Gaming and mobile learning were hot topics at the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions 2012 conference in Orlando, Florida in March. New technologies are allowing for both learning spaces to grow very rapidly.
In mobile learning, a common concern is security of information. One session I attended discussed the different levels of security settings that can be applied and options for security on mobile devices. Options include text and voice passwords, all the way up through custom security settings on native apps. One interesting stat in the growth of mLearning is that IT desks have seen an increase in support requests of 70% because of multiple devices. Why are security and support issues important? They will become obstacles when deploying a mobile learning strategy if the IT team is not consulted early on in the process.
Game-based learning is a big topic, as you all know. We build game-based learning, as do many other companies. It’s definitely a process to integrate gaming into a successful learning strategy. In addition to knowing the audience and culture of the organization to best assess the type of game, if any, to deploy, nailing down game mechanics is equally important. Game mechanics provide a way to give immediate and relevant feedback, learning reinforcement and an engaging and collaborative environment. Ensure these mechanics are determined prior to beginning a game build:
- Points: Will you build in this motivator? How? What values? What does earning points do?
- Challenge/quest: What are the goals? What is the level of complexity?
- Levels: Will there be levels? How will those levels be ‘won’? How is a person’s success at different levels shared?
- Leaderboard: What does the leaderboard indicate? Progress? Status? Competition? Is it visible to all?
- Virtual goods: What do you earn in the game? A piece of cake or point or eCommerce opportunities?
There were many great sessions and speakers at Learning Solutions 2012; it’s hard to capture all the great nuggets of information. It will be interesting to see how today’s comments and projections about mLearning and game-based learning morph over the coming year. Stay tuned.
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