutainment

With edutainment, you can use devices and tools that your employees can easily access and probably already use regularly, such as:

  • YouTube, which you can use as a channel for video lessons
  • Smartphones and tablets, which your employees can use to learn with quiz-based gaming applications

Therefore, you don’t need special technology to educate your employees through edutainment. They’re already familiar with and likely to be willing to use the ones you might choose.

 

Edutainment: Technology + Involvement = Memory

Edutainment extends employee knowledge and skills through fun learning experiences. And although it’s not new, advances in educational technology are supporting the advances of edutainment.

 

But there’s more good news. You don’t need to minimize the complexity of topics to include edutainment in your learning strategy. Rather, you can make your corporate training programs relaxed and exciting learning experiences that cover complex and layered topics.

 

As a result, your employees will feel more involved in their own training, which is exactly what you aim for. And they’ll remember what they learn for longer periods of time, which makes them more effective.