Serious games are simulations of real-world actions completed by a learner every day in their workplace. These immersive learning simulations give learners an opportunity to practice new skills or competencies through trial and error.
Common instructional design approaches include creating branching paths; i.e., dialogue trees and “choose your own adventure” structures, as well as providing believable positive and negative outcomes; i.e., feedback.
Serious games are designed with a “sandbox” approach to the content, allowing the learner to explore the different outcomes of a situation they may encounter in a safe space, without fear of negative consequences.
Below we have designed a prototype of a serious game that we call Tire Service for you to interact with to provide a better understanding of some of these concepts.
- An example of a “sandbox” approach, where we allow learners to explore on their own and try different options
in a “safe” environment.
- No specific questions are asked for knowledge check, instead the learner must interact with the game and “do” tasks.
- Humor is used when task is done incorrectly, as a reset, and to reinforce the safety of the environment to explore and learn.
- Structured around the idea that the learning objectives are tangible actions (not just knowledge transfer), teaches DO rather than LEARN.
- With resources tab, provides performance support for in the moment of need. List of steps to do it right to refer to.
- Purposefully narrow in scope – this interaction is teaching one objective, not a bunch of them at once. Take a flat off, put a new one on. All tertiary elements removed intentionally.
- Look and feel is designed to make it feel natural and recognizable, so the focus is on learning the task, not “learning to play.” Should just be able to jump in – what they see on screen is clearly representative of what they would see in real life.
- Could build this out to be one part of a module in a series, for example, the tire change could be one task to learn within a garage. The menu could be designed as a location – a central hub to pick which tasks to learn first.