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The Use of Gaming in E-Learning - Speech or Presentation Example

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The Use of Gaming in E-Learning

It is important to point out the different focus of these two categories because, as the authors note, “it is easier to create relevant content with hard-skills than with soft-skills.” (p. v) Using a design program is a hard skill, with clearly definable outcomes which can be easily measured, but improving sales and customer relations are soft skills which are much more difficult to measure. The dissertation starts with a summary of the research so far on eLearning and it defines eLearning as “Effective and engaging learning anywhere at any time, developed and delivered using information technology.” (p. 6) Its advantages are that it can be delivered to geographically distant employees, at relatively low cost, at high speed, in a personalised way, and with feedback built in so that continuous improvement is secured. Its disadvantages are that development costs can be high, content can be boring, and users often start with enthusiasm but then their interest fades after a short while. The main hypothesis of the dissertation is “that the use of games and simulation is one way of creating engagement.” (p. 8) The timescale for the fieldwork was quite short (3 months) and so the research is based on existing eLearning projects in the three case studies, and the data is qualitative, based on interviews with key staff such as training and Human Resources managers, using software which uses the PC platform in a corporate workplace environment. The study is restricted to CD-ROM products, and this reflects its date of writing in 2001, a time when web-based materials were available, but not widely used, because of problems with low speed connections, inadequate firewalls and general lack of expertise in networking. This dissertation provides a snapshot of the time just before broadband became widely available, and companies started to move into web based e-Learning. Learning theories are discussed, and there is a key quotation on how to create engagement in the user: “Conflict/competition, challenge or opposition is what gets your adrenaline and creative juices flowing, and what makes you excited about playing the game. While not everyone likes head-to-head competition and some people shy from conflict, most of us enjoy a challenge, particularly if we get to choose it and set its difficulty” (Prensky, 2001) Other factors such as the quality of the sound and visual features, and the element of drama in a game influence how well it is perceived by users. One case study, that of the Monkey Wrench Conspiracy did appear to be very popular with users, and to have valuable outcomes for the company who used it. The Case study answered a number of key questions about e-Learning: Will gaming prove to have more interactivity than the normal e-learning provided by organizations? The company had experienced some difficulty in training staff in the use of design software, and this e-Learning program succeeded in persuading staff to solve little interactive puzzles in an imaginary aliens-in-space scenario. The game was loosely linked which means that tasks were set to be completed outside the framework of the game. The challenge of solving the ...Show more

Summary

The use of gaming in e-learning. In recent years e-Learning has become quite widespread in a number of organizations, and there is a great variety in the ways that it is applied. The dissertation by Rolf Ahdell and Gottorm Andresen on “Games and simulations in eLearning: how to align eLearning content with learner needs” looks particularly at gaming as a way of making eLearning more effective…
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The Use of Gaming in E-Learning essay example
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