11 Ways To Use Puzzle Games In Online Training

7 Ways To Use Puzzle Games In Online Training
Summary: Who can resist a good puzzle game? Collecting the pieces, solving the riddles, and making our way through the maze allows us to indulge our curiosity and stretch our mental muscles. In this article, I’ll share 11 ways that you can use puzzles games in your online training deliverable to improve knowledge retention and employee engagement.

How To Use Puzzle Games In Online Training

There are actually psychological factors at play when we take on a puzzling challenge. They give us the ability to test our ingenuity and work toward a seemingly unsolvable problem. Just when we think that we’ve missed an important clue or taken a wrong turn, our problem-solving skills kick in to guide us through. This is why puzzle games are such powerful online training tools. Here are 11 puzzle-based online training activities that you can incorporate into your online training strategy.

1. Create Crossword Puzzle Games

Crossword puzzle games are already educational, at least most of the time. They require language and reading skills, as well as critical thinking abilities. Thus, they're a perfect fit for online training courses. Use them in lieu of multiple-choice or matching online assessments to test employee knowledge. You also have the option to create crossword puzzle recaps and summaries to facilitate active recall. Just be sure to offer immediate feedback so that employees can commit the facts to memory and improve their performance. Also, include optional hints for employees who can't fill in the blanks. For example, allow them to click on a help icon to view the correct answer. The goal is to instill knowledge, not frustrate your corporate learners.

2. Collect Skill-Based Puzzle Pieces

Putting together puzzles is a popular pastime. You have the power to make your online training course one big, productivity-boosting puzzle. On the introduction page, mention that there are puzzle pieces hidden all throughout the online training course. Employees have the opportunity to find these pieces and store them in their virtual backpacks by completing online training activities, modules, and other skill-building tasks. Once they've collected all of the pieces they can assemble the puzzle to reveal the "big picture". This can be anything from a visually stunning image to a "bonus" serious game. The only caveat is that the completed puzzle must be worth the effort and pique their curiosity. This is a great way to help your employees hone their problem-solving and creative thinking skills.

3. Usable Item Online Training Simulations

Puzzle games can even liven up your online training simulations. Add usable items to your online training course design that employees must find and combine to complete the online task. For example, a member of your IT staff must locate and use the proper tools to remedy a computer issue. Much like a traditional game, you can equip them with backpacks or toolboxes that serve as their "inventory". This makes it even more challenging, as they must know where and when to utilize the object.

4. Puzzle Game Piece Rewards

The idea of using badges in eLearning is nothing new. However, when you transform those badges into puzzle pieces, you can take learner motivation to the next level. After your online learners successfully complete a module, ace an exam, or achieve a milestone, give them a puzzle piece that brings them one step closer to completing the puzzle. You can make this even more immersive and entertaining by creating a puzzle that features a riddle or mystery image, or by adding a touch of humor by revealing a culturally appropriate joke.

5. Interactive eLearning Course Objects

While there is a time and place for static eLearning course graphics, clickable images can make your eLearning course even more interactive and engaging. For example, you can create a door that learners must click in order to reveal the answer or have them choose from a variety of different keys that each unlocks a different eLearning lesson. This also makes learners feel as though they are in control of their eLearning experience because they have a direct say in which eLearning modules they complete next.

6. A-Mazing Online Training Course Maps

Most of us have played console or computer games that featured an overview map. These maps allow us to see where we are, where we need to go, and how to get there. You can also use this approach in your online training course design. Provide your employees with a map that only reveals a small portion of the online training course. Then, let them choose a path from point A to point B, which is the online training goal. You can also add this eLearning strategy to your interactive scenarios or simulations to make them more mysterious and adventurous, by incorporating a story into the activity. Once they complete a section, the next area of the map is revealed. This goes on until they've uncovered the entire map. Just make sure that you align the eLearning activity with the goals and objectives of your eLearning course.

7. Timeline Puzzles For Compliance Online Training

Compliance online training is usually right up there with getting a root canal or sitting in traffic. Employees dread it. But you have the ability to change their outlook by incorporating puzzling timelines. Instead of a task-based tutorial or online presentation, ask your employees to put the steps in the correct order. For example, they must drag and drop all of the steps into the interactive timeline in order to contain a hazardous waste spill. Include some optional hints for those who need a bit more guidance. Also, be sure to offer constructive feedback right away so that they master the correct steps.

8. Product Knowledge Online Training Role Plays

Your employees need to know about your latest products and services. You could create tutorials, manuals, and demos. However, puzzle games can make product knowledge online training much more engaging and effective. Develop a branching scenario, complete with customer personas. Ask your employees to interact with the customer in order to identify their needs. Then allow them to match up the character with the right product. This online training activity also builds problem-solving and communication skills. To offer the most benefit, use realistic images and situations to give employees real-world practice. You can also combine quizzes and online puzzles. In puzzles, you can create questions where when answered, they unlock different puzzle pieces allowing the user to solve the puzzle. This adds a fun new element to training.

9. Internet Scavenger Hunt Puzzles Games

Scavenger hunts give employees the chance to improve their technical skills while finding valuable online resources. Give your corporate learners a list of items they must locate, using only the internet. This includes social media pages, forums, websites, news, articles, and online videos. The items in question can be anything from answers to images. Even your mobile corporate learners can reap the rewards of the scavenger hunt by using apps. By the end of the online training activity, your employees will have a long list of resources they can utilize in the future. For example, they'll already know where to go to find product reviews and specs for your top-selling brands. This is a great alternative to a pre-made online resource database because employees are finding sites that work best for them.

10. Sequencing Events

Sequencing puzzle games in eLearning are great for task mastery. You provide your online learner with a series of events that are out of order and ask them to put the events in the correct sequence. You can also combine task sequencing with eLearning scenarios to make the online activity more immersive and realistic. Again, be sure to offer them feedback as soon as possible so that they can improve their performance and master the correct sequence. A simplified version of this might be a series of images that depict specific steps which the learner must arrange in the right order.

11. Conversation-Βased eLearning Scenarios

A conversation-based puzzle game or scenario in eLearning is ideally suited for performance management. The learner must interact with a virtual character who asks questions or displays certain traits, such as a dissatisfied customer who is trying to make a return. The learner must then engage in dialogue with the character to solve the problem and avoid conflict. You can even include non-verbal cues in the conversation, such as slouching or shoulder shrugging, to encourage your online learners to become more observant. Do your audience research beforehand to learn as much as possible about how your online learners speak, such as the terms they use on a regular basis, and what situations they encounter in the workplace.

Online training puzzle games must deliver the ideal blend of entertainment and knowledge. In most cases, employees may not even realize that learning takes place until they’ve absorbed the key takeaways. That’s when you know you have a winning combination. Use these puzzle game ideas to make online training fun and inspiring while offering your corporate learners the skill sets they need.

Are you looking for additional serious game techniques? Read the article 7 Tips To Create Effective eLearning Games to discover some helpful tips for creating effective games for your online training course. Also, read this article Gamification vs Game-Based eLearning: Can You Tell The Difference? to learn how to compare and contrast gamification vs game-based eLearning and discover useful tips on how to design an effective eLearning strategy for each.