Tip #40:  Experiential Training Methods: Game

Thank you to who correctly identified the level (s) of learning and the learning style(s) satisfied by a Focus Question.
Their one-minute technique has been mailed to them.

There are many different experiential training methods that ensure a rich learning experience. Today, we will discuss the Game.

What: A game is often a metaphor for a real life situation. It provides an opportunity to learn and play (intellectually and/or physically) at the same time.

When: It can be used at the beginning of a lesson to spark interest, or as a way to make a training point. It can also be used at the
beginning of a lesson to test the participants’ knowledge and skills. A game can be used at any point in a lesson- as long as it is preceded with and followed by a discussion of key learning points that come into play during the game. It is frequently used at the end of a lesson to test for comprehension or to evaluate the learners’ ability to apply what has been learned.

Why: It is intended to engage the learner in a stimulating and novel manner. A game may be a more comfortable way for the learners to learn and/or apply their learning. Games also tap into the right side of the brain, which is more playful and creative.

How: Prior to the game, there should be training in specific techniques or concepts that will be tested in the game. The game directions should be clearly communicated, both in writing and orally. The time frame, the expectations, and the guidelines or rules for the game should be clarified before the game begins. If there are observers in the game, they should be prepared separately for their role and expectations. The degree to which they are allowed to interact with the players during the game should be emphasized.

The trainer(s) must continually monitor the activity, providing constructive coaching feedback to assist learners who are having a problem with the exercise. This involves asking the learners questions in order to help them discover what they need to do, rather than having the trainer tell them what to do.

If the trainer notices that a number of learners are having similar trouble with the activity, it is necessary to stop the game temporarily and provide just-in-time training to the entire group.

It is important for the learners to enjoy this learning experience and to be able to distance themselves from roles played during
the game once the game is ended.

It is helpful to debrief the activity at the end of the practice, to have the learners identify and communicate what they learned,
the problems that came up, and how they resolved them.

Length: Depending upon the nature and complexity of the game, it may take anywhere from 15 minutes to one or two hours.

Benefits: A game can:

• stimulate creativity.
• teach dry topics in an engaging manner.
• add fun to the learning process.
• allow the learner to learn or test skills in a more relaxed, enjoyable context.
• provide immediate feedback to the learner regarding what s/he knows or needs to know to play the game.
• engage the limbic system to increase retention.

Now, it’s your turn! If you can correctly answer what level(s) of learning and learning style(s) can be satisfied by a game, we will send you a brand new one-minute technique guaranteed to keep your learners engaged!

Level of Learning:

Learning Styles:

Next week, we will report the winning responses and then explore another experiential training method: the questionnaire.

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