Even if you have no plans to ever create serious games you can still use game design techniques to up your game.
It does not have to be a learning game.
It does not even have to qualify as gamification. By simply borrowing a game component and using it in a strategically placed topic for a learning objective you build intrigue and engagement for your learners. Your courses should be as captivating as you can make them.
And of course, the interaction must logically tie to the learning.
Understanding game design principles can assist in this area. Awareness of game design techniques can come from playing games. And it is highly recommended. By playing you can see game mechanics in action that can be embedded into a learning module.
Playing is key. And creating serious games can help you think about ways to create more engaging traditional learning programs. But some learning departments do not have time, budget, or interest in learning games. But this does not mean that you need to throw the baby out with the bath water. You can still study game design in ways that can help you create more engaging learning.
And there is more to using game design thinking. It is not just game mechanics that you can lean on.
In game design we encourage designers to think about the players and to prototype fast. Those two areas easily translate to learning design.
Listed below are some of the questions that we want game designers to think about: