Game-based learning in webinars

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.56.01 AMAn often mentioned buzzword is gamification – no matter if the area is business, marketing, communication, teamwork, urban planning or education from kindergarten to learning with the elderly. There are a lot of studies about the principles of game based learning and also about different areas of education. Especially in the field of elearning game-based approaches are being used frequently.

But what about webinars? There are lots of webinars about gamification or game based learning. And mostly you experience more or less traditional lectures, presentations of slides etc. Perhaps participants are invited to ask questions via chat or microphone. Sometimes there are videos about serious games. But what about playing in or during webinars?

We assume there are many options to apply game based learning in webinars. What is your experience? Which tools could provide a game based approach in a webinar? How can participants be motivated to leave their comfort zones and participate active “players”? How could ideas for games be developed in a webinar in a playful way? Is there any literature or good practice about game based learning being used as a method to facilitate webinars?

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.57.02 AMThese were the thoughts behind an experimental webinar (watch the recording) we arranged 2 July 2015 in cooperation with a number of partners (see below). The idea was to offer participants an arena to try out different gamification elements that could be used in a webinar setting. The examples this time were mostly for fun but the principal was to show that such elements can be used to build trust, enhance interaction and create a sense of community in a webinar setting. We started with an overview of the field by Christian F. Freisleben (see his Prezi presentation). We went on to learn how card games can be used as well as testing a variety of collaborative game-like excercises. One particularly appreciated excercise was a list of examples, good practice, tools and references on game-based learning in webinars and the results are available in a collaborative Google document that may still be added to. You’re welcome to add relevant links to the list.

David Röthler, our project member who lead the webinar summed up the experience like this:

This event was rather experimental but a first step. The approach to use games or simulations in webinars has to be further explored.

One area that could be explored in future is how to use webinars as meeting points in more extensive serious games or simulations. The simulation could take place over a week or more with webinars as meeting points for roleplay or debate. For example, students could work in groups as representatives of various member states in the EU and prepare their roles to debate an EU issue in a webinar. After the webinar the groups could then have a week to negotiate with each other and reconsider their positions before a final debate and decision in a webinar.

We hope to investigate these themes in future sessions.

Co-operation partners for this webinar:

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