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Serious Games and Simulations News – Weekly Roundup! (15 – 19 September)

Another week, another great series of articles from the elearning, business simulation and game based learning field! Here’s some of the best links from the past six days:

1. Humanize Your eLearning Courses or Risk Losing Learners

An interesting article from Shift Elearning’s Karla Gutierrez, it caught our interest this week for the very good point it makes about elearning content in general.

She makes some excellent points about one of the core aspects that determines the success of an elearning course – it’s content. More of then not, in a bid to stay as true to the original content as possible, instructional designers often make the mistake of keeping the language as dense as the subject matter, which ends up in the elearning experience no better than the original learning medium – dull, boring and tedious. To counter this, Karen makes some great points to help make your elearning content more “personal”. This, in turn, increases the connect the learner feels with the content which has the end result of better retention and a deeper understanding of the source material.

Definitely an informative read and worth checking out.

2. Video Games, Serious Games and Motivation

gamification

This article, from the Matthew Guyan, was an interesting read because it talks in general about the psychology behind the love that people have for video games, especially how it satisfies some of our deepest needs. Citing numerous studies, he helps provide a better understanding of HOW video games work as a medium, especially their ability to allow us to socialize, to feel accomplished and and to challenge ourselves in a risk free environment.

In many ways, a lot of these qualities, if translated well into serious games, could also potentially allow people to learn while being entertained. This article is definitely worth a read for those who want to understand the science behind the appeal of video games and understanding the true potential of being able to use these psychological factors in designing learning content that keeps learners entertained and informed at the same time.

3. It’s called blended learning (not blended teaching) for a reason

An excellent opinion piece from Peter West, it discusses a very important question that determines the future of a Learning Management System – is it teacher-centric or learner-centric? Presenting both cases of the paradigm, a learning management system from the point of the learner and one from a student centric point of view, it makes a very powerful point about why people learn most when they are given the autonomy and freedom to learn in their Online learning environment, as opposed to be stuffed into the virtual equivalent of a classroom and be forced to listen to an instructor “teach” them the content, thus negating the whole point of the environment. The key benefits of blended learning is to allow the online learning environment (OLE) to be one where the learner is able to pace their learning and augment their existing form of traditional learning with knowledge that they learn from the OLE. Peter makes a great point about how making this distinction about the LMS early on ultimately determines its success.

Well, that’s all for this week – stay tuned for another update on the world of Serious Games and Game Based Learning next week!