Today I’m writing today about Game-Based Learning one of my favourite learning methods. But instead of talking about its benefits, which I’ve already written in detail in different posts, today I’m bringing up Blendoku an application which is a good example of a Mobile Game-Based Learning. Do you want to know more?
Blendoku, what is all about?
Blendoku is a mobile app game for Android and iOS devices that test your visual acuity and your knowledge about colour theory. The main objective of Blendoku is to achieve the perfect gradient. At the first sight you only see a group of simple activities that test the knowledge of the gamer inside a game context and far from the conventionalism of a normal training.
It’s a good game for designers, photographers and for all those professionals that have to deal sometimes with the combination of colours and need to practice their skills sometimes. But, at the end it’s recommended for everybody.
The aim of the game is simple: create the perfect gradient. The game provides a grid, some colours as a hints and the colours that you have to put in the correct order to create the gradient according to de colour wheel. The first puzzle are very easy but as soon you advance the activities become more complex and adds a new component: the challenge.
Here’s a video where you can see how it works.
What are my favs using Blendoku?
Blendoku combines two learning approaches:
- I learn while I’m playing (Game-Based Learning aka GBL)
- I learn through a mobile device (mlearning)
What are the advantages of Game-Based Learning?
If we search in Google about the theory of colour you’ll find tons of articles about this topic. As you can see, even having tons of information saying the same, they have two things in common: they are well explained but also can be tedious turning the study a roadblock for your learning experience. To add more fuel to the fire if you have note been granted with the good taste of a designer it could be a nightmare.
The advantage of learning through games is that it enables you to put in practice your knowledge in a context that avoids the formalisms of a formal training. With Game-Based Learning you can go beyond answering a multiple choice question but put it into practice in a specific context, you see the consequences of your choices and you have instant feedback about your performance.
One interesting thing when people are playing is that no matter if you do it wrong, you try it once again. And sometimes, even given a correct response you try it once again to test if you can improve your previous score. So games can encourage improvement by repetition.
Another advantage of Game-Based learning is that it seems that has the magical gift of keeping players (learners) attention compared over other more traditional methods. For example, the learner’s attitude is different when the content comes from the slides of a power point. Can you guess why?
Blendoku uses levels in a clever way so as you advance in the game, the difficulty increases gradually which is a good element to encourage repetition. Through test and error I’m able to review my knowledge, I can reinforce it and I can easily put it into practice.
Another advantage of Game-Based learning is that it seems that has the magical gift of keeping players (learners) attention compared over other more traditional methods. For example, the learner’s attitude is different when the content comes from the slides of a power point.
What are the advantages of learning through mobile devices?
From my point of view there are some remarkable advantages. First of all, with a mobile learning app I can reinforce the content while playing which is a good way to link my learning process with a positive emotion. Another advantage is that a mobile device, such a smartphone, fits in my hand so it’s more portable than other devices.
People often remarks the following advantages for mobile learning (mlearning):
- Learning focused on a specific outcome. Blendoku is about practice your visual acuity by solving puzzles. It’s not a course itself but it’s a way to test your performance on the topic.
- It’s portable, flexible and the device is always open.
- Quicker and information in real time.
Game-Based Learning and learning through a mobile device (mlearning) are both good methodologies for learning. But be aware that both approaches are not a magic thing. We cannot turn into games all of our courses. We cannot turn 100 hours of a formal training into a mlearning course.
When somebody ask me for a advice about which is the best methodology in a course I start with some simple questions: what are your employees not doing now but you would like them to do at the end of the course? Do you really think that using a game or being mobile will help you ta achieve that goal?
Of course, the process of deciding the best solution implies a more detailed process than just these two previous questions. But these are the first questions you should ask yourself before going ahead with a learning solution. Game-Based Learning, mlearning solutions and the combination of both when well designed and aligned with the business goals often deliver good results.
From novice to mastery by Rosalie Ledda is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 3.0 Unported License.