You’ve decided to leverage the power of game-based learning to create a serious game that trains users while being entertaining and engaging. You’re ready to get started.
An important early step is to decide what kind of game will suit your pedagogical needs. It depends on your industry, learners and subject matter, in addition to some other factors.
What are the possible structures for an e-learning game?
There are many kinds of video game, which can be adapted to suit e-learning requirements. Broadly, they can be categorized as below:
Role-playing games involve the player acting as the main character in a storyline. Gameplay depends on their decisions, and the flow of events is not determined until the player has taken those decisions. Theoretically, there is an infinite number of possible paths, and gameplay is different every time that the learner participates in the learning game.
Some examples of role-playing games are The Witcher, Mass Effect, and Dungeons & Dragons.
Such role-playing games can be used in conjunction with strategy-based decision games, to allow employees to choose their own path and identify if their choices are the right ones.
For instance, a role-playing strategy game would be one where the learner’s character begins as an entry-level sales executive. They engage with customers, ask questions and make suggestions and decisions. Based on their decisions, new scenarios are presented to the learner, and the learner progresses through a career, learning along the way through role-based on-the-job training.
These games involve the application of thought and – as the name suggests – strategy, to achieve game objectives in the most efficient way possible. There’s a minimum amount of luck involved, since the priority is to figure out solutions to various problems.
It could include simple games of strategy such as chess or checkers, or more complex ones like Starcraft.
How can you use a strategy game in your e-learning? Strategy games are some of the most effective for corporate learning. In these games, they must choose the best course of action to respond to a given situation. In addition to role-playing strategy games, another way to use strategy is through detective games, in which you can set up clues through which you can guide the learner through various scenarios. Since the learner is picking up information through observation and growth, they’re learning on their own and retain the information longer.
Action games are fast-paced, engaging and interactive, and typically require quick reflexes. There’s a lot of rapid movement, and since you’re moving so fast in your reactions, your adrenaline surges and players get really excited and involved in the game. This helps retain players over time, and would help them retain the information that they are gaining through the game.
Action games could, for example, be first-person shooter video games or simpler games such as Space Invader.
How do you use an action game to impart professional or on-the-job training? After all, you don’t want to appear to be encouraging violence in the workplace! In essence, action games are not about the great graphics or fast violence, so much as the adrenaline rush created by the ticking clock. By putting a timer on any game, you increase the associated excitement and motivate your learners to complete the challenges before them.
Another great way to increase excitement is by converting the game into a contest. By putting up an ‘average’ score to be beaten, or having two learners take a game-based assessment at the same time, you motivate them with a sense of competition. This boosts engagement.
These story-driven games involve a relatively long-term focus, where game players complete multiple tasks to win the campaign. These games follow complex storylines, with several tasks or games within the same adventure.
Some examples of adventure games include The Legend of Zelda and King’s Quest.
Typically, adventure games incorporate both collaborative and competitive elements. Learners often work in teams to collaborate on solving a problem or completing challenges. They can also compete with each other to score points. An entire e-learning module can be built around an adventure game in the form of a multi-task campaign, where the learning is delivered in the form of a large number of challenges to be completed and overcome.
How can game-based learning help you? And which kind of game suits your e-learning needs best? Speak to our e-learning content creation experts today for a consultation.