Monday, July 23

Creating Educational Games for Online Courses!

(Originally posted in ELC on the 5th May, 2004)
According to Dr. Dan Lim (Director of Instructional Technology Center, University of Minnesota), there are ?several notable web-based learning games initiatives like and are helping education and the training industry with some sustainable gaming delivery of online learning content. has reached an impressive critical mass among educators and trainers that they are now charging subion for using their web-based gaming service. They still have a way to catch up with the "flashier" online games. Recently a new digital gaming community has been created at He further highlights some of ?the criteria that will help learning games become sustainable and attractive to educators and trainers:
  • Contains substantial amount of learning content
  • Draws learners toward the learning content (not distracting)
  • Engages learners to spend hours "playing" with the learning content
  • Balances between easy and difficult learning content
  • Maintains learners' interest and motivation throughout the gaming experience
  • Uses compelling visuals and motion graphics to enhance user experience
  • Allows educators and trainers quick and easy design options to create games
  • Integrates with other learning management systems to record and/or track learners' progress
  • Allows a variety of gaming objects to retrieve and deliver the same content from one source
  • Delivers games in multiple platforms - web-based, PDA, standalone, etc?

The most important point is NOT to think about creating games per se, but creating really fun, challenging structures for highly engaged, enjoyable learning?". - Prensky

The first Flash learning game was launched in July 2001. To date, there are more than 100 games created in multiple disciplines (Biology, Zoology, Hospitality Management, Business Management, Accounting, Systems Analysis, Natural Resources, Communications, etc). Additional disciplines using the learning games are Music, Research, Speech, Ornithology, Library Science, Computer Science, Aviation, and Grammar.

Participating colleges and universities include Nicholls State University, University of Georgia, University of Minnesota, Medical College of Wisconsin, University of North Dakota, Indiana University Kokomo, San Jose State University, University of Central Florida and Institute of Technical Education (Singapore).

There are also collaboration efforts underway in developing an enterprise system to deploy Flash learning games for a large university system as well as integrating with learning management systems. According to a web survey conducted in April 2002, almost 40% of students surveyed indicated that they have played the Flash learning games in at least one course during the school year. Out of the 40% who played the games, 92% indicated the Flash learning games were helpful and recommended them to be integrated into other classes too.


The Game engine allows any educator can create a game account within the respective game manager edition. During the game account creation process, a session code will be emailed immediately and used to complete the registration process. A user id will be attached to the newly created account?s url for game content identification. The unique game url will retrieve the specific game content from the server-side database. The game content entered can be previewed in a flash game format. When all 80 questions are entered, the game may be enabled for public access.

In addition, they have another game creation manager enable batch upload (internal use only). It uses ColdFusion MX as the backend for uploading all 80 questions at one time. Questions can be pre-entered in a spreadsheet or database format for the batch upload.
Flash Learning Game Objects developed:
  • The Flash Challenge Game
  • The Flash Category Game
  • The Flash Clue Game
  • The Flash Action Game (Still under development for importing external images).
Future developments for Flash learning games include:
  • Enterprise Development
  • PDA Versions for Category and Clue Games
  • Core Education and Basic Skills in various Flash game formats (Online & CD-ROM delivery)
  • 10 Most Popular Gaming Formats - Interchangeable for gaming contents
  • Multi-player Flash Learning Games
Here are a few other online resources that can enable you to create simple quiz games, without needing to have programming or graphic design skills (remember to read the instructions carefully):
  • Quia Web
    Quia Web is one of the world's most popular educational technology Web sites. It pioneered the "create-your-own" concept, giving instructors the ability to create customized educational software online, built around their own course materials and made available to students over the Web. The idea proved so popular that more than 300,000 educators have registered to use the service. Today, Quia Web offers much more, including assessment and analysis tools and classroom management features, like class pages, calendars, and grade books. All features are intuitive and learn-as-you-go?no special training is ever required.
  • Thiagi
    Thiagi updates this web site every week to provide you with free training games, instructional activities, puzzles, online learning activities, web-based games, and creative training techniques. He also adds a new issue of the free monthly newsletter, Play for Performance, every month.
  • Quiz Game Master
    Create your own Interactive Web-Based Quiz Games such as Dragon? lair, Cryptomania, Memory meter, TicTacToe, etc. You can save them to your computer.
  • WebCT Game Community - Highlighted resources
    They provide discussion areas and resources that can be categorized into three general areas:
    - Designing and developing games that can be easily modified for use in online courses
    - Finding, modifying and deploying customizable games in online courses, and;
    - Researching the effectiveness of games in online learning.
  • Web Author
    Links provided below can be used to make online forms to be used for Web Assisted Learning and Teaching of Languages (WALT). All you need is enter your data in the fields given, and the requested form is generated on the fly. You can simply copy the source code and keep it in your web space, or even leave them in our server and use our web address.
  • Hot Potatoes
    The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is not freeware, but it is free of charge for those working for publicly-funded non-profit-making educational institutions, who make their pages available on the web. Other users must pay for a licence.
  • E.L. Easton
    Create your own, quizzes, exercises, tests, etc.
  • Jan Mulder's  Free Javas
    Crossword, Hangman, Slider Puzzle, Word Search, and Memory Squares.
  • Interactive Exercise Maker Pages
    Interactive exercises created through a simple web interface. The makers were developed by Dan Beeby at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore Colleges as part of the Tri-College Mellon Language Project. Feel free to use the makers, but be sure to read the documentation and follow it closely.
Let's play and learn :)

1 comment:

Kiara said...

As I continuously pursue my interest on gaming industry, little by little, I am gaining knowledge about Download Games. And I am so fascinated how games are made to be educational. It does not only give fun to players but assuring that something will be learned. That is so cool!