Games-Based Learning

Siddarth Jain

Creative Director of Playware Studios

Games are prevalent, we play it on our laptops, consoles and even carry it around in our pockets. From the days of tetris and super mario, the global gaming industry today is worth 109 billion dollars, with mobile games taking 42% of the market.

Along with its rapid growth, corporate learning and educational institutions have adopted various game-based methods and technology.

But can we effectively learn from games?

Joining us is Siddarth Jain, the creative director of playware studios, a game-based learning company here in Singapore.

Podcast Episode Highlights

Gamification vs Serious Games-Based Learning

  • Gamification means make something into a game. Using motivational and engagement techniques from games in non-entertainment related activities is a form of gamification, such as showing progression. The word gamification, is used widely.
  • Serious games-based learning uses game technology for non-entertainment activities, such as using a game-engine to visualise an oil rig, or simulate a stock exchange, etc.

Pros and Cons for using Games-Based Learning

  • Learning can be defined into two elements which is practice and knowledge.
  • In general, games-based learning does better for improving skills-based applications. Games are good at taking a novice and giving them experience in a particular task, such as the aviation industry, an early adopter of simulation and games for training.
  • Games-based learning are also useful for K12 education, such as thinking skills, 21st century skills, communication skills, team work, etc.
  • For learning that requires the acquisition of knowledge or memorisation of content, other methods such as rote memorisation might be more effective than games-based learning.
  • The whole design pedagogy of games is the idea of learning through trial and error in a safe environment. Games-based learning allows active experimentation.
  • Other platforms, such as elearning, mlearning and videos are great at knowledge transfer. Games are practice-transfer platforms, which gives a holistic learning experience.

What consideration is required when embarking on developing a games-based learning?

  • Most organisations are more knowledge-focused and not practice-focused in their transfer of learning.
  • Most organisations may provide a presentation or manual, throw the employees into the job and hope they learn along the way. This used to work when there was a tight working community and the tasks were fairly physical.
  • In building a game for a company, the first question asked is “what is your enterprise practice?”, “what does their individual team member do in their everyday?”
  • If an organisation has training around the enterprise practice, making it into a games is a piece of cake.
  • Very often, the training curriculum will be developed for the practice, along side the development of the games.
  • The development of the games-based learning will be in close collaboration with the subject matter expert, either internal or external.
  • Why are some companies not interested in practice-based learning? Companies in non-competitive space,. Companies who prefer to hire experienced employees to save time and effort in training.

How to be a Games Learning Designers?

  • Instructional designers require unlearning from their methodologies in designing e-learning or knowledge transfer. eLearning is focused on one-time knowledge transfer in their design.
  • Games-based learning is focused on creating practice, creating experiences, creating an awareness of the situation. Therefore, designing games-based learning is designed with the idea that the game will be played several times over.
  • We find people with extensive training or teaching experience as well as have a passion and wide-exposure to diverse range of games. When we have a person with these two criteria, it will be easier get them up to speed in the design and technology of games-based learning.
  • A good portfolio of the different types of games played, will help the designer know what types of games are suitable for which kinds of topics.

What is the future of games-based learning?

  • When people understanding of games improve and embrace it as a lifestyle/culture, the role of games in learning will increase.
  • More organisations will use games in the learning, which improves skills of their employees.

Say hello!

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