Got Game?

The image above may appear as an ambiguous geometric design at first. In this post, Steve Sugar explains how low-tech games (like the one pictured above) can lead to high-powered learning

Written by Steve Sugar- UMBC ISD adjunct faculty member, writer and teacher of low-tech learning games.

Low-tech fun can equate to high-powered learning. Successful low-tech training games are easy to describe. They’re simple in design and fun to play.  A successful game can energize content and deliver powerful learning.

Games Promote Learning
Games introduce a playful environment and create a challenge between the topic and the participant. They also create opportunities for the learner to “interact” with the game questions or scenarios so as to demonstrate their understanding of the topic through information recall and experiential application.

Low-Tech Games are Fun with a Purpose 
Low-tech training games create a cognitive interaction between the learner and the topic in a buoyant, challenging environment.  Games celebrate your topic and reward individual and group achievement.  With a focus on learning, low-tech games allow learners to connect their own dots and experience their own ideas — bringing a joy of discovery into the learning process.

QUIZO – An Example of an Interactive Game
Quizo is a question-and-answer game similar to bingo that gets people interacting. Here’s how it works:

  • The instructor distributes one bingo-style gamesheet to each team and announces the game objective:  “win by covering five spaces in a row.”
  • The instructor presents the first question – “It’s a good policy to pay higher commission for a new customer than for the retention of a present customer. True or False?
  • The team selects their response – The team discusses the question, and by doing so, players experience the content and theory of the topic by inventorying what is known and unknown about the topic. They develop a common, shared understanding of available information.  Their response demonstrates their ability to develop criteria for selecting an answer and committing to a course of action. The team responds:  “False.”
  • The instructor presents the correct response – “False,” and shares that this policy sometimes reduces the motivation to service or sales people to keep providing quality service to current customers.”
  • The instructor awards a game sheet space – The instructor announces that the students cover the gamesheet space “Q-4.” The awarding of the game sheet space provides real-time feedback on whether the team is moving closer to or away from stated goals or objective.
  • The game is played in this fashion until one team scores five in a row.

Click here to learn about Quizo and other low-tech games. Steve Sugar’s games can be found in five books offered by John Wiley and ASTD Press.

What has your experience been with interactive games in learning? We’d love to hear from you! Share your experience in the comments or send us at tweet @ISDNow!