Serious online games: Keys to success

Designing Digitally


Serious Online GamesKeys to Success

Serious games online may look like all fun and entertainment, but don’t let that  fool you. Serious games are about motivating your audience to learn. Serious games can fine tune  skills and enhance task proficiency. They help learners practice in a safe environment and learn from their mistakes. They have been proven to be a successful learning tool in corporate education.

Here are five tips to integrate serious games into training curriculum in ways that are effective and deliver results.

Align game with the learning goal

The learning goal should be the most important factor to consider. The essence of serious games is that they are not just to entertain. They must support the primary learning goal. Employees are hard pressed for time. Training must be relevant to their jobs and designed to teach them new skills or help them gain new knowledge. Serious games must be designed to deliver more than  entertainment. Once the learner benefits from the knowledge gained by the course, he will transfer the knowledge to his working environment.

Use game mechanics

The basic aim of serious games is to reinforce behaviors. Once the learner completes a task, he moves on to the next level. This reinforces positive behavior and encourages them to move on. Although, offering rewards too easily may reduce the effectiveness of the game. The key is to increase the challenges as the learner progresses. Initially, rewards may build up their confidence. But, after a while, their motivation level will only increase when  they are able to crack difficult challenges. So, provide them with a challenging environment. Immediate feedback must be provided at every level. This will guide the learner to achieve the desired goals.

Make the characters memorable

The elearning characters utilized should connect with your learners. Whatever obstacles incorporated into the game should be realistic and relevant. The employees will identify with a plot line that mimics a real-life situation. The storyline is important, too. For employees to be able to transfer the knowledge acquired to their workplace, the story line needs to be relatable. Allowing the learner to be a part of the story, instead of giving him the controls, will result in far better outcomes.

Choose the right authoring tool

When selecting the authoring tool,  in-depth analytics and reporting must be  a top priority. This will help  track the progress of the learners and identify the areas for improvement. For example, if  learners are scoring low at a certain level, the instructions may not be clear, causing the learners to be confused.

Use proven instructional design strategies

Simple tips like using more graphics than text, bulleted lists as opposed to long paragraphs, and scenario-based situations, go a long way to help the learners retain information. When responding to  assessment questions, instead of using feedback like, “Yes, that is right” or “No, that is wrong”, consider providing meaningful feedback that explains why the learner is right or wrong. In short, make the learning as interactive as possible and help reduce cognitive load on the learners.

At Designing Digitally, Inc., our serious games combine top class gaming mechanism with cognitive principles to train and inspire.

Get in touch with us to understand how serious games can help solve your training needs in a safe learning environment.