Skylark board Games Instructions

Integrating Game Design Principles into Instructional Design for e

These are my live blogged notes from the webinar. Any typos, awkward phrasing, or errors are mine, not the presenter’s. My side commentary in italics.
Integrating Game Design Principles into Instructional Design for e-Learning

Webinar presented by Ethan Edwards of Allen Interactions (Allen Interactions blog)

Learning Objectives
-Identify the characteristics of games that create motivation and engagement.
-Integrate game structures into instructional designs for standard e-learning content.

What is the appeal of gaming principles for learning?

  • Most people said “engaging” in the poll
  • Active and challenging were 2nd and 3rd choices


  • Jeopardy example
  • Snakes and Ladders–typical board game adaptation with quiz questions Sheesh, the dice rolling animation takes forever. That would get old really fast.
  • Game show variations

The non-examples were fun, active, familiar, but not really engaging, focused, or task-oriented. They are just tests hidden behind a game skin.

If we want to engage people like they are engaged in real games, we need to look at how games really work, not just putting the superficial elements on top.

As you play a game, you get better: you learn. There’s no real way to get better at Jeopardy other than studying; studying isn’t a game activity. Jeopardy is a glorified assessment/test, not really teaching anything.

Realistically, most of us don’t have the kind of resources to do full game development. Most of the real games like Diner Dash just consume time, don’t teach us something useful.

What can we take from gaming?

  • Engaging
  • Focused
  • Task-oriented

Forget about making it fun & colorful, focus on making it engaging

Example: Locating an earthquake’s epicenter. Not actually a game, but interactive and focused and you get feedback. It makes you want to do it again and make challenges for yourself.

What design element is most important? (audience poll)

  • Increased risk: #1 choice in the poll
  • Expanded choices & alternative reality choices 2 & 3


  • Sense of consequence. Failure must matter
  • Failure must be possible (at first, likely)
  • Failure should not be the final result
  • Minimize randomness (no spinners or dice). People take responsibility for risk and move to minimize it, but if it’s really random, people don’t take control of consequences themselves.

Meaningful Choices

  • Clear & accessible
  • Promote thought, not guessing
  • Risk commensurate with choices

In the non-examples, risk is the same regardless of the choice

Compelling Frame

  • Rules add up to create a rational universe. The game world/frame should make sense within itself, even if it isn’t completely realistic
  • Create formal links to the real world
  • Makes intrinsic feedback possible. Good games don’t tell you if you’re succeeding or failing, you see it by the consequences of choices

Yes you'll need a medical release

by --

And it needs to be notarized. leave your kids med/vax records in case they're needed. stock the fridge with snacks and easy prep food/dinners then leave 150-200 for whatever. leave specific instructions for that money though. Is it okay to take the kids out for a movie with some of it? don't spend it on a board game or something? only use in emergency?

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