Games and simulations

Games and simulations let people learn by playing. Sounds like fun. Games for learning can be fun, but they are always purposeful. They teach first and entertain second. Learning games can draw on the established conventions of quiz shows, board games, and video games to arouse curiosity and harness competitive urges. Simulations let us safely verify that learners can perform dangerous tasks. How do you think most learners would respond if you asked them whether they would rather take a test or play a game? Here are some examples you can explore:

Interview simulator

An interview simulator allows learners to experience the consequences of negative behavior, dangerous actions, and bad choices. It is axiomatic that games cannot teach learners to avoid a choice if the learner is never allowed to make that choice. About the examples The Crimescene Game teaches interviewing skills in the context of a police investigation. Learners are assigned … Continue reading Interview simulator

Quiz-show style activity

To make tests less intimidating and more engaging, restyle them as game shows. About the examples In this example, we turned a fill-in-the-blanks test into a game loosely based on the TV game show Jeopardy©. Here’s how it works: Learners are given a certain amount of time to reach a specific total score by correctly … Continue reading Quiz-show style activity

Word puzzle

Word puzzles are a fun way to learn vocabulary and technical terms. You can use them instead of fill-in-the-blanks and similar tests. Crossword puzzles This example helps new Visual Basic programmers learn various methods and properties. This example of a crossword puzzle allows learners to practice using calming words to keep a disagreement from becoming … Continue reading Word puzzle

Jigsaw puzzle

Do you teach subjects that involve whole-to-parts relationships? Do you spend time telling learners how a product, organization, or other subject is organized? If so, jigsaw puzzles and scrambled-tiles games offer a way to let learners discover such relationships and to test learners on such relationships. A scrambled-tile puzzle can help learners recall images, visualize … Continue reading Jigsaw puzzle

Software simulation

Software simulations are becoming a standard way to learn to operate computer software. This simulator lets learners practice setting up connections between the operating system and various databases—without any risk of damaging data or the system. The simulator behaves like the real control panel—except the simulator restricts learners to the task being taught and provides … Continue reading Software simulation

Device simulation

Device simulations teach how to operate a piece of equipment. In device simulations, learners simulate pressing buttons by clicking on their images. They may simulate turning a knob by dragging its edge left or right. The example above lets learners practice how to select a ring tone on a mobile phone. Here is another device simulation. … Continue reading Device simulation

Math simulation

Math simulations let learners perform math in a fun, visual, intuitive fashion. About the examples This example lets learners manage the finances of a training department by dragging sliders and twisting knobs.   Another example lets learners develop better investment habits by repeatedly making risky investments until they discover the dangers of treating investment as … Continue reading Math simulation

Environmental simulation

Environmental simulations let learners experiment with a complexly interrelated system, such as a natural environment. About the example This game teaches private landowners in the southeastern United States to manage their forests more effectively, regardless of their particular goals. In it, learners manage a tree farm. If you have difficulty opening the example, try this … Continue reading Environmental simulation

E-learning design specialists