The Gamer’s Wish List: Save Me!

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Here’s a bit of gaming trivia for you: What was the first video game to boast a save-game feature?

Officially, it was the NES classic The Legend of Zelda, which stored your saved game file on the cartridge with the help of an on-board battery.

But saving game files in other forms dates back even further, with mechanisms like checkpoints and passwords to help a gamer negotiate longer or more complex games without losing their progress.

Of course, the eLearning equivalent is bookmarking. I don’t think anyone would argue against the concept of bookmarking. Most of us are designing for adult learners who must try to find time during the workday to complete their training. Interruptions are inevitable, and bookmarks are necessary.

But just as save game files aren’t the only way to prevent gamers from losing their progress, bookmarks aren’t the only strategy to help learners progress through courses.

Are you making use of these features in your courses?:

  1. The course menu – Take time to carefully organize your course menu, making it easy for the learner to return to sections of your course. And don’t forget to make your course menu easy to find.
  2. Determine course completion by an assessment score, not the number of pages viewed. This is especially true if you are experiencing problems with your course package communicating bookmarks to your LMS. Moreover, if your content doesn’t warrant a level two assessment, then why put it in the LMS at all?
  3. Make your courses shorter. Much shorter. Divide longer courses into bite-sized chunks that a learner can complete in about ten minutes. Thanks to Google, YouTube, and other ways to instantly access information online, learners today don’t want to sit through an hour of web-based training. Provide it in easy to access quick hits, and your learners will thank you.
  4. Give your learners a sense of their progress. Progress indicators, play back bars, and page numbers will all give your learners a sense of accomplishment, and an idea of how close they are to completion.

The frustration of losing one’s progress is easily mitigated. Give your learners a helping hand, especially if you have a lot of information to covey, or if your subject is complex.

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Posted in elearning, gaming, learning

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