Have you ever tried teaching kids? It is a difficult task to catch their attention and make them learn the facts. I once decided to teach the names of capital cities of major countries to my little cousins. All my efforts and bribes of chocolates went in vain.
That is when I decided to convert the same into a game. I decided to conduct a quiz. It worked like magic; they were falling over and pulling each other apart in a bid to answer. This is because what was initially considered a boring activity was transformed into a fun-filled, challenging activity.
This is true not only for kids, but also for learners of all ages. Remove the drudgery of acquiring knowledge by introducing a more fun-filled and seemingly leisurely activity and ease the burden of knowledge acquisition.
In eLearning, games are a great tool to engage learners with the content and reinforce learning. They break the monotony, stimulate learners’cognitive skills, and encourage decision making in a friendly manner. They personalize learning by giving learners an opportunity to select their choices.
Games can be used to:
Games encourage learners to become interested in the topic. In this case, we can have a small exercise asking learners to identify the facts or information about the topic at hand and then introduce the new content.
Example: In a course dealing with the assets used in the supply chain process in specific and the organization in general, instead of just providing a list, learners were asked to classify a set of objects based on whether they belonged to the supply chain process or the organization.
What would have been just a boring page of names was transformed into an engaging activity where the learners were encouraged to use their faculties of reasoning. This facilitated the presentation of the assets in a novel way.
Games encourage learners to think deeper about what they learnt and apply the knowledge in practical situations. In this case, the game can be designed in a way that tests the learners on concepts they have learnt without having the formality of an official assessment.
Example: In a course, about motivation, at the end, the learners were asked to identify their motivators from a list. This reiterated the learning and also gave them the flexibility to select their preferences without being worried about what was the correct answer.
Feedback is a very essential part of games. It has to be written in a way that talks and guides learners gently if they are on the wrong track. It should give them an idea of why they are incorrect and what the approved approach/answer is.
What are other ways in which games can be used in eLearning courses? If you have used games in eLearning courses, do share the other ways in which games can be used in eLearning.