Maybe I am old. No, I take that back. I know I am old, because I remember fun times with family and friends playing Monopoly® for hours upon hours. And how about the game Yahtzee®? There is no greater joy than yelling “Yahtzee!!” Games are a great way to salvage an otherwise dreary winter or rainy day. Games can also create lasting memories with special people in your life. I will always cherish playing cards with my Grandma, especially since she was the only living grandparent I ever had.
So, can we incorporate games into training? Of course we can. Playing games can be a fun and effective way to review and reinforce a course. But don’t play a game just to” play a game.” Make sure it has a real learning purpose. How do we incorporate review games into the business world of training? Well let’s take a walk down Park Place (don’t forget to collect $200 for passing “Go”) as we take a journey into the world of games in training.
My first roll of the dice is to establish and communicate not only the simple rules of the game, but some fundamental ground rules as well. Ground rules help keep the game professional, and also prevent a win-at-all-costs mentality.
Now move your player a few spaces by telling the class the purpose of the game is to review course content in an interactive and fun manner. As the course facilitator, remember you are “the boss.” Do not, and I repeat do not, allow “out-of-control” competitiveness to ruin the review activity. Change the rules if one team is too far ahead of the others but keep an element of “healthy” competition going. You must be assertive, but not aggressive; otherwise the entire activity may backfire. You may risk not only losing the group, but you may lose your credibility as well.
Your last two moves should take into account the following:
1. Always pad in extra time for a debrief in case the game doesn’t go as well as planned. Discuss the key course content issues after the game.
2. Don’t provide elaborate prizes otherwise, your learners will be focus too much on winning the prize and not enough on the course content.
Did I just hear someone yell “Bingo??”