Games for Learning—And Just for Fun!

  • Posted on October 31, 2014   Faizan Siddiqui

    Need a fun way to remind learners of content you covered earlier in training—but don’t have a lot of time to create it? A frame game might be just the thing!

    Examples

    Here are three examples of Halloween-themed frame games from the “Special Occasion” section of our Showcase page.

    Halloween-Entertainment
    Halloween-SuperstitionsHalloween-WordOrigins

    Approaches to Frame Games

    Frame games are pre-configured games, often with formats like Jeopardy or Hangman, that have the same game play mechanics every time, but allow you to flow in new content to meet instructional needs. Ideally the frame game pulls from banks of questions, split by topic area, so that your learners get a new opportunity to practice each time they play.

    As a designer, if your time is extremely limited, you might just pull the same questions you used earlier in quizzes and reviews into the frame game. In the LS360 LCMS, for example, you pull questions into the game template directly from your assessment item banks, making game setup super fast—under 5 minutes in most cases.

    HalloweenTemplate

    If you have a little more time, to get the most “WOW” out of your game—and encourage learners to keep playing it and practicing the content—consider sculpting questions such that each challenge delights and surprises the learner who receives it.

    Ideas

    • Be playful with your questions. Don’t just provide the definition and ask for the term. Give a mysterious clue, pun, or riddle to elicit the target word or phrase.
    • Use scenarios with snippets of story, rather than a straight question.
    • Pose true challenges and explore side cases to build expertise.
    • Build question banks such that questions become more challenging the deeper into the game the learner goes.
    • Lightly develop the characters within the story, so that learner is curious about them.
    • Carry background and stories over from question to question, providing a little slice of life in each.
    • Add humor, where appropriate.
    • Add unusual or interesting real-world events, where appropriate.
    • Instead of “correct,” go a little wilder and more enthusiastic. Make every victory feel like a stadium full of applause.
    • Feedback text can also be a great place to offer learners fun or interesting nuggets of information that they can share with others. Get them craving that next question!

    Remember: The goal is to get learners to want to practice, “see what comes next,” and hone their skills. Dry content will still be dry, even in a frame game format.

    Feeling uninspired about reframing your existing questions? Grab some colleagues and throw a question re-writing party! Collective brainstorming can help spark ideas (and add to the fun). Splitting the work among several people can make the endeavor much more manageable. Who can write the funniest questions? Who comes up with the coolest examples? The best feedback? If you enjoy the writing process, chances are your students will also!

     

    Have game templates? Have some fun!

    Laura and the 360training Authoring Team

     

    Share
    Leave a Response