Serious Games: Keys to Success
Keys to Success
Know your target audience.
If some learners might benefit more from alternatives, provide them. Different learners will like different types of games, so you may need to provide more than one game, targeted to different audiences.
Choose a game that supports the learning objectives and content, but balance this with the requirements of game play. Focus in on specific objectives and outcomes as much as possible.
Failure is not a bad thing. Don’t make the game too easy. Easy learning games do not produce good learning outcomes. Leaners are more likely to remember when things go wrong
Use competition and/or collaboration. Competition motivates learners. Collaboration is even better: it allows social learning that is effective in motivating behavioral change.
Test, test, test! Even simple edutainment games can have unexpected glitches. For example, a monopoly game that was targeted at teaching visiting nurses specific infection control techniques turned out to requuire knowledge the nurses did not have before starting the game. This was solved by holding a short briefing before starting the game, but pre-testing might uncover this type of issue.
Consider having learners create their own games. In several
reports, this was mentioned as one of the most useful exercises
involving games, probably because it requires the student to think
through the subject thoroughly.
- Serious Gains from Serious Games by Enspire Learning
- Ahdell, Rolf and Andresen, Guttorm. Games and simulations in workplace eLearning: How to align eLearning content with learner needs (Study that seems to show that Interactivity is the most significant contributor to engagement)
- O’Neil, Harold F. et. al. Classification of Learning Outcomes: Evidence from the Computer Games Literature. Curriculum Journal, Volume 16, Issue 4, December 2005. This is a metastudy which highlighted the relationship of instructional design to effective
- Wilson, Katherine A., et. al. “Relationships Between Game Attributes and Learning Outcomes: Review and Research Proposals“.
- Collaborative games: Lessons learned from board games by Jose Zagal, et.al.