Minka, a serious game for learning

Why do games have a childish connotation? Is it adulthood snobbery to want to relegate games to mere entertainment? It’s quite possible, but if we look beyond this connotation, games have a lot to offer us, especially in skills development.

At Novaconcept, we are convinced that games are a very serious lever for learning in business. This is why we developed MINKA, a collaborative and educational gaming platform. How does it work in two sentences? The learners grouped into rival teams answer a series of questions organized by level. Jokers and bonuses help and spice up their respective courses. In short, the MINKA platform is based on a playful and fragmented learning approach.

Almost convinced of the approach? Here is our reasoning.

Acquiring new skills is a process that requires the learner to invest. It’s an investment in time and concentration that pays little in the short term, but whose results are more obvious in the medium and long term. The simple will to learn for the sake of learning is often strained by the accomplishment of everyday tasks. Motivation and energy are lacking when it comes to training.

What if, to motivate employees, you had to tap into another register and seek commitment in another form? A form where the reward is more immediate, where the positive reinforcement effect pushes for continuous improvement. Games have the ability to awaken motivation and make us think twice.

This is known in technical jargon as “gamification,” that is to say the addition of design and game mechanisms to contexts that are usually devoid of them.

Online training is particularly conducive to gamification, as connections with the video game world can easily be made. For our collaborative and educational platform, we have relied on two well-known game mechanisms to generate engagement: collaboration and competition.

  • Collaboration motivates learners in that it spontaneously creates a feeling of belonging and a strong team spirit.
  • Competition, for its part, seeks the motivation of learners who want to measure themselves against their game opponents and obtain positive results.

Finally, let’s not forget that motivation has a time dimension. Just like concentration, learner motivation decreases when subjected to time: therefore the more time passes, the less learners are motivated.

The solution: break the content into bite-size pieces so as not to give learners time to lose their appetite for learning. The benefits of fragmentation don’t end there; it also contributes to better retention of content in learners.

A study1 has shown that a group exposed to content cut into several pieces, interspersed with questions, performs better than a group exposed to the same content, presented in a block and followed by the same number of questions. Afterwards, an evaluation was conducted and found that the group of learners subjected to the fragmented content recorded a success 20% higher than the other group, while taking 28% less time to complete the evaluation. It’s pretty significant, don’t you think?

Far from being childish, games know how to captivate, mobilize and motivate. These are qualities that we want to use for the development of skills within companies.

To learn more about Minka, visit the link below or contact us at : minka@novaconcept.com


(1) Kapp, F., Proske, A., Narciss, S., & Körndle, H. (2015). Distributing vs. blocking learning questions in a web-based learning environment. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 51(4), 397-416. doi:10.2190/EC.51.4.b