Using Game Mechanics and Game Elements in Learning Games – New White Paper by Sharon Boller

Sharon Boller, creator of Knowledge Guru® and President of Bottom-Line Performance, has authored a new white paper on using game mechanics and game elements in learning games. Through a variety of case studies and real-life examples, the white paper demonstrates how learning game designers can design game mechanics and game elements that support real learning outcomes.

Learning Game Design White Paper

Click the image to download the white paper!

When a game’s mechanics, or set of rules that the game itself and players follow, are too complicated, it detracts from the learning. But if the mechanics are too simple or predictable, players will not find the game fun. And even when the game mechanics are figured out, you’ll still need to choose appropriate game elements (we list 12 common ones) that link to your desired learning outcomes.

Sharon explains all of this and more… while showing that the secret to a good learning game is to play test and iterate, always seeking the right balance with game mechanics and game elements.

Game Mechanics

  • Learn to choose the right game rules for players to follow… and the right set of rules for the game itself to follow.
  • See examples of learning games used in corporate and non-profit settings and examine their game mechanics.

Game Elements

  • See an overview of the 12 most common game elements, including competition, collaboration, strategy, chance and more. Most importantly, you’ll learn how each one of these game elements can link to learning… and which learners will respond best to each element.
  • See examples of each game element being used in a real-world learning game… mostly in corporate settings.

Written for Designers, Developers and Managers

If you play a role in designing, developing, or managing the creation of learning solutions and are ready to include games in your learning mix, this white paper for you. Look for a recurring series of “Questions to Ask as a Learning Designer” to challenge yourself, or your design team, to think differently about learning game design.

Download the White Paper

You can download the white paper here.

About the Author:

Sharon Boller - game based learning practicionerSharon Boller is the president of Bottom-Line Performance, Inc, an Indianapolis-based learning design company. She is also the lead designer of the Knowledge Guru® game engine, a tool for creating simple quiz-based desktop and tablet games.

Sharon founded BLP in 1995 when online learning was a blip on the screen of the T&D industry. 18 years later BLP can show hundreds of digital learning solutions it has designed and produced for corporate, government, and nonprofit clients. Sharon’s primary area of interest is games and the gamification of learning. In addition to her work with Knowledge Guru, she is leading the development of a more complex game engine that will allow creation of story-driven, multi-level, learning games as well as the creation of small “mini-games.” She has been the lead designer of numerous other digital and tabletop learning games.

Sharon considers herself very much a learner rather than a teacher and her presentations are geared toward this. She likes to show her own lessons learned and point people to the plethora of others whom she considers her “gurus of game design” and the people she constantly tries to learn from.

Sharon speaks at numerous conferences on the topic of learning game design – including ASTD, Training, and SALT. She also co-facilitates a learning game design workshop with Dr. Karl Kapp, author of The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. She authored one of the chapters in his upcoming book, The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook, which will be published in 2014.