Game Show Espresso: Quick tips to perk up your training

LearningWare Game Show Espresso - May 2011
Quick Tips to Perk Up Your Training

  ISSUE #39 — May 2011

In this issue...

Wager to Win Preview

AllPlay Web

LearningWare, pioneers in game show software and the first to bring game show learning into the webinar space, has a new innovation launching: Wager to Win.

Wager to Win is a brand-new game format within AllPlay Web (the amazing tool that allows you to bring a competitive, interactive game show into a webinar for ultimate attendee engagement).

screen AllPlay Web will shortly include two different game formats: Team Showdown (the standard AllPlay Web game that pits teams against each other for an exciting competition) and Wager to Win. Other game formats are also currently in development.

Here's some preview information about Wager to Win:

  • Contestants play individually in this game of risk and reward.
  • Individuals wager from their point bank depending on how confident they are in the subject/question.
  • To keep the game going, the host can set the maximum amount of allowed wager percentage. (Contestants are never allowed to wager ALL their points and "check out" of the game.)
  • The webinar host can display the top scorers at any time to stoke competition.

However, we haven't just added a single game to AllPlay Web. In addition to developing more new formats (ongoing), we've made significant improvements to the software that will be released with Wager To Win:

  • Improved log-in process allows the webinar host to set more flexible options for logging in.
  • New assigned game rooms with password protection keeps your game going and re-enterable (even if your webinar is knocked offline).
  • Contestants can play with an on-screen game board, or using virtual keypads.
  • AllPlay Web is embedded within omNovia and Adobe Connect (and is fully compatible with ALL webinar programs).
  • New option to play with up to 30 teams (or 30 individuals if each one is a team) in Team Showdown. (Unlimited number of players per team/individuals playing overall.)
  • New leaderboard options and designs.
  • Updated Graphics.
  • Improved results reporting.

And, of course, AllPlay Web still maintains its flawless ease-of-use, robust question bank, ability to add graphics and sound, ability to do polling questions in any order (and mixed with competitive questions) and question-interchangeability with all other LearningWare software products.

You're Using a Game Show for THAT?!


When we talk to customers, we're always surprised at the broad range of content/material they incorporate into the game shows.

We were even more surprised as we uncovered that some trainers were using game shows to cover very traditionally sensitive/serious topics: sexual harassment, diversity training, etc. Topics where one wouldn't normally see people cheering, or —heaven forbid— having fun.

I asked one trainer—a coordinator for student living on a college campus—why they were using game shows to train students on recognizing and reporting sexual assault. This was his response: "The subject is very serious and VERY important. However, we need to have an open dialog about it, and playing the game show diffuses the tension inherent in the room. People feel more open."

Here are some of the reasons why playing a game show with sensitive subject matter can be beneficial:

Your content is serious, but YOU don't have to be. Just because the content is serious, doesn't mean you have to take yourself seriously. It's okay to have fun— even in sensitive situations. Obviously, one doesn't want to be irreverent to the point of offensiveness—and pre-framing so that the content isn't trivialized is important—but adding competition to engage the audience is no crime.

The more important the subject, the more important the retention. It's critically important that employees know how to recognize harassment in the workplace. If the training is not engaging, they're less likely to remember the content. Game shows are a proven strategy for increasing attention and retention. Even though the content is serious, having a dry, non-engaging training session may jeopardize the content itself.

Games diffuse tension. No one likes to talk about personnel issues, for instance, but sometimes an open dialog is absolutely necessary. The friendly competition of playing a game breaks the ice and diffuses the tension in the room; allowing a trainer to segue into a deeper discussion.

Featured Case Study

It's not the Teacher That Matters, It's the Method


One of our customers sent us this news story:

Study: It's not teacher, but method that matters.

While you can read the entire article at the link above, the gist of the story is that it doesn't matter whether a teacher is new and inexperienced, or a seasoned lecturer—the delivery method is what matters.

Using interactive methods, such as " 'clicker' quizzes, demonstrations and question-answer sessions..." produced a better and more effective learning experience.

Students being taught with the interactive method scored 74% on a test, versus lecture-method students scoring 41%. The highest scores in the lecture class were below average for the interactive class. Not only that, but interactive-method classes were better attended.

That's in-class "clicker" quizzes like Gameshow Pro (including AllPlay functionality) using audience response pads. We've seen these results anecdotally--trainers and teachers often report the tremendous difference in effectiveness between using an interactive game show and using traditional lecture methods. What's exciting to us is that these results are being validated by Nobel-prize-winning scientists. Carl Wieman of the University of British Columbia states:
"This is clearly more effective learning. Everybody should be doing this. ... You're practicing bad teaching if you are not doing this."

Wieman also said that "the need for a more hands-on teaching approach isn't an indictment of a generation raised on video games. It has more to do with the way the brain learns."

Game shows, quizzes, interactive tests, response pads...anything that actively engages a student in an interactive way is going to be a more effective method of teaching information than straight lecture. We're happy that these results are spreading the word and validating instructors already using interactive training and instructional methods.

You can read the whole article here.

Game of the Month Game of the Month


Game of the Month

Wager to Win for AllPlay Web will be released in early June. This will be a FREE addition to existing AllPlay Web customers!

You can now control Gameshow Pro 5 using your iPad!

We have new tutorial manuals for Gameshow Pro 5—including creating and playing a game AND setting up AllPlay functionality!

Gameshow Pro 5 will shortly be able to accommodate TurningTechnologies keypads! Stay tuned for more info.

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 of the Month

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Game of the Month Dan Yaman
Dan Yaman
President & Founder, LearningWare

Q. I need ways to engage my Millennial-generation trainees without alienating the other generations. Will "Boomers" respond to the social/interactive game show as well?
A. Actually, even though game shows ARE a great way to engage the Millennial Generation—they aren't unique in this.

It's interesting that we've had a new wave of trainers "discovering" game shows—and that wave has been driven by the desire to engage the next generation. (For some reason, Millennials have gotten a "bad rap" as a generation that demands interaction and that you capture their attention.)

But the thing is: all generations need to be engaged and LIKE to be engaged. The Millennials just aren't typically as patient when your training doesn't include interaction.

Game shows might be a good way to mix your generations. The game play style is still familiar to Millennials and incorporates—perhaps--a bit of nostalgia for the Boomers. The Millennials will enjoy the peer-to-peer communication of team play, and the X-ers can triumph through competition.

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