Instructional Game Considerations

Here are some random game development considerations pulled from research:

  • The beneficial effects of games and simulations were most likely to be found when specific content was targeted and objectives precisely defined.
  • Games can provide knowledge increases in learners
  • Games tend to be more motivating than traditional instructional design
  • Instructional games should be embedded in instructional programs that include debriefing and feedback so the learners understand what happened in the game and how these events support the instructional objectives.
  • Instructional support to help learners understand how to use the game increases the instructional effectiveness of the gaming experience by allowing learners to focus on the instructional information rather than the requirements of the game.
  • If the game is not designed to directly support specific instructional objectives related to actual job requirements, much of the learning may be irrelevant.
  • The decision to use a game should be based on a detailed analysis of the learning requirements and an analysis of the tradeoffs among alternate instructional approaches.
  • The effects of games and interactive simulations sustained across people in terms of age and gender and across situations in terms of learner control, level of realism and group  and individual usage of the game or simulation
  • Instructional games seem to foster higher-order thinking such as planning and reasoning.
  • Games do not have to be entertaining to be educational.
  • Trainees learn more from simulations games that actively engage trainees in learning rather than passively conveying the instructional material.
  • Trainees learn more from simulation games when they can utilize the simulation game as many times as desired than when they have limited access to the simulation game.
  • The right level of uncertainty to introduce in games of chance to heighten motivation is 50%. It appears that having a 50/50 chance of success keeps players motivated toward achieving the reward they are seeking.
  • The value, or size, of an anticipated reward influences the motivational signal sent to the brain only within the contexts of the reward system.
  • The uncertainty of an outcome influences the brain’s response to reward, uncertain rewards release more dopamine than predictable rewards.
  • Gaming uncertainty appeared to subvert the conventional learning discourse and the traditional concepts of classroom fairness (always earning points for correct answers) and the sting of failure was mitigated by the chance to win the game on the next roll of the dice.  Failure was attributed to bad luck and big losses the result of chance.


Posted in: Games

Leave a Comment (1) ↓

1 Comment

  1. Brett Bixler June 29, 2011

    Thanks for the list! Do have the references for these?

Karl Kapp
  • About
  • Contact