7 Top Serious Games FAQs eLearning Professionals Should Consider

7 Top Serious Games FAQs eLearning Professionals Should Consider
Summary: Serious games combine entertainment with online training to make the learning process more memorable. In this article, I'll answer the 7 top serious game FAQs eLearning professionals should have in mind.

Answering The Top 7 Serious Games FAQs

Serious games have been around for decades. But modern tech added a whole new dimension of interactivity and immersion in recent years. However, there is still some mystery shrouding this powerful online training approach. In this article, we'll explore some of the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding serious games and their use in online training.

1. What Are Serious Games?

The term "serious game" has a broad definition, and can differ depending on who you ask. However, it generally refers to a game that is intended for online training purposes. It employs a variety of game mechanics to motivate and entertain online learners. For example, employees must accomplish virtual tasks to unlock each level of the online training simulation. Serious games usually come in the form of simulations, giving online learners the opportunity to face real world obstacles on a regular basis.

2. Is There A Difference Between Serious Games And Gamification?

The term gamification is often mistaken for serious games, and vice versa. However, there are notable differences. A serious game is a standalone online training activity that can be used as a microlearning online resource or integrated into your entire online training course. On the other hand, gamification blends game mechanics with traditional eLearning course design. For example, eLearning professionals can incorporate levels, badges, or points into their current online training course. The primary goal of gamification is to reinforce certain behaviors in order to achieve the desired outcome.

3. What Are The Advantages Of Serious Games In Online Training?

Serious games offer a broad range of benefits in online training courses:

a. Improve Online Learner Engagement

Serious games incorporate the best of both worlds. Online learners have the opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge and skills. But they also get to defeat "bosses", advance to the next level, and collect rare objects. This unique combination is a recipe for engagement. Serious games grab online learners' attention and remove external distractions. They focus on the task at hand because they want to test their mettle and make it to the end.

b. Facilitate Real World Application

Effective serious games feature real world situations and challenges. As such, online learners must use all their skills, knowledge, and resources to achieve the goal. The online training experience is still contextual, even if there are some fictional gaming elements involved. Therefore, online learners discover how to use the information in real world settings to overcome obstacles and reach their true potential.

c. Provide Personalized Feedback

Feedback is an essential component of the online training process. And serious games offer immediate personalized feedback that is also more subtle. In traditional online training courses, online instructors, facilitators or the LMS itself sheds light on online learners' strengths and weaknesses. In the case of serious games, mistakes or incorrect behaviors prevent online learners from unlocking the next level. They know that they have to work on these areas in order to improve their performance and pass the level. As a result, they can seek out additional online resources to fill personal knowledge and skill gaps.

d. Simplify Complex Subjects

Serious games are experiential-based. Online learners improve their understanding by completing tasks and using the available online resources, which is ideal for complex subject matter, as they have the ability to learn by doing. For example, they must act out every step of the process during a online training simulation. This gives them the chance to explore each stage in greater detail and put their knowledge into practice.

4. Can Serious Games Substitute eLearning Assessments?

eLearning simulations and branching scenarios sometimes fall into the serious game category. These interactive online tools are ideally suited for qualitative online training assessments. Serious games can measure how much an online learner knows and how well they know it. They can also help you determine practical knowledge, experience, and proficiency. Best of all, most LMS platforms track serious game performance, which means that you can monitor every aspect of the online training experience in order to identify areas for improvement.

5. What Are The Applications Of Serious Games In Online Training?

Serious games are flexible and easy to adapt. Therefore, you can use them in virtually any online training initiative; from upskilling to task performance. One of the most common uses is in compliance online training. Serious games add a level of fun and excitement to otherwise dull compliance topics. The key is aligning each serious game with a specific learning objective. This prevents cognitive overload and helps to identify performance gaps.

6. How Can You Incorporate Serious Games Into A Social Learning Strategy?

Serious games are often seen as an asynchronous learning activity. However, you can make it more social and collaborative by pairing it with other social learning activities. For example, invite your online learners to join a social media group or online forum to ask questions related to the serious game. This also gives them the opportunity to share tips and valuable resource links. You can even incorporate leaderboards into your serious game to fuel friendly competition.

7. Can You Develop A Serious Game Without Game Design Experience?

The answer is a resounding "yes!" Thanks to modern technology, there are a variety of eLearning authoring tools that feature serious game templates and rich online asset libraries. This gives you the opportunity to develop interactive games for your online training course, even if you aren't a professional game designer. The secret is doing your research to find an authoring tool that offers the right features at the right price. You should also meet with your eLearning team to ensure that the tool aligns with their skills and talents.

Serious games have a prominent place in the future of eLearning, especially in the online training sector. More and more organizations are using the power of serious games to improve employee motivation and training ROI. However, virtually ANY online training course can benefit from interactive, engaging, and entertaining serious games.

Are you looking for ways to integrate serious games into your eLearning course design? Read the article 7 Tips To Integrate Serious Games In eLearning to discover the top tips to use serious games in your eLearning experience.