We all have a child in ourselves, energetic, fun loving and having zeal to explore and win games. In this state, we learn the best because our emotional state is very positive and retention of learning will be at the peak.
How do we bring out the kid in ourselves, while learning a new skill or acquiring knowledge?
How can you help learners play and learn at the same time?
The answer is to create a challenge instead of regular quiz questions to teach or evaluate learning.
For example, if we are creating a game for sales professionals, we can create a game where for every positive answer, the learner will make a $500 sale. And, if he does it right the first time, he gets a bonus. The game can be time-bound to make it more interesting.
Salesmen are used to targets and bonuses, and this will be aligned with their personalities.
Another example can be a coach and a learner playing a game, and if the learner gets it right, he gets a badge or a medal and on completion of the challenge and a winners’ cup.
One caveat – do not make the game very simple, as the learner will lose interest. Have some hurdles so that he is motivated to try harder.
Visually, having cartoon characters and a background sets the mood of a fun time and not serious learning.
Music also plays a role in engaging the learner, during assessments. Have music for right and wrong answers, a coin sound for a badge and claps for the final winners’ cup!
With authoring tools like Storyline, creating effective learning games is very easy. Some of the interesting games are hangman, memory games and matching games. The challenge is choosing the right game based on the learner, content and learning outcomes.