Incorporating 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.