E-Learning, ELearning, Game Design, Gamification, Gaming, Instructional Design, Training Design
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Straight from a game into your E-Learning Course – Bitesize Tip #2

So I’ve already covered Prison Architect in a previous post on What We Can Learn From Games series available here.

However this is just a quick bitesize tip for using game elements in E-Learning design. This isn’t exactly gamification but it does help to create that environment for the user. This post is about the user interface for Prison Architect and how we can take advantage of this display in E-Learning courses – so let’s take a look!

User Interface

This is prime ‘copy cat’ territory, the screen in prison architect is laid out very well and whilst there are far too many options for a traditional E-Learning course the areas of interest are the Todo list and the folder.

Todo List (Left hand side of screen):

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 19.43.58

Within Prison Architect the Todo list holds your objectives in any given day essentially. It can be closed and reopened simply by clicking the button. This is a very good way to display learning objectives! This way the user can continually check on the objectives laid out to them at the start of the course. Far too many E-Learning courses simply display (usually very poor) learning objectives at the start and then again at the end of the course. By using a method such as the one in Prison Architect it’s possible to consistently display the learning objectives for the user. Also as long as we spend the time as Instructional Designers to craft a set of meaningful learning objectives we can cross through these as we proceed. This continues to provide a sense of achievement for the learner which is absolutely vital to their engagement, retention of information and success (I detailed a lot of this during a post looking at What We Can Learn from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker available here). We can also include sub-objectives or bonus achievements in a section like this – it’s definitely going in my next project!

Folder (Right hand side of the screen):

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 19.44.12

This folder interaction is a very nice way to display some additional information or as a resource holder for the user. Have you got an SME who requires an abundance of information to be available inside a course? Well this could be the perfect remedy, you can even use a folder with a similar format to the one inside Prison Architect that is divided into separate sections. Next time you’re with an SME appease them with a solution such as this. As Instructional Designers and E-Learning Developers a key part of our role is to filter out information that is considered overkill for the learning objectives and this method allows you to get the best of both worlds. Or what about using this as a section for displaying quirky facts or other areas of interest for the learner? The folder is a great way of storing a lot of information that doesn’t get in the way of the flow of the course should the learner not wish to access it.

That’s all for this bitesize tip but there’s two lovely little interactions you can look at implementing into your next E-Learning project. Both of these options will help to create a more engaging E-Learning experience for your learner and if used in conjunction with other game theories can be the perfect combination for a gamified environment.

I’ll see you next week with another post in the series of What We Can Learn From Games, until then have a wonderful week!



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