With the emergence of new eLearning technologies, there are many ways to make eLearning more effective, engaging, and powerful for the learners. For example, eLearning games are gaining recognition because they allow engagement among the learners and provide them the motivation and opportunity to expand their skills. Games are no more a source of entertainment alone, but are a fascinating learning tool through which the learner can acquire new knowledge in a fun and engaging way. Integration of eLearning games in the courses can convert even the most ambiguous and disinteresting content into an engaging and exciting eLearning experience. It is a big challenge to create effective game-based learning so that the learners could get real value out of the eLearning experience.
Strategies to integrate eLearning Games:
- Define goals and objectives: The learning goals and objectives should be clear because it is the top most priority for any organization. Determining a learning goal is the first step towards integrating games in any eLearning course. Every element of the game should support the primary objectives. Since, learners have a very tight schedule; they cannot build up new skills, or gather new information. Therefore, it is important to research about their preferences and expectations so that the gaming experience meets their needs.
- Use realistic characters: eLearning games should include characters with whom the learner can connect in a significant way. If the characters are realistic and memorable, they automatically get connected with the learners. eLearning characters should portrait a real life situation, which learners can relate to with their day-today life. This will help learners increase their motivation because they will not be scared of making mistakes while on the job and will be able to enhance their knowledge through a game-based learning.
- Use reinforcing elements in online games: In order to reinforce positive behavior in the learners, it is necessary to include elements such as ‘earn points’, ‘move to next level’, ‘get certificate of completion’, among others. However, anything in excess can be bad, so offering too many rewards can reduce the effectiveness of a game-based learning. Therefore, it should be well determined what to reinforce and to what extent.
- eLearning Game should not be a distraction: Although games make the learning experience very engaging and effective, it is really important to be careful that the actual subject matter, and the core message is reaching out to the audience or not. game-based learning should not distract the learners from acquiring and retaining the subject matter. In principal, eLearning games should only be a supporting tool for the eLearning deliverables.
- Feedback System: There should be a feedback system where learners can give the feedback about game-based learning so that actual effectiveness of the game can be judged. This can be done through surveys, quiz contests, feedback questionnaires, and others, where learners can fill facts about their learning experience. This makes it easy to determine whether the actual learning goals have been accomplished or not.
Successfully integrated game-based learning can take the learning experiences to the next level, which is far more exciting and effective for the learners.
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