Game Based Learning

As we all know video games have become especially popular with the younger generations (Y, Z etc.), including mine (X) of society. As those regular readers of my blog would know, I believe that games help users problem solve in situations that we’re not normally familiar with. This is especially true of modern games. These have evolved to levels in which users are not just toying around with a joystick or gamepad and controlling a single character like I used to play in the 80s, but are multitasking, balancing strategies and solving complex problems, all while communicating with other players, either via chat or voice through the Internet. Game guru, Gabe Zichermann at a recent game conference I went to showed how games can boost learning engagement. He mentioned three reasons why they’re effective: those being “feedback, friends and fun.”

Now, anyone who’s spent time reading my blog is likely to already know how I like to mix game mechanics and learning. Those that have been in the e-learning world or even just internet world, have probably heard the term “gamification” been used a lot. In fact, just recent I recently at work did a talk on it and got a few ears pricking up. In my research for the talk, I learned how Deloitte also uses badges and points to reward employees who take courses in its online learning portal. Deloitte also made the practice competitive by adding a leaderboard, so all participants could see where they stacked up in relation to their peers. I think Gabe would be proud, fun, friends and feedback, shown very well indeed. I would love to work with a company that would embrace these current trends in learning and adding game mechanics as I have been a big gamer from way back and with my Instructional Design background, I could integrate many different sorts of interactions which would work with learning and linking to pedagogy. 

I have had this idea of something I want to build. Imagine the students logging in and joining a quest in a topic like say Financial Accounting or Biology linked to the pedagogy of the overarching learning outcomes of a traditional course. The students are then in charge of constructing their paths; the teacher could provide as many interlocking clues and mini games as deemed necessary for the students to build on their own path to reach the destination, almost like a “guided choose your own adventure”. Students can then rank, rate, comment and provide feedback on each of the quests for others to view as well. Then, dependent on the learner, those quests can be accomplished in isolation, cooperatively or competitively within the friendly game environment. As the learner completes each quest, he or she is not awarded a percentage or letter grade, but experience points instead. These points would add up to the total point requirement for course completion and in turn give a ranking and a status on a leaderboard like Deloitte had. I would have in-game badges and awards as part of the solution as well. Anyone else want to help work on this engine, I would also make it mobile friendly and platform agnostic (using HTML5 and Javascript etc)?

Can you believe I’ve rambled about games, elearning, webstuff and stuff on my life so many times?! I do just want to take a moment and thank all my readers for sticking with me these past two hundred posts. I truly cannot express how much you all mean to me; your comments brighten my day and it’s been a true pleasure getting to know more of you and becoming blogging buddies. What’s to come in the next 100 odd posts?! To tell you the truth, I hope it’s more about the cool stuff I am researching into now (yes more game based learning and scenario training etc.).  I’m glad this blog proves I can be good at my research and expressing my thoughts when I set my mind to it. Thank you all for reading over the last 11 years. There will be plenty more posts to come.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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