Are you constantly looking for innovative methods and techniques to encourage audience participation? Are you worried your training may not impact participants to change behaviors? Do you feel constrained by traditional pedagogical training methods? If you answered yes to any of these questions, using board games in your training is for you.
Using board games helps to:
How do you do this? Make it interactive! This is key advice for trainers, but what does it really mean? For many it means using group discussions or case studies. For others, it means using low-ropes course initiatives to promote diversity and teamwork. Either way the goal is clear - to engage participants.
An often underused engagement strategy is board games. I'm talking about using business-based board games that teach a specific topic, such as pharmaceutical drug development, effective outsourcing, good manufacturing practices, banking industry, or effective sales techniques.
Using Business-based Board Games
Board games that teach complex industry processes and procedures allow trainers the opportunity to facilitate the learning rather than be the expert. Trainers draw content from the board game and players, thus becoming guides for learning. This change in focus can be difficult for many trainers used to being the expert. The board game provides the structure, content, and expertise for learning to happen, and frees the trainer to observe participants' reactions for the ending discussion.
Business-based board games are successful when:
Creating Business-Based Board Games
To be effective in creating business-based board games, allocate enough time and resources for development. Following these easy steps will help you create a board game that works for you.
Find a company who has experience in creating business-based board games.
All though it may be exciting to create the board game on your own, nothing is more important then experience. Finding a company who already has documented processes and procedures will accelerate the development. In addition, finding test groups and obtaining the pilot testing data can be overwhelming. Companies with experience can help you structure this part of the process with little hassle.
Ensure your game is playable, flexible, and usable.
Business-based board games do not have to be dull as they teach regulations or an industry concept. They do need to be playable, meaning that anyone from the company can learn how to play within minutes. They do need to be flexible so that they can be used in a variety of ways. And they do need to be usable, meaning they convey the information intended to be conveyed.
Ensure your audience and top management support learning by doing.
Success in learning isn't always about the method. It's also about the culture of an organization. Before venturing into creating a game, test the idea with current participants and upper management. The more support and energy you have around using businessbased games before creating them, the more successful you will be.
So make it interactive!
The Learning Key, Inc.
Dave works for the Learning Key® as the Director of Training Services and StrataKey® Division. The Learning Key® has been creating business-based board games for over a decade.