Classroom-based inSITEful Games™

man raising hand in class

inSITE can develop for your organization board games, audience response games, and other classroom-based games for teams and individuals.

Board games are an important tool to provide hands-on and heads-on skill and knowledge development for people of all ages on all subjects. Not only do well-designed games create an engaging atmosphere, they also provide a non-threatening, playful, yet competitive environment in which to focus on content and reinforce and apply learning. Mistakes are useful and point out what we need to learn. The board itself provides a visual metaphor to help connect information. Game elements, discussions, and problem solving with fellow team members about the content are vehicles for learning. Subtle redundancy to reinforce learning and insure retention should be incorporated into the game design. Good questions, problems to solve, and situations to consider allow players to think through and apply what they learn.

eLearning inSITEful games™

excited man playing computer learning game

Whether for play as individuals or in team mode, inSITE produces web-based games that are board game-style, simulation and scenario-based, puzzle games and more.

7 Questions that Guide Your Development of Learning Games

Dice with win lose question mark
  • Does your game enhance learning?

    The focus should still be on the learning and not redirected to the game. There are several ways to incorporate gaming into a learning environment. The infusion of games works best when the content of the course is embedded in the game. If playing a game is the reward for performing correctly, the game should not take as long to complete as the learning activity. Games should follow adult learning principles. Your game developer must know what phase of the learning process this game's objective meets. At inSITE Training & Development, we incorporate Robert Gagne's (often referred to as the Father of Education) nine events of learning and determine which event the game satisfies.

  • What is the difference in time it takes play a game and traditional learning strategies to accomplish the same learning?

    If mandatory training that is offered annually requires the typical employee to take 30 minutes of working through a web-based module, replacing this learning with a game is one of the best uses of gamification. The game should not take any longer than 40 minutes and should include the same amount of content as the web-based module. If the game takes more than ten minutes longer than the similar training, some employees will not want to take the extra time, even if it is more enjoyable.

  • Is the game flexible?

    Can it be played with teams and individuals? Can you easily adapt a board game with a web-based version and vice versa? If there are changes in policy that impact the game, can it be easily modified? If you do not have a background in developing learning games, you may want expert assistance from a Gamification Consultant to ensure that your game is flexible and meets the objectives you have for the game

  • Are the instructions clear?

    Have you included instructions for when employees have to stop and return to the game because urgent work interrupts them? Explain how to handle a tie at the end of the game and disagreements in content answers and scoring. If the game is played by more than one player, explain who starts.

  • Will the learner be required to think?

    Twenty years ago, a manager at a fortune 500 company told one of our consultants that they sent employees to training to give them a vacation so they wanted to make sure the training was fun. Today, we can't imagine a manager sending an employee to training and not expecting the employee to learn something to apply to the job. They still expect it to be fun.

    The game should be fun but its primary purpose is to teach new skills or change behavior. If the training requires open ended questions to ensure the employee uses critical thinking skills but the game's design only accounts for true false questions, it is best not to use a game for this learning. Games must be designed using sound instructional design principles.

  • How will the game be scored and how will employees be rewarded?

    Determine whether you want scoring based solely on chance, on knowledge, on skill, or on a combination. What type of rewards will the game provide. Rewards can include badges, points, prizes, leaderboard and other public recognition, team vs. individual recognition. Determine what behaviors you are trying to reinforce when determining types of rewards. Understanding the four primary types of gamers will help develop games that engage all types of learners.

  • Is the game easy and fun to play?

    Your game should have game-like features and be fun. Test questions asked through eLearning and called a game may be no fun at all. When game questions are vague or written improperly, they will cause frustration instead of enjoyment. Game questions, like knowledge check questions should be developed with instructional design principles in mind.

The Science Behind Gamification

Atom Picture

Does it Matter Whether Learning Games are Played Independently or in Teams?

A 2013 New York University Study revealed that playing a learning video game WITH another student enhanced the mastery of the content. The study also found that students' interest and enjoyment increased when they played with another student.

inSITE Training & Development can show you how team inSITEful games can increase employee learning and employee engagement.

While playing a math video game either competitively or collaboratively with another player (as compared to playing alone) students adopted a mastery mindset that is highly conducive to learning. Moreover, students' interest and enjoyment in playing the math video game increased when they played with another student. - 2013 NYU study

Can Gamification Enhance Productivity?

A research study was undertaken at an East Coast University to examine the effectiveness of adding a simulation game as a supplement to an Introduction to Business and Technology course. Approximately one-fifth of students participated in the game playing, drawn randomly across courses and instructors. The overall purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the addition of the video game, Industry Giant II, as a supplement to the BUSN 115 Introduction to Business and Technology class.

The findings indicated that the mean scores of students in classes using the game were significantly higher than those of students in classes that did not. There were no significant differences between genders, yet both genders scored significantly higher with game play. There were no significant differences between ethnicities, yet all ethnic groups scored significantly higher with game play. Students 40 years and under scored significantly higher with game play, while students 41 and older did not. Blunt further indicates that "these studies add definitive research in the area of game-based learning."

Number Of Students Low Test Score High Test Score Mean Test Score Standard Dev.
Grade Without Game 801 15 100 79.18 16.16
Grade With Game 227 58 100 91.50 11.74
Grade Without Game Grade With Game
Number Of Students 801 227
Low Test Score 15 58
High Test Score 100 100
Mean Test Score 79.18 91.50
Standard Dev. 16.16 11.74

Researchers at the East Carolina University Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic found that patients playing about 40 minutes of video games a day reduced symptoms of depression significantly.. The study, conducted with 59 subjects between August and November 2010 allowed half to play video games vs. a control group. The group that played video games had significant reductions in depression symptoms. Seven who suffered from moderate to sever depression moved to minor or minimal depression and five of the nine subjects with minor depression dropped to minimal levels.

The study found that there was a 65% overall improvement in general mood and anxiety, in addition to a reduction in physical symptoms, such as tension (49.6%), anger (55%), confusion (50%) and fatigue (58%).

So why is this important for your work place?

A Yale study of 6,000 employees at three corporations found that workers exhibiting symptoms of depression were twice as likely to miss work due to health reasons. Decreased performance on the job is seven times higher for depressed employees, the researchers said.

inSITEful Games™ are designed by Instructional Designers to enhance employee learning, significantly increase productivity, reduce stress, and decrease anger, confusion and fatigue.

Contact inSITE at 301-596-7657