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Most theories have a divided audience. There is a group that thinks the theory is correct, and a group that doesn’t.
Elearning games are no different. There are those who think games have no place in education and that they simply don’t work. On the other side are those who stand by the efficacy and place of elearning games as valid educational experiences.
One would think the data could simply be analyzed and the case would be closed, but it isn’t that easy. Different people interpret data in disparate ways.
Despite the controversy, elearning games do indeed work.
Before continuing, there is a form of disclaimer that needs to be kept in mind: no games work for all people, all the time, in all circumstances. To imply otherwise would be foolish and disingenuous.
Now that the disclaimer has been stated, it’s time to delve into why elearning games are effective teaching tools.
They’re fun. Games involve strategies and activities that appeal to almost everyone. People like to compete, they like to earn rewards in the course of a game, and they like to win. They enjoy collaborating with others and problem-solving to come up with successful solutions. Incorporating that into a learning environment just makes sense.
They motivate. An impetus to learn is important. For example, a new hire is motivated to learn his new job because if he doesn’t, he will be fired. Of course, not all motivating factors are so dire, but the fact remains that a motivating factor must be present. Elearning games use the thrill of gaming to motivate the learner to higher levels of understanding.
They provide a chance to try and fail without real-world consequences. This is one of the best aspects of elearning for training purposes. Learners have the advantage of seeing the consequences of their choices play out. They can try different solutions and different angles, all without the fear of any real-world negative repercussions.
They provide productive, immediate feedback. Elearning games work because the user gets instant feedback, allowing them to change course as necessary. The feedback is specific to the concept they are working on, giving the user the opportunity to think through their options.
Well-designed elearning games will incorporate all of the elements discussed above to provide a learning experience that is comprehensive and effective.
Corporate training programs that involve elearning games are preparing their employees in the best way to handle the situations that arise in the course of their job. The employees are more likely to be able to implement what they have learned after having been trained through elearning games.