I just wanted to share my blog with you on game based learning and some of the games I have made for my courses.
When I joined my company, it seemed like the more information that we could cram on a slide the better. One part of a course had over 70 slides (for just 1 part of a day course, which was part of a week induction). When I was a delegate on the course, I would go back to the hotel of an evening and sit and wonder how the heck I was going to fit all the information in my head, ready for my test the following day.
I did learn the information, in a parrot fashion, where I could recite it to you, but if you asked me to explain what it meant, I didn't have the faintest idea. So I decided to do something about it. I asked if I could be tasked in changing the course, not taking anything out but just "changing" the way we did it.
Needless to say, some were a little cautious at first but I decided to go ahead anyway. I took the course apart, looked at what the reps needed to know in order to do their job, then how I was going to get that information across to them. I looked at all the powerpoint slides, the self learn that they completed a week before their induction course (more powerpoint slides) and totally revamped each session. I also designed workbooks that sit alongside the self learn, so the reps have something that they can refer back to when needed.
As for the power points? The one session that had over 70 slides now has 7!
Because of the way I now deliver the material:
There are no more daily tests! I now have one test at the end of the week. The rest of my knowledge checking is done through different methods.
Here are a few:
I have designed and made 2 "thomopoly" games. One of them is designed for the first two days of training, as this concentrates on just two areas. The second is designed for the next two days of training and has group games and chance questions, which could be about anything they have learnt so far. I have included parts of the board where they "swap" with another team or even go back to the beginning. As you can imagine, it gets pretty intense and is great fun. It can be used for as little as two people or as many as you need, as you can then have teams. There are two ways to play; either rolling the dice and moving that amount of spaces, or pressing the bell and each card is awarded an amount depending on the difficulty of the question. Everyone gets involved, as if you answered last time, then it must be another member of the team next, and groups can steal, if the team doesn't know the answer. The game was designed from a template I found on the internet and after some bits of photoshop you can see the results.
I took the template and gave it to my daughter, she works for Max Spielmann and they put the image on to a photo board. The cards I got from a template of the internet too and can change the information to suit, or when the products up date. I laminated them, cut them out and now have a full set of all different cards. Both games cost about £50 in total to make which I think is a really good buy.
I have more games to share and they are on the DPG Blogs. Please feel free to contact me for any further information...
Above is a before and after photos of the game and how it all started, from the template to the finished article.