Game-based learning is rapidly becoming a popular and effective element of corporate training. Instructional designers are experimenting with game-based learning by using them as an instructional design strategy to increase the excitement value of training. In this blog we will take a look at four learning activities that can be enhanced through the incorporation of game-based elements.
Assessments (pre and post)
Assessments, both before and after a training course, are essential for gauging the knowledge levels of the learners. Pre-course assessments help to measure the level of knowledge that a learner has before participating in a training program, making it possible to direct the learner towards a personalized learning path. Post-course assessments help to determine how much the learner has learned and retained from the course.
Standard assessment procedures can be tedious; learners are looking for something beyond the usual single-select, multiple-select, drag and drops, matching or drop-down lists. Yet assessments are crucial to learner development, and they should be designed in such a way as to motivate the learner and reinforce his or her learning. This is where game-based assessments can make all the difference.
Game-based assessments accelerate learning by engaging learners and helping them to retain knowledge. The learner is encouraged to move away from an objective stance and apply his skills and knowledge.
Pre-assessments in the form of quizzes, puzzles or mini games are a fun and effective way to help assess how much prior knowledge the learner has on a subject. Rankings such as basic, intermediate and expert can be included to help the learner understand the level of his knowledge, and to decide upon the most appropriate level of course to enroll in.
As for post-assessments, maze-oriented games are an incredibly engaging method of testing the learner’s knowledge. With every correct answer, the learner progresses closer to the end of the maze. Another option is skill-based games that test the learner on the specific skills he has acquired. He can practice these skills in a virtual safe environment while testing his progress.
Feedback should be provided to learner responses for both pre and post assessment games. It is important to explain the correct or incorrect choice made by them. This will help them understand the implications of their choice.
Gamified assessments are flexible, and can also be used as standalone elements. Hosted on the LMS, the assessments can be assigned to learners periodically and used to gauge retention of information and to offer any necessary reinforcement.
Assessments for curriculum courses
Assessments for curriculum courses are mandatory in order to help learners progress from one course to another. Formative and summative assessments are an integral part of curriculum courses. Games add an element of fun to assessments while simplifying the assessment process.
For formative assessments, a memory game can help learners to recall what they have learned through the matching of text, images or even sounds. Games where the learner must classify his knowledge by dragging and dropping text or images into the relevant boxes will help to reinforce his knowledge.
As for summative assessments, scored games are an excellent way of engaging the learner in the assessment process. In this game called Trivia Time, which is based on a familiar board game consisting of multiple choice questions, the learner moves up or down in the board based on the die cast by him and draws a card based on the number.
Game-based scenarios can be created to create an immersive learning experience for the learner. When the learner plays the game, he relates to the situation by putting himself in the scenario or by connecting with the characters in the game, amplifying the learning impact. Scenarios can be of great value in teaching decision-making skills. These scenarios place the learner in a situation and give him various options to proceed. These scenarios can be designed to mimic real life situations that the employees may face at work.
Scenario-based assessments help learners to apply the knowledge that they have gained directly in realistic and relevant scenarios. Giving the learner plenty of options to choose from will further help him to carefully consider all options; a fantastic skill for real-life decision making.
The best way to learn something is by doing it. Simulations allow learners to do exactly this as they practice a new skill in a risk-free environment. They are best suited to training for a specific skill – executing a software application, using complicated machinery, or learning safety measures required for a hazardous area.
These simulations will give learners a chance to interact with a situation they may encounter in their work, and are designed in such a way that they require learners to mimic the steps that they would perform in the real world. Simulations provide a safe method of practicing a skill that in a real-world situation would potentially prove to be costly or harmful.
These are just a few examples of how game-based learning can create an enriching online learning experience. Gamified elements, whether in the form of pre-course or post-course assessments, curriculum course assessments, scenarios, or simulations have a high impact on learners by boosting engagement – leading to great training results.