Creating Engagement When Content Is Untouchable

Conference Archive

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2014 - March 20, 2014

Ben Kobulnicky

Learning Technologies Analyst
State Farm Insurance Companies

State Farm’s learning and development department needed to increase new employee consumption of industry-standard, vendor-supplied eLearning without modifying the vendor’s content. A unique solution was proposed: Based on the broad concepts covered in the untouchable courses, they would create mini-games that introduce the business principles in an interactive, fun, and challenging way, thereby enticing employees to learn more. Would it succeed with their millennial target audience?

This session will detail exactly how State Farm created employee engagement in key business concepts by designing a game that walked the line between business simulation, casual entertainment game, and learning activity. Starting with the business need and limitations, the presentation will explain the benefits and challenges of triangulating business, gaming, and learning. After demonstrating the game, the lead designer will dissect it and supply “how-to” design principles for those participants interested in crafting their own business simulation game. Guidance on compromises and sacrifices needed to achieve success will also be shared, with tips for overcoming worries and common issues. Lastly, employee reaction to State Farm’s game will be illustrated, both from the formal metrics space and also the social/informal sphere.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to define goals for designing a business game
  • Design techniques for turning business concepts into games
  • Ways to keep a game project scope manageable
  • Elements of fun from casual games that can be applied to a business game
  • Strategies to succeed in navigating the triangle of business simulation, game, and learning
  • Ways to track learner engagement and response to an informal game

Audience:
Professionals experienced in intermediate and advanced design principles, with some previous experience playing a simple computer game or two. This session is ideally suited for those interested in purposeful game design and already familiar with eLearning skills like defining clear objectives, concise writing, and scaffolding.

Technology discussed in this session:
Various video games (such as Angry Birds), physics engines, and general multimedia software.

Student technology needs:
None.

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