Archive | November 2009

Interested in Creating an Alternative Reality Games (ARG) for learning?

The elearning Guild’s Learning Solutions e-magazine recently published an article by Brandon Carson, Dolly Joseph, and Enzo Silva tilted “ARGs Leverage Intelligence: Improving Performance through Collaborative Play.

It is a worthwhile read. It includes some great examples of ARGs and a case study of an ARG implemented by Sun Learning Services (Sun Microsystems). Plus, there is practical advice regarding designing ARGs for learning, who should be on an ARG design team and their roles, and design risks.

FYI: You will need to log-in to the e-Learning Guild to access the e-magazine. If you are not a member, you can join as an Associate Member for free.

Here are few more resources on ARGs and learning:

Alternate Reality at the Smithsonian

Innovative Learning (including examples and design principles)

ARGology.org – ARGs in Education & Training (contains resources for getting started and examples)

Series of video interviews regarding games and learning from Frontline (PBS)

Big Question – Presenting the Value of Social Media for Learning

Learning Circuit's Big QuestionLearning Circuit’s Big Question this month is “How do I communicate the value of social media as a learning tool to my organization?” In response, I have put together a list of strategies I feel are important and if done right can be effective.

Management buy-in

  • Demo its use to decision makers.
  • Show them case studies (from your industry, if possible, and emphasize return on investment (ROI)).
  • Emphasize ROI again. Can it increase sales, reduce losses, limit errors, etc.?
  • Teach them how to use it and continually encourage them to use it.

Staff buy-in and prototyping

  • Get a willing group of staff to use and evaluate the prototype.
  • Make sure content/communications are relevant to its users.
  • Stay very involved in its implementation, facilitating discussion.
  • Get its users to help you market the course…creating a “buzz” about the initiative.
  • Document any success stories that come from the prototype and share with the entire organization.

Get IT buy-in early

  • We all now IT can sink your initiative quickly, so get yourself buy-in from a decision maker in the IT department.
  • Do as much leg work as you can before you bring it to IT. Not only will they appreciate any prerequisite work you have already done, but you will be that much closer to implementing the initiative.
  • Find numerous people in IT who are already using social media and ask them to use the prototype. They mayhelp you push the initiative through the possible IT bureaucracy and can provide additional evaluation and advice from a tech perspective.
  • Read more about Working With IT.

Communicating the value of social media and informal learning is far from an easy task and overcoming the challenges of getting management and staff on board differs with every organization…some are more open to it than others. Either way, communicating its value does not have any end point. Like any learning initiative, it needs constant encouragement.