The Development of Elearning Games Requires Planning Ahead

Designing Digitally


elearning gamification

A successful project requires a strategy. In order to achieve the desired result, an action plan must be in place. This is certainly the case in elearning development.

It has been proven that learning games amp up learning and increase the rate of retention. The question is, “What goes into the development of effective game based learning?”

Why is a Plan So Important?

No one starts out on a cross-country trip without a road map. If they did, they surely wouldn’t reach their destination in any semblance of a timely manner, if at all. A complicated dessert requires a recipe to follow or the finished product probably wouldn’t be palatable.

The same is true for the development of a game based learning experience that accomplishes its purpose. It should start out with a plan.

What’s the Best Method for Planning Game Based Learning?

There are a couple different strategies that work well for mapping out an elearning gamification plan. 

  • Decision Trees. A decision tree is a graph that uses a branching method to illustrate all the possible outcomes of a decision. It can be drawn by hand or created in a software program. 
  • Story Mapping. A story map is a graphic organizer that helps to arrange the elements of a story. This is useful to elearning developers as they plan out the story that will unfold over the course of a learning game.

What Elements Need to be Considered?

It can be overwhelming when faced with the task to develop an engaging and effective elearning activity. Once it is broken down into more manageable elements, it becomes a little bit simpler.

Here are some of the components of a well-thought out game based learning activity:

  • Introductory feedback. In other words, what is the first reaction learners have when they initially log onto the game? Think about what the desired response would be.
  • Specific objectives. Clearly define what concepts, procedures, or facts that will be taught in the activity.
  • Level of proficiency. Have a clear idea of what level of proficiency users are expected to achieve in this activity. Keep in mind the length of the game when determining what the learner is expected to grasp.
  • Evaluation. An effective game provides feedback for the learner. Decide on the type of assessment that will be given at the end of the activity, as well as how the information will be relayed to the player. 
  • Time frame. Figure out a way to fit the most fun and learning into the smallest amount of time possible. Take the attention span of learners into account. In the tech-driven, immediate-response world of today, attention spans seem to be growing smaller across the board. 

Elearning development doesn’t have to be an overwhelming prospect. With the right planning methods and clear objectives, the process of creating a game based learning experience that is enjoyable and effectual will seem much less daunting and more attainable.