What we can learn from games.

Hello all!

I've recently launched a blog looking at what we can learn from games as Instructional Designers.

This week I'm focusing on a game called Prison Architect and the design elements we can take from their introduction/tutorial level. These are generally key to giving the player the information and skills needed to play the game hence my initial focus on them.

If anyone takes a look or comments that would be much appreciated. I'll be covering several games on the blog and it would be great to have this wonderful community input.

Hopefully we can all learn something together!

The link to Gaming in Training is here - Gaming in Training Blog.

84 Replies
Joshua Roberts
Chris Lee

Joshua, I was only thinking of music when the learner answers correctly and
the character is then animated (a learner reward as you indicated in a
previous post)The game scenario is for the learner to use stepladders and
ladders to put out fires in a tower with 3 lives to do it (hidden behind
the cloud, shown when slide plays). The learner has to check and safely use
the ladder to enable the character to use them. Hope that makes sense. I
would love any feedback good/bad as I'm at the storyboard stage.

Thanks

Chris

That's a good idea Chris. 

I was imagining a 100 piece orchestra, full length soundtrack. 

For the purpose you want that would be a great solution. Noises/effects/soundtracks in certain situations makes it easier for the learner to associate with being correct. One of the most iconic uses of sound for me comes from Zelda - when you successfully complete a puzzle in a dungeon you receive an audio prompt to let you know you've done so. It's a good reinforcer that the path they've just taken is correct.

Whilst I may sound Pavlovian with this - that sound will then associate with the learner as meaning 'success'!

Joshua Roberts

New post coming today guys a nice bitesize E-Learning tip.

Full feature post coming next week along with the launch of the new site!

Also I recorded an interview with Monica Cornetti this week discussing scenarios in E-Learning along with some gamification elements, you can access that here.

In further news to all of those exciting things I'll be releasing my first podcast this week so stay tuned for that and as always I'll let you know when it's active.

Joshua Roberts
Stephen Cope

Hi Joshua,

I'm really enjoying the blog, keep up the good work.  I came across a game developed to encourage cancer treatment adherence and thought you might be interested in it.

http://www.re-mission2.org/#/about

Thanks

Thank you so much for this Stephen and thank you for the kind words.

This is a topic very close to me as I'm sure it is with a lot of people so thank you again for sharing the link.

Tristan Hunt

As always a great read!

I'm currently working on some gamified e-learning for school children and interested to know your thoughts on the differences in between creating learning for them and adults.

It's interesting one of the modules I have recently built has been designed similar to how you describe chunked into small amounts of content with mini-challenges. It uses a points based system but I could envision using that to unlock the final (boss) challenge.

Joshua Roberts
Tristan Hunt

As always a great read!

I'm currently working on some gamified e-learning for school children and interested to know your thoughts on the differences in between creating learning for them and adults.

It's interesting one of the modules I have recently built has been designed similar to how you describe chunked into small amounts of content with mini-challenges. It uses a points based system but I could envision using that to unlock the final (boss) challenge.

That's a great idea Tristan, one approach I've used before. I always feel as though the whole unlocking an assessment doesn't work as a reward.

This actually ties in to designing for school children. During an English language module I created for a school I used several small challenges where the reward for completing them was some armour or items for your character. When you unlocked the final boss (a large dragon) you successfully spelt the words you learnt to do damage to him. Depending on which armour you had the dragon would do less damage to you!

Just one example!

Tristan Hunt

Great post! would have to say yours is by far my favorite blog on e-learning.

Any suggestions for how you explain easter eggs to reviewers etc? For example I have just built a module on water saving for children, it has a picture of a house and when you click on the areas you can save water (shower,bath, toilet etc) it plays sound and provides a water saving tip. I included a couple of other spots (xmas tree in the attic, birds in the tree) that also play sounds but obviously no water saving tip. A couple of the reviewers have commented that they don't see the value in these.

 

Joshua Roberts
Tristan Hunt

Great post! would have to say yours is by far my favorite blog on e-learning.

Any suggestions for how you explain easter eggs to reviewers etc? For example I have just built a module on water saving for children, it has a picture of a house and when you click on the areas you can save water (shower,bath, toilet etc) it plays sound and provides a water saving tip. I included a couple of other spots (xmas tree in the attic, birds in the tree) that also play sounds but obviously no water saving tip. A couple of the reviewers have commented that they don't see the value in these.

 

Thank you Tristan that's very kind of you.

So the challenge you face is quite common. I like to discuss with the SME the reasons why this shouldn't be included - I know that 'value' is an important word for them however E-Learning has to be about the experience. Experiences need to be built and crafted and you're also satisfying the users who are natural explorers, which is great for your course.

Using clickable areas like that isn't a great deal of work for you but to the user they will appear as nice additions and provide that reference I speak about in the post of making the user smile. The reviewers may not see the value in those additions but at the same time they are not truly the target audience, they are looking at everything with a close eye because they know what they need to see from that course. The average user who is usually being roped into doing a course is the target and small interactive pieces like you've added will go a long way (in my opinion) to help change the landscape of learning from presentation to experience.

Games employ a similar philosophy, there are countless games that include a bathroom with things like a flushing toilet, there's no practical sense for them but if the player can see it then it makes sense they can interact with it. The same applies for E-Learning courses.