At a Marine school of the Dutch Defense Force the effects of GPAL were surveyed as part of an academic study. The participating group received a three-week training through lecture style classes with the integration of GPAL; the mobile gamified application that contains an instructional video package of the training’s content. The control group received the conventional three-week training through traditional lecture style classes only.
The research showed that Basic-Safety trainees who received instruction with integration of GPAL produced significantly better results with regards to knowledge levels than those who were only instructed with the traditional method. Additionally, a large decrease in direct instruction time by the instructor made it possible to shift more towards a coaching role. While some improvements were recommended, the research demonstrated GPAL to be a very useful and promising new learning instrument. As a result, the Marine school will expand its use of GPAL in their safety schooling of employees.
The power of video as learning instrument
With GPAL being a video-based learning platform, this research confirms the power of visual, spoken guidance to employees that can be used whenever they need it. Instructors of the Marine School made several safety trainings as a collection of short videos beforehand and used GPAL to structure and deliver the training material. The videos were integrated into the program by asking employees to watch the video instructions as many times as they needed to understand the tasks to be learned.
Increasing Knowledge level by use of GPAL
This research shows a significant effect on the knowledge level of the employees in training, with a medium to strong effect size.
The average total time investment in the GPAL group was slightly lower than in the control group. Compared to the control group, there has been a shift from 100% direct instruction for the class to 63.5% direct instruction in the GPAL group. In addition, a total of 795 minutes were spent on assignments with GPAL in the classroom. This means that the role of the instructor has partly shifted from teacher to facilitator. In addition, a time gain of 30 minutes has been reported through the use of GPAL (during CBRN lessons).
We did not observe effects on learner motivation at the time of this study. We expect that video assisted learning with GPAL can have a strong effect on motivation, but this has yet to be investigated further. In order to increase motivational benefits we will expand the gamification elements in GPAL in the following period.
Findings from other research supports our expectations with regards to potential motivational effects of learning by using video: “Social-cognitive theories (Bandura, 1986) also emphasize the motivational side of observing how someone else tackles a task (live or on video). Who sees that a fellow student is able to perform a task well, gets confidence in the equity to do the same, which can have a positive effect on the learning outcomes.”
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