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4 Gaming at Work: Taking the Boredom Out of Training

4 Gaming at Work: Taking the Boredom Out of Training

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E-Learning Concepts and Techniques
designed to be more engaging and entertaining, like computer games, is the solution.
(Totty, 2006)
While there exists a handful of startup companies creating training games, some
industries have branched out to develop their own, such as Cisco Systems' Creative
Learning Studio. Capitalizing on the inherit effectiveness of competition as a motivator,
Borland Software Corp. offered admittance to a drawing for free iPods to any employee
who completed training games with perfect scores. The games were simple and
inexpensive, yet they greatly helped salespersons memorize product information in time
for a major sales meeting.
As proof of training/gaming's effectiveness, multifamily development firm ERC
Properties Inc.'s Candace Armstrong compared test results from separate groups of
employees. One group played a game; the other had a standard review. Against a passing
score of 80%, the "game group" had an 88% passing rate, while the standard review
group's passing rate was 54%. Ms. Armstrong states the importance of instructional
gaming best, "People learn more when they laugh."
Training through gaming plays a large role in the realms of multimedia, e-learning, and
high-tech industry; it's the quintessential embodiment of all three. Instructional gaming
relies on multimedia for its basic structure, whether as a Macromedia Flash game,
Director movie or otherwise, it can contain digital images, sound effects, movie clips, and
more. Gaming excites the senses (two of them) and demands interaction from the user.
The terms instructional gaming and e-learning could be perceived to a degree as
synonymous due to their strong relationship. As easily as an employee can log into
Centra and join in on a roundtable discussion of 3Q figures in relation to their
competitor's newest product, they may get online to play a game focused on conveying
identical information. Both are efficient, effective ways of reaching your target at any
time, in any place.
Many industry analysts feel instructional gaming is the next big thing in business, and
this goes double for the high-tech industry world. A networking company or online
consulting firm wouldn't issue employee training via pen-and-paper evaluations. Staying
on the cutting edge is important to the ethos and survival of these companies, and relying
on yesterday's training methods could mean the difference between profit and

8.4 References

Totty, Michael. (2006, April 28) Better training through gaming: Making work
more like play. Retrieved April 30, 2006 from

Chapter 8 - Delivering E-Learning


E-Learning Concepts and Techniques

8.5 Delivering E-Learning Synchronously
Chontel Delaney

What are the different means of delivering e-learning?
The common term e-learning refers to online training that can be delivered through
various strategies. web-based training (WBT), computer based training (CBT),
synchronous and asynchronous are the most common types of e-learning.
Web-based training allows for a large population of people who are in various places in
the world to experience e-learning through the use of text, streaming media and graphics.
Computer based training is an alternate means of delivering web-based e-learning via
LAN, the Internet, or most commonly a CD-ROM. Synchronous (live) meetings allow
learners and the instructor to meet and conduct teaching and learning at the same time
even though they are physically in different locations. The method of asynchronous elearning is an independent self paced training that does not require an instructor. It can
occur at anytime and for irregular intervals of time. This article will focus on the
synchronous delivery methods.

Synchronous E-Learning
The method of Synchronous e-learning delivery offers the benefit of a live classroom via
the Internet. According to a survey done in 2001 and 2002 WebEx and Centra were the
leading technology platforms for delivering synchronous e-learning. (Pulichino, 2004)

Centra Symposium allows for presenters and attendees to meet in a real time setting
incorporating voice and video. The system requirements for Centra are Windows 95, 98,
Me, NT, 2000, and XP, Internet Explorer 4.01+, Netscape 4.08+, 28.8 Kbps or faster
network connection, and Pentium 166, 64 MB memory.
In Centra, the presenters are the creators of the meetings and have full control over the
presentation; they also invite the attendees to the real time sessions. The attendees attend
the meeting using an ID provided by the presenter(s). Centra features break out rooms
and audio conferencing.

WebEx allows users to collaborate in real time meetings using a standard browser over
the Internet that incorporates data, voice and video. WebEx synchronous meetings are
hosted applications and therefore do not require the users to purchase or install any
special kinds of hardware or software. It is supported by various browsers such as

Chapter 8 - Delivering E-Learning


E-Learning Concepts and Techniques
Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris systems as well as Internet Explorer, Mozilla,
Firefox, Netscape and Safari.

Synchronous E-Learning Features
Features that can be incorporated when delivering E-Learning: (Resource Bridge, 2005)

Audio and video conferencing
Whiteboard - a virtual blackboard
PowerPoint slides
Voice-Over-Internet Protocol (VOIP)
Net surfing
Video - streaming and prerecorded
Chat application – text messaging
Virtual break-out rooms
Polls & quizzes
Assessment tests (results fed back)
Session record and playback

8.5 References

Centra. (2006) Centra education/support. Retrieved April 21, 2006 from
IVCi. (2006) Web conferencing: Centra Symposium. Retrieved April 21, 2006
from http://www.ivci.com/web_conferencing_centra_symposium.html
Pulichino, Joe. (2004, June) The Learning Guild: Report on trends in
organizational practices of synchronous e-learning. Retrieved April 21, 2006
from http://www.webex.com/pdf/elearning-guild.pdf
Resource Bridge. (2005) Delivering eLearning courses. Retrieved April 21, 2006
from http://www.resourcebridge.net/articles/elearning_wp16.htm
Siemens, George (2004, October 18) Categories of eLearning. Retrieved April
21, 2006 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/elearningcategories.htm
WebEx. Web meetings. Retrieved April 21, 2006 from

Chapter 8 - Delivering E-Learning


E-Learning Concepts and Techniques

Chapter 9 – E-Learning Evaluation

9.1 - Amy Roche provides an overview of evaluating e-learning.
9.2 - Amanda Ireland and Andrea Mummert with Mike Moran discuss
Kirkpatrick's Levels of Evaluation.
9.3 - Kristin Longenecker with Vincent Basile and Pete Mitchell address Learning
9.4 - Amy Roche explores a framework for using the organization's strategic
business objectives and applying them as a set of performance indicators that
measure the success of the organization.
9.5 - Mike Bond and Dave Cerreta compare and contrast three evaluation models.

Bonus Podcast
An interview with professor, Dr. Mary Nicholson, of the Evaluating E-Learning course at
Bloomsburg University can be found at:


9.1 - Introduction to Evaluating E-Learning
Amy Roche
An essential aspect of an e-learning course or curriculum is the evaluation of e-learning.
Of course you are probably asking why? Well, there are numerous reasons and benefits
for doing so. First and foremost is that evaluation is part of any instructional design
model. For example, the highly popular ADDIE model stands for analysis, design,
development, implementation, and EVALUATION. Without completing this portion of
the instructional design model the e-learning course is incomplete. Evaluation is a key
aspect of any instructional design model due to the fact that the course cannot be tailored,
redesigned, and improved upon unless this is done. Evaluation consists of numerous
attributes; however it basically means assessing the effectiveness and possible
improvement of a course/curriculum.
Now you might be thinking... Now I know that evaluation is part of an instructional
design model, but why is it included in these models? Well the reasons are numerous and
most reasons directly relate to the improvement of course/curriculums. This can include
making sure the training is liked by the learners, ensuring that the learners gained
information in the process, assure that learners are accountable for the information they
obtained in the training, assess learning outcomes, and find and fix quality issues in the
training as well as learn how to make training courses and curriculums better in
upcoming projects. Each of these reasons can improve the training if fixed. For example,
if after the evaluation the training is altered to make sure the training is liked by the
Chapter 9 – E-Learning Evaluation


E-Learning Concepts and Techniques
learners it can lead to an increase participation in the training, an increase in learner
retention, ensuring that it accommodates different learning styles, etc.
In addition to increasing the quality of training another critical reason for evaluation is to
assess the value of the training. This is essential because training is a part of business. If
it is not deemed valuable within the organization, then the amount spent on training is
often reduced. Reasons for evaluation in this particular area include adding value to the
organization, justifying the investment in training, assessing the effect the training has on
profitability, the impact the training has on employee's work habits, effectiveness and
efficiency of the training, assessing the effect of customer satisfaction from the training,
Now that you know the answer to why evaluate e-learning you might be asking who,
what, when, and where to evaluate. Well, this depends upon how you evaluate e-learning.
There are numerous ways to do this and in this chapter we will discuss some ways
including Kirkpatrick's Levels of Evaluation, ROI, Metrics and Learning Analytics,
Balanced Scorecards, and Evaluation Plans. When going through these ways to evaluate
e-learning remember the reasoning and justification for evaluating e-learning and how it
can pertain in real world situations.

9.2 – Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Evaluating Learning
Amanda Ireland and Andrea Mummert with Mike Moran

9.2 Overview
In education and learning new methods of thinking are constantly generated by people
who think outside the box. This is why it may seem unusual that a model for assessing
training effectiveness that was introduced nearly fifty years ago is still highly regarded
and considered to be one of the best.
In 1954, a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Donald L.
Kirkpatrick completed his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Evaluating a Human Relations
Training Program for Supervisors.” Based on that dissertation, he wrote a series of
articles for the American Society of Training Directors (now ASTD) beginning in 1959.
The articles were entitled: “Evaluating Reaction”, “Evaluating Learning”, “Evaluating
Behavior”, and “Evaluating Results”. According to Kirkpatrick, “At that time training
professionals were struggling with the word 'evaluation.' There was no common language
and no easy way to communicate what 'evaluation' meant and how to accomplish it.”
Trainers began to use his four levels and passed them along to other professionals. The
four levels together afford the trainer a meaningful evaluation of the training by looking
at it from various angles.

Chapter 9 – E-Learning Evaluation