Game Show Espresso: Quick tips to perk up your training

LearningWare Game Show Espresso - Fall 2010
Quick Tips to Perk Up Your Training

  ISSUE #37 — MARCH 2011

In this issue...

What’s Coming In 2011?


2010 was an amazing year for game shows in training!

Here at LearningWare, we:

  • Developed new ways to embed AllPlay Web within a webinar using Adobe Connect, omNovia and other platforms.
  • Got a new keypad partner in Meridia—allowing for our customers to have greater flexibility with their audience response keypad choices.
  • Released Gameshow Pro 5—adding new game boards, a new design, a new backend, AllPlay functionality and MORE to the most popular game show software for training. And more (including moving into a new office)!

BUT we're not resting on our laurels. Here's what's on the docket SO FAR for 2011:

  • New games for QuizPoint, our popular online game show software.
  • New games for AllPlay Web, bringing more variety and engagements into webinars, elearning and virtual classrooms.
  • An iPad control app: The ability to completely control our Gameshow Pro 5 software using your iPad.
  • OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Construction games: Pre-packaged, plug-and-play games making OSHA training entertaining, effective and far more engaging.

But that's just a start. Going into the next year, we'll continue to innovate by leaps and bounds--helping instructors deliver more engaging, effective and fun training. So what do you want to see in 2011?

Individual Assessment
vs. Team Play

Hogwarts Emblem

We've talked quite a bit about the strength and appeal of team competition in game shows. However, there are times when individual play may be more appropriate—even in a training setting.

Team Play:

  • Allows contestants to be "safe"
  • Enables trainees to learn from their peers
  • Utilizes competition to add energy to the room
  • Allows a trainer to get a general sense of group progress/review en masse, etc.

Individual Play:

  • Allows a game show to become a less-stressful assessment tool
  • Illuminates individual knowledge gaps
  • Caters to those who may be opposed to team play

However, there's a third "blended" approach—team play with audience-response pads—that allows you to both group people on teams, and individually assess them. This mixed approach combines the competitive elements and the supportive environment of a team with the specific assessment element that appeals to the accountability of learning management systems.

1. Find a program that can accommodate the blended individual/team approach--like AllPlay or Gameshow Pro (version 5)—with individual keypads and team gameplay.
2. Assign keypads to individuals. Usually this can be done beforehand, or you can do this when students are in-classroom.
3. You can either assign students to teams, let them assign themselves, or split the room once students are seated. We recommend seating teams apart from each other so correct answers don't get "passed around". There's still a team cohesion even though team members may not be close in proximity.

Each individual's answer will go to their team's score—the final tally being the total percentage of correct answers per team. On the back end, you can also track individual responses by keypad, but during gameplay, responses can remain anonymous to give the experience of a safe, fun learning environment.

A Happy Accident For
AllPlay Web Webinars

Question Screen

We were asked to sit in on a customer's webinar (where he was going to be utilizing AllPlay Web).

He wanted to do a discovery run (not even as polished as a dry run) to figure out how his content should flow, which slides should go where, and when to play which questions in the course of the webinar. (The screencap on the side is one of his AllPlay Web questions.)

And—as with any first time—there were some hiccups. We found ourselves seeing some of the questions only to have our host say, "Whoops, I haven't covered that yet!" and switching quickly back into the content. However, two things happened:

1. We were surprised how competitive we got, considering that we had NO knowledge of the dry topic. We really focused in on the details and data of the webinar—knowing that things may be covered later. We found ourselves taking notes (with specific details of content WE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT) in order to get correct answers.
2. Related to the mistake of showing questions before their time: We became laser-focused in on that content. We knew we were going to find the answer somewhere in the webinar material coming up, so we payed extra-close attention to getting those questions answered.

So what are the implications of our accidental discovery?

  • It's definitely important to pre-frame the game at the beginning of the webinar. Tell the participants right away that they'll be playing a game— competing against each other.
  • There's really no substitute for competition. We felt compelled not just to interact (i.e. like with polling) but to get the right answer to demonstrate our attention. There was skin in the game, so to speak.
  • It's not a bad idea to preview which questions are going to be in the game before the content is covered. Especially if there is content you want to be sure to focus on or highlight. It's not tipping your hat, it's shifting the attendee focus to the most important place.

Time and time again, we're surprised by the amazing experience that we have as participants using our products. What we mean is, we spend a lot of time testing and practicing internally, but there's really no substitute for the real-world experience of the game shows--and seeing the absolute joy and effectiveness they bring to a webinar or training session.

Featured Case Study

Custom, Custom, Custom Games

If you've been a regular subscriber to the Game Show Espresso, you're (probably) already familiar with our Gameshow Pro classroom game show solution, as well as our webinar solution (AllPlay Web), assessment solution (AllPlay) and our online solution (QuizPoint). What makes the custom game shows different from our off-the-shelf software listed is that they're completely redesigned from the ground-up with custom graphics, programming, game play, etc.

Here are just a few of our recent highlights:


“The Fairwaw 2 Heaven”

We traveled to Pebble Beach, CA to produce the "Fairway 2 Heaven"-themed game show event that took place during their Circle of Excellence.

The game had custom golf-themed graphics (appropriate for Pebble Beach) and included audience response pads. However, the audience didn't just play along on teams. At different points, we "highlighted" audience member keypads for high-stakes play. The game was also programmed so that audience members could "wager" on whether they thought their colleagues would answer a question correctly—or not.


“The PulteGroup Smack Down”

To reinforce information over a 3-day event, we programmed "The PulteGroup Smackdown". Audience members were divided into six teams that stayed together throughout the three days, and competed in progressively building challenges. The Smackdown highlighted and reviewed key content; from one day to the next it became the "Planning Smackdown" or the "Coaching Smackdown" or the "Sales Process Smackdown".

The picture shown was taken by an audience member--illustrating their keypad (coded by team color) and the opening game screen in the background.


“The Deep Dive”

A mixture of polling and competition, all in the same game! The "Deep Dive" for EBMS featured graphics that matched their oceanic deep-dive theme, and focused on gathering information and reinforcing knowledge. Since the audience was made up of clients, EBMS wanted to more deeply investigate the needs and behaviors of the audience as well as engage them and energize them with a game show. With custom programming, we were able to securely assign keypads and track data, seamlessly ask polling questions, and also switch to team competition that brought down the house.

Game of the Month Game of the Month


Game of the Month

Gameshow Pro 5 has been officially released. Visit our site for a FREE demo.
Gameshow Pro 5 is now compatible with Meridia keypads—both in AllPlay mode AND for ringing in team-style.

Game of the Month

See any of our software products with a personal, interactive tour. Includes the new AllPlay Web!

Game of the Month

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Game Show Gurus Group

Game of the Month Get in on our BIGGEST BOGO ever! Game of the Month Dan Yaman
Dan Yaman
President & Founder, LearningWare

Q. My group is very competitive, and really wants to win. I'm afraid that the losing team will have hard feelings. How do I prevent this?
A. In a competitive situation, there are always going to be winners and losers. It's always going to feel better to win. To mitigate really hard feelings, follow these steps:

  1. Limit prizes. Small prizes are great, but big prizes (say, an iPad for every winner) can increase bad feelings on the losing team and also trainer scrutiny.
  2. Avoid blow-out leads and scoring disparities by doubling points for subsequent rounds.
  3. Remind teams that the purpose is to learn, not to win. It may sound like lip service, but it is something that can soothe hurt feelings to some extent.

Got a question for Dan and Missy, authors of the book I’ll Take Learning for 500: Using Game Shows to Engage, Motivate and Train? Submit them to and they could end up in a future edition of Game Show Espresso.

http://www.learningware.cominfo@learningware.com1-800-457-5661 Larry