Elearning! October-November

October-November 2013

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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seriouslearninggames You can also use check-ins to recognize learner achievements. While check-in sessions are very important, Clark also recommends that learner progress be monitored closely throughout the game. Game On! Learning actually assigns a learner engagement manager to monitor participant progress and identify early on those who are encountering difficulty or falling behind. Such monitoring is actually much easier to do with games than other types of training, since learner scores and progress status are typically readily accessible. a baseline level of competency for that level. Serious learning games also require dedicated attention and time. (Tese aren't the page-turning courses most employees can do while checking email or surfng the Web.) Learners need to understand and prepare for these diferences to optimize their focus. For competitive games, you'll want to explain how scoring works. Many companies implement reward systems for learners such as branded T-shirts or mugs earned when employees achieve certain levels or scores. Your vendor may also have game-play guides for learners. If that's the case, these should be reviewed during kick-of. Game On! Learning has detailed playbooks for each of its online multi-level games that learners can reference throughout the game. For each game level, the playbook sets the stage, communicates the objective, and identifes the learning points. To further motivate employees and create a sense of fun, Clark encourages Game On! customers to have employees choose gamer names during kick-of meetings. According to Clark, employees get a kick out of sharing these names during the session. CHECKING IN Because serious learning games may span multiple weeks, you'll want to plan at least one formal virtual or face-to-face check-in session approximately halfway 24 October / November 2013 Elearning! through the game. Such sessions give learners the opportunity to ask questions, share experiences and discuss the game itself. (And perhaps talk a little trash.) You'll want to prepare in advance questions for learners that can help direct conversation, uncover any points of confusion, A strong knowledge of the business and the disciplines required by the facilitator are important assets. and elicit discussion about any "lessons learned" to date. For games that include leaderboards, you should review scores prior to the session to familiarize yourself with learner progress. DEBRIEFING "Debriefngs are hugely important, because it's during these sessions that learners move from the game scenarios to work relevance," says Clark. Efective debriefings should be designed to help employees understand how they can personally apply learned skills to their specifc jobs. While you definitely want to encourage learner feedback — both positive and negative — you want to ensure that the debriefing session goes far beyond a "learner satisfaction" assessment. Debriefings should be structured to address outstanding questions, to summarize new knowledge and skills acquired in the game, and to provide opportunity for collaboration on how to apply the training to actual work situations. FACILITATORS' SPECIAL ROLE When implementing a large-scale gamebased program, you'll likely need a team of facilitators trained to manage and run implementation sessions. Tese individuals are important catalysts in bridging the gap between the game scenarios and the actual workplace. In his book "Te End of Training: How Simulations Are Reshaping Business," Michael Vaughan devotes an entire section to the role of trainers and facilitators in game implementation. According to Vaughan, efective facilitators must have the ability to understand and work within this new learning model. Terefore, a strong knowledge of the business and the disciplines required by the role are important assets. He also stresses the ability to deal with critical thinking

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