September 26th, 2016 Instructional Design

instructional-designerIncorporating gaming methodology into formal learning events is a great way to help learners grasp complex concepts. It can be used in nearly every context including the educational sector, corporate setting, and non-profit industry.

What might not be as well known is that the use of games for teaching initiatives is more than just throwing up leaderboards and ways for distributing points. Instructional designers must go through great lengths to ensure that they implement the right kind of game for the right situation.

Game-based learning is not “color by numbers”. The way the game is designed and used depends a great deal on the course content, audience, budget, and institutional culture. The choose should take these things into consideration in order to maximize its impact. You may decide that game-based learning isn’t a good fit at all.

As far as available approaches, here are six popular ways to implement game-based learning as originally shared by Filament Games.

Stand Alone Games – Game mechanisms are tuned to specific learning objectives and mastery of the game means mastering the content.

Simulations – Digital experience that is meant to simulate real-life scenarios when the real-life scenario is difficult, dangerous, or has cost restrictions.

Mini-Games – A short game experience existing within or along side the digital course content. Used best when reinforcing singular lesson objectives.

Playful Tools – Digital tools that are meant to playfully handle logistical needs.

Interactives – Simple cause and effect interactions used to help the learner visualize or reinforce the key concepts.

Gamification – Adds scoring, points, badges and achievements to existing course content. Great for motivating learners towards a desired goal.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


2 responses

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Hi Justin,
Great subject and something I’m really keen to include in my courses!
Have you seen any examples where gaming has been used, on fairly ‘dry’ educational subjects? It would be great to hear or see some examples for inspiration…
Thanks for all your posts, they really help.

Hey Justin,
Great post. I really like the idea of using gamification to encourage learning. I think one of the greatest things America has shown us in the past is that competition is what really moves things forward. We were able to make it to the moon within 10 years because of the fierce competition between us and Russia. Unfortunately though a lot of people today feel that competition is a bad thing which in my opinion is really hurting our education system. I think if we encourage and incentivise competition in a learning environment, kids will be eager to be the top of their class.

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