Top 7 Tips To Integrate eLearning Games Into Your eLearning Course

Top 7 Tips To Integrate eLearning Games Into Your eLearning Course
Summary: In this article, I'll walk you through some tips and tricks for how you can integrate eLearning games into literally any eLearning deliverable, whether this is an online corporate training for a Fortune 500 client, or a K-12 eLearning course.

How to Integrate eLearning Games Into Your eLearning Course

One of the most amazing things about being an eLearning professional today is that you have so many invaluable eLearning tools and techniques at your disposal. From new eLearning technologies to emerging theories that improve the eLearning experience, there are a variety of ways that you can make each and every eLearning deliverable more powerful, meaningful, and informative for your learners. For example, you can now use real world and highly engaging eLearning games to motivate your learners. Integrating eLearning games into your eLearning courses can help you to transform even the most dull and dry subject matter into an engaging and exciting eLearning experience.

  1. Start with the learning objective or goal.
    Before you even begin to develop your eLearning game, you'll need to clearly determine your learning objectives or learning goals. This will be the foundation for your eLearning game as you move forward. While eLearning games are meant to entertain, they aren't truly valuable educational tools if they don't serve the learning objectives. So, write out an eLearning storyboard that touches on the key points of the eLearning course, and use it as a guide throughout the eLearning design and development process.
  2. Always preface eLearning games with expectations or desired outcomes.
    In some instances, it may be beneficial to simply “throw” your learners into an eLearning game, especially if you want them to explore a concept on their own before formal instruction takes place. However, nine times out of ten it is more beneficial to preface eLearning games with a description of the desired outcomes and expectations. Let them know how they will benefit from the eLearning game and what skill sets or knowledge they will acquire. You can also let them know about the real world applications of the eLearning game. For instance, you can tell them that this eLearning game will teach them how to complete return or exchange transactions within the POS system, or that it will show them how to solve a common problem they encounter on-the-job. They will then see the real value in the eLearning game, and be more motivated to learn and actively participate.
  3. Encourage learners to apply knowledge they've learned through the eLeanring games.
    One of the most significant benefits of using eLearning games in eLearning deliverables is to help recap concepts and show learners how these concepts or principles can be applied. You can do this by incorporating problems or concepts into your eLearning game that require the learner to apply knowledge or skills that they've already acquired. This will help to boost retention and to see the benefits of the overall eLearning experience, first hand. You may even want to include an eLearning game at the end of each module, just prior to an exam or quiz, so that they can review learned concepts and more effectively commit them to memory.
  4. Realism and relevancy are all-important.
    When creating eLearning games realism should be a top priority. For instance, if you're including an eLearning game that walks a learner through the process of repairing a sales terminal, the eLearning game should include an accurate depiction of that sales terminal and all of the tools that are required to complete the task at-hand. This will help to enhance learner engagement, and also give them the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in a safe virtual setting. Learners won't have to worry about making mistakes on the-the-job, in other words, because they will be able to build upon their knowledge base via the eLearning game.
  5. Don't let the eLearning games steal the show.
    While the eLearning games you incorporate have the power to make the eLearning experience more entertaining and effective, they shouldn't be the most important element of your eLearning deliverable. The content, first and foremost, should be the star of the show. In other words, the subject matter that the learners must acquire and retain should be the top priority. If the eLearning games are a distraction from the core message, then they should be modified or entirely removed. Essentially, eLearning games are a support tool and a learning aid for the eLearning deliverable, and should fit seamlessly into the overall eLearning design that serves the learning objectives.
  6. Include details, but don't be too specific so as to exclude members of your audience.
    When you're creating eLearning games, it can be tempting to include an abundance of details in order to boost its realism. However, this can be a slippery slope, due to the fact that too many details may cause some of your learners to disengage. A perfect example of this is including a character that reveals its whole fictional life story and depicts very specific personality and cultural traits. While this may make some learners feel more connected to it, it may exclude others, because they simply cannot relate to it. Therefore, they don't feel connected.
  7. Have effective feedback systems in place.
    Have an assessment and feedback system in place, where you can truly gauge the effectiveness of your eLearning games. Create surveys that allow you to see what the learners thought about the eLearning game, whether it offered them any real value, or what they took away from it. Ask them to complete a brief quiz after they've completed the eLearning game to determine if the learning goal or objective has been achieved, or if you need to fine-tune your eLearning strategy.

Use these tips to successfully integrate eLearning games into your eLearning course or online training event, so that you can create eLearning experiences that are both exciting and effective for your target audience.

In addition, if you are wondering How e-Learning Games Translate into Real-World Success, I highly encourage you to read the article 4 Important Questions You Have To Answer As You Design A Gamified Learning Experience.

If you'd like additional insight into how to make your learning games even more effective, the article Tips To Make Learning Games Effective offers 5 tips that can help you ensure that your Learning Games walks the fine line between entertaining and informative.

Last but not least, in the article The Secret to Effective e-Learning Games you will find how to Design Effective e-Learning Games.

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