How to Start Designing Game Based Learning (Free Webinar)

A Primer On Play: How to Use Games for Learning

How do I Start Designing Game Based Learning?

It’s a question you have often asked yourself. You want to improve your training because learners are bored and tired of the same old stuff. You know games are hot and game based learning is proven to improve training efficacy. But how do you start from square one and, well, make it happen?

We host a series of free webinars about how to map the “fun” in games to the principles of effective learning design. We use our Knowledge Guru game engine as a case in point, so the webinars are a great way to learn more about the product, too. We have added a session in April and two more in May. You can register below.

We are always working on our next learning game… whether it is a custom solution for a client or a standalone product like Knowledge Guru. One of the best ways you can start designing a new game is with decision trees and storyboarding. This lets us how how the story progresses… and what decisions learners will make throughout. Here is what ours looked like at a recent design meeting:

Storyboarding Learning Games

To avoid getting overwhelmed, it’s helpful to focus on the essentials of your learning game when you start design. Here are a few of the topics we discussed at our recent design session:

  • What is the initial response we want learners to have when they first log on? We came up with thoughts such as “This is different from what I’m used to doing.” “I am going to get lots of value out of this because the game explained how it will help me learn.” “This story is interesting, there is a payoff of getting to the end and I want to get there.” 
  • What level of Bloom’s Taxonomy are you trying to reach in the game? Since we are designing a game where the content can be plugged in by the user, we are focusing on the more base levels: procedures, facts, concepts, etc.
  • What level of competence are you trying to achieve? For a game that will be played for a short time, we recommend shooting for conscious competence. Unconscious competence is probably not realistic if you only want people playing in short bursts for a finite amount of time.
  • What level of feedback will you provide? How will you provide the feedback?
  • How do we encapsulate learning and fun in the shortest burst of time possible with repetition and spaced learning? How do we improve performance?
We can’t answer all of these questions for you in one short webinar, but we do have some tips and tricks that will give you a great start.

Learn more about games for learning in our webinar series

The webinar is presented by Sharon Boller, president of BLP, and I’ll be co-facilitating. Sharon has been the lead designer on numerous learning game projects. These sessions will be a great chance to hear Sharon speak on games and gamification if you cannot attend her workshop with Karl Kapp at ASTD ICE on 5/18/13.

The Knowledge Guru game engine

Learn about Knowledge Guru

We will use our Knowledge Guru game engine as a case study of how game based learning and gamification work. We’ll show how the learning design is built right in to the game design… so every element of the game is designed to drive retention of information. You’ll also get a look at the admin backend that allows tracking of learner progress.

It’s a great chance to learn more about the product and learn about some of the great enhancements we have planned in the near future:

THURSDAY, June 27th – 11 AM EDT, 8 AM PDT

May 8 am webinar - Register Now

Read the full webinar description and register here.


May 11 am webinar - Register Now

Read the full webinar description and register here.

Play to Learn: Designing Effective Learning Games

If you want to take game-based learning further, register for our learning game design workshop hosted by Sharon Boller and Karl Kapp. It will be held on August 28th in Indianapolis.

Play to Learn - Designing Effective Learning Games

Read the full event description and register here.