Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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

AP: University of Columbia
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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The International Appeal of Game Shows

We're often asked if we have used game shows internationally:

Do game shows even translate in concept with an international audience? What about cultural barriers? Will the rules be too foreign to understand or explain easily?

Not only have we used game shows internationally with great success (and with international audiences locally) but game shows tend to have a rare universal appeal.

Consider this: Jeopardy! has over 25 international adaptations, and is screened in many more countries around the globe.

Consider also, the sheer volume of game shows around the world.

This not only leads to a game show having a shorter learning curve in an international audience, but it's also a great way to bring audiences of varied backgrounds together in a universal way.

All game shows share a common goal. The base of a game show is a task or a question. The base goal of a game show is competition, collaboration, and ultimately scoring the most points. No matter what game show you use and in which language you use it, the concepts and goals are the same.

Do adjustments need to be made? Aside from language barriers/translation, we haven't come across any game show elements (in American game shows) that are taboo in other cultures. There are slight shifts in hosting demeanor (in England, the host can get away with being "meaner") and in challenge execution (Japanese game shows have more of an angle of sensation and physicality), but the base product is the same.

And in the training classroom? A game show is a great way to bring an international audience together for a commonly understood goal. When it comes down to it, it's an activity that fosters communication among peers in a relaxing, fun environment.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wager to Win AllPlay Web Preview

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).

The category is displayed before wagering.
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 enter their wagers.
• 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.

Answer on screen or using a virtual keypad.
 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.