This is the time of the year when Nobel prizes are announced. Curious about the nominations of this year, I visited their official website recently and got distracted by an interesting simulated game that was rather engaging. It is called The Blood Typing Game. The game-based simulation teaches about how blood types can be determined in a playful way. In fact, this game was the 2012 winner of the Best Game Category by Swedish Learning Awards.
From the same site I also played the Laser Challenge Game. Well, at the end of the game, I got quite a few points but I skipped a lot of the theory to just collect points. In the end, I didn’t really learn much about what LASER was all about. It did provide a lot of entertainment and tested my speed on the keys of my keyboard, but I was not successful in improving my knowledge about LASERS. Of course, I could have if I had wanted to but I was more curious to get on to the higher levels of the game.
This got me thinking about the difference between the first game and the second one that I played.
In the Blood Typing Game, although I made mistakes in an attempt to finish and go to the next level, by the end of the game, I did manage to understand a lot about blood grouping and how it works.
However, in the second Laser Challenge game, I didn’t bother to really read the text about Laser but just clicked on continue to get ahead, thereby missing the opportunity to learn.
Given the outcome of the two games, I’d like to classify the first game as a simulation, while the second one as just a game. Most often the terms – Simulations and Games – are used interchangeably, but there is subtle difference between the two. Here is what I think distinguishes the two.
|Create a fun experience for the learner.||Explain about a process, mechanism or plainly how things work.|
|Outcome can be uncertain. Chance or luck plays a role based on players’ dexterity using keyboard, buttons or mouse.||Requires a combination of strategy and skills to play the game. Outcome dependent on the decisions.|
|Can have elements of fantasy and artistic exaggeration weaved into a story.||Portrays realistic image of a situation, software or systems. Tasks or steps are realistic and sequential.|
|Emphasis is on playing and winning points or badges.||Emphasis is on reflecting, exploring and succeeding through trial and error.|
So, in the context of eLearning where can we use simulations and where can we use games? Simulations might work best either during formative assessments or even during the process of learning, while games can be used for summative assessments.
Ideally, there should be a way to take the best of both the domains to create a vibrant engaging interface for learners to develop useful skills or knowledge. MIT Sloan Management’s Learning Edge has come up with a series of free resources that include simulation games that seem to successfully integrate games and simulations. Did you get a chance to play one of these simulation games? Try them out and share your experiences here.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
Training enhances skills and abilities of employees to be aligned to changing business needs. It is well understood that assessments are vital components of e-learning courses. They are a medium to measure training outcomes. Assessments not only strengthen learning but also help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of a course.
It is well-known that assessments are a vital component of an e-learning course. Good assessments play an important role in enhancing the efficacy of the online course by helping evaluate the knowledge gained by the learner and reinforce the learning.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. In order to adhere to food safety regulations, one of our clients came up with a requirement for an e-learning course.
E-learning and m-learning are powerful learning methods; both are dynamic and effective ways to teach people. So then, what are the differences between and e-learning and m-learning methods?
E-learning involves a series of modules with in-depth subject-matter while m-learning involves smaller chunks of information which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Modules are designed differently, depending on the kind of format used to learn. M-learning breaks the barriers of time and place and provides easy access to courses. E-learning also enables learners to access information anytime, anywhere through a laptop, and a stable environment is needed for the learner to take training.
As a college student, I had an opportunity to read Wings of Fire, the autobiography of the former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of the “missile man” who rose to great heights from humble beginnings is truly inspiring.
The sudden demise of this eminent scientist is a great loss to the country and has saddened millions. The life of Dr. Kalam is a testimony to the fact that determination and hard work can overcome the shackles of financial and other constraints.
There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.
It is common knowledge that good assessments play a key role in the making of an effective online course. They not only help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the subject-matter, but also reinforce the learning effectively.
We all know the e-learning industry is full of acronyms. Even the word e-learning itself is the shorthand for electronic learning. As an e-learning professional, it is important to be familiar with various acronyms used in the field of e-learning. Here, I would like to share some acronyms that are commonly used in e-learning.
E-learning is increasingly used by organizations as online courses are effective, affordable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. But, many organizations are not able to realize these benefits offered by the online training medium due to a serious problem – high dropout rates.