November 4 -

For more than a decade, the general consensus in the training industry is that games (aka "gamification") are a valuable way to review a certain topic. But where things are still a bit muddled is how far games can go in actually delivering crucial content. Below are some key insights that take the interactive power of a game to another level of training.

  1. WHAT ARE YOU AFTER?

Make a list of the key teaching points you want to cover and embed them within the game. By using the power of game-based competition - your learners will have a heightened sense of awareness and retention will increase.

  1. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Questions do not specifically have to cover a topic -- they can be used simply as a stepping stone to what you want to teach or review. Consider even leaving the game completely to focus more deeply on the subject at hand and then come back.

  1. FUN IS SECONDARY

Remember, your key objective is to teach a topic.  You are just using "fun" to help achieve your primary objective, which is educational.

  1. SLOW IT DOWN

Your objective is different than a TV game show. Theirs is to entertain, yours is to educate. On a TV game show, in a 30-minute period, they may play 3-4 rounds. Don't simply read questions and award points, use the excitement of competition to emphasize and explain things. It's not about who wins and loses but who is learning.

  1. KEEP IT SIMPLE

Games do not always have to be long and complicated. A short game of 4-6 questions can be a great way to review the key points of a talk or use as a warm up for a presentation. Once you start introducing a bunch of complicated rules - you've lost them.

The takeaway in all of this is to remember that once a game is introduced in any sort of environment, there are two factors simultaneously in play --  the drive to succeed coupled with real learning.