Monday, October 24, 2011

Custom Game Show: A Fistful of Dollars

Company: Toyota (Financial Division)
Event: Sales Team Reward Breakfast
Custom Audience-Response Game: A Fistful of Dollars – Three different game plays
Graphics, Programming, Scripting and Game-play: Designed by LearningWare

Situation: Toyota wanted a way to engage and entertain their top sales reps while at the same time testing their company knowledge and giving them the opportunity to earn some big rewards with that knowledge.  This was a great teambuilding event in the morning; it gave the audience a chance to compete on teams and individually and allowed them important, low-stress face-time with top executives.

Toyota had already used a game show the previous two years—both times utilizing either LearningWare software (Gameshow Pro) or custom software programmed for their event by LearningWare. They wanted something to fit their Clint Eastwood “Western” theme and that would add variety from previous years’ play.

Solution: A custom Fistful of Dollars game show with three completely unique varieties of game play. The audience still played along using audience-response keypads, but there were a few variations:

Target Practice: In this game play variation, we asked extremely difficult multiple choice questions. The audience members, consequently, had three opportunities to get a question right.

The question was be asked the first time, and the audience saw what percentage of their team responded correctly. They did not know whether they—individually—answered correctly. They then got a chance to answer again—and they could either change their answer or stick with it. Again, the percentage of correct answers was be shown. They got one final chance to answer the question, and only their third response counted as correct or incorrect.

Do You Feel Lucky Punk?: (Wager Round) In this game variation, we utilized a team leader—someone with guts, daring, and willingness to take the glory or the fall.

Everyone on the team was shown a question. Before the audience votes, the team leader decided whether he/she thinks that 75% of the team will know the answer or not. If he/she is confident, then they’ll bet high. If not, they’ll bet low.

No guts, no glory. The team leader wrote down or verbally submitted their wager. The question then played out as a typical audience-response question.

Six-Shooter: (Speed Round/Final Round) Teams were asked a group of 6 questions—rapid-fire-style. They were NOT  shown the team results of their answers until after the questions are done, at which point the team scores rose (and failed to rise as much as they should) dramatically, determining the final winner.

Results: The game show was entertaining, challenging, tough, competitive and held a level of novelty—being different than the year before. The audience was engaged with each other and management for the entire morning.

Monday, October 17, 2011

63% Increase in Content Retention Cited Using Game Shows

Game shows have long been a fun and entertaining way to pass the time, but recently they’ve started to gain a reputation as something more than just entertainment. Game shows have been migrating into the training space with great success. They have the remarkable ability to engage trainees, revive the training space, and they are, of course, fun. However, are game shows really effective?

Candace Armstrong, the Corporate Training Director for ERC Properties, Inc. asked that same question. ERC faced several common challenges with their training:
·      Mandatory certification exams
·      Difficult and dry material (This ranged anywhere between strict federal regulations like tax credit compliance in managing apartments to ERC specific topics.)
·      A diverse pool of trainees with different backgrounds and individual learning styles 

“After going through orientation,” says Candace, “The trainees at ERC are typically overwhelmed with all the rules, policies and procedures that they have to memorize. Trainees are worried about having to pass the exam—that worry was not conducive to producing the best test results.”

This was when Candace found Gameshow Pro, a game show template software program. 

“After I first saw Gameshow Pro,” says Candace, “I couldn’t wait to go home and see how difficult the training would be to design…I couldn’t believe how quickly I could have the game up and running. I have to admit, however, I was somewhat skeptical about how I would apply government rules and regulations to a game.” 

Gameshow Pro would have to prove that it could:
1.    Improve trainees’ retention
2.    Convey complex, technical and difficult information, and
3.    Do all this while captivating trainees’ attention.

Candace first introduced Gameshow Pro into her training space in front of a group of superintendents. 

They appeared very disgusted that I would even suggest playing a game,” says Candace. However, after they started, they changed their tune, “They were standing in the chairs, yelling the answers and even trying to cheat! The losing team demanded a rematch and we played the game twice. The transformation was amazing—to this day, when I see any of those guys, they all want to come to training if we can play that game again.”

The first run of Gameshow Pro was a success with a tough crowd, and definitely energized the room—even with very detailed material. 

“To my surprise, the more difficult the regulations, the better they seemed to fit into the games, and the easier they were to comprehend,” says Candace. 

After Candace and her compliance director heard comments like, “Can we do this again?” after every training with Gameshow Pro, they started looking at the impact it made on trainees’ test scores. Candace and her colleagues measured test results while playing a Gameshow Pro game as a review versus orally reading the same Gameshow Pro questions as a review. Every other factor in the training was the same, including the material, instructor, questions and exams.

The results: 
63% more people passed the exam reviewing with Gameshow Pro, the passing scores in these 3 groups were also higher—as were the overall scores. 

As one can see, Gameshow Pro had a significant positive effect on trainees’ exam scores. 

“Playing the game really makes a difference,” says Candace, “I have had many students tell me after the exam that they would never have passed without playing the review game. They could even remember who answered what question and whether or not they answered it correctly.”

Part of the ERC University goal was to ensure that necessary information was delivered to the appropriate personnel in a timely and efficient manner. Part of that efficiency means that the material has to be retained, remembered and utilized by all trainees—no matter what their learning style. With the help of Gameshow Pro, ERC achieved that goal.