This week marks the last week of Games in Education – Gamification on OpenLearning. I hope you’ve had as much fun on your Adventure in Gamification as I’ve had – starting from the Introduction, strategic uses of games, how to apply games in education, using scenarios as levellers, to the Hero’s Journey. We’ve covered a lot of topics, played a few games and had a bit of fun along the way! If you’ve followed along but not yet signed up for the course, you can start it at anytime. Add it to your To Learn list or start it today!!
The Active Ingredient in Games and Multimedia
When using games one thing is really important – selling it in the first few minutes. You really have just a couple of minutes to convince your audience that you have a great product that is of great benefit for them, that will improve their lives exponentially, regardless of their issues, place in life, financial situation, grades in school, etc.
You must become one with your inner Charlatan.
Picture yourself standing on stage or on a wooden crate, shouting out to all of the passing people about this great opportunity you have for them!
Attention! Attention! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages…step right up and prepare to be Wowed, Amazed and Dumbstruck by the sheer Brrrr-ill-iance and Geee-ni-us of this deceptively simple ed-u-cational deeeee-vice…the one…the only….the Gamified, Achievable, Measurable, Educational Device – or GAME for short!
Why your inner charlatan?
Simply because you want to take advantage of the Placebo Effect…AKA taking advantage of new “treatments” or “tools” while they still work. The belief by an individual that something is going to work to make them learn or understand more, to become smarter, to get better grades is half the battle!
Tailor the Game to the Learner
As an educator or trainer, you probably have tools that get the job done. Worksheets, quizzes, projects, exams.
What if you could tailor a game to your learner? What if you had a test that could tell you about your students’ personality traits so you could create activities that would work with their strengths and develop their opportunities? Using Holland‘s RIASEC testing you could do just that…
But is that practical? Perhaps not so much today on an individual basis, but in a classroom setting, you could determine overall opportunities and include opportunities to develop those skills within the grand scheme.
So what does this all mean?
It means start with what you have. Keep it simple. Add layers as necessary.
A meta-game has it’s place, but when a gamelet will do, why bring out the big guns? Remember, we want to use the tools while they still work. We don’t want to misuse games in the same manner in which penicillin was misprescribed. Using a meta-game when a riddle will do is the same as using penicillin for the common cold. At best, it’s useless, at worst, it reduces the overall effectiveness when things really count.
This week covered a lot! To pull together a few key points:
- Be a Charlatan! Sell the game well for the best buy in
- Customize to the group
- Size matters! Use the smallest, simplest tool to get the job done!