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Serious Games And Training Effectiveness: The Importance Of Pedagogy

Neville Higgins, Adrienne Gross
On the face of it, serious games within 3D virtual training environments hold great promise in delivering an optimal learning outcome. However, the training value of a serious game is determined by the quality and balance of three presentation elements, namely the fidelity of the simulation, the game play and pedagogy. If one or more of these elements is missing or poorly implemented then the training will be less effective. Our traditional online learning development experience has indicated that the best performance outcomes are delivered by training designs that reflect authentic real-life contexts, that are activity based and include tasks that are complex and sustained. Tasks and assessment should be integrated rather than separate, while collaboration either within the game environment or blended within the classroom, enhances the learning. In the context of virtual training environments being developed by KBR Training Solutions, we have implemented research-based pedagogical principles from our traditional online approaches to improve the training values of these systems. This paper describes a best practice pedagogical framework that stresses the importance of the key pedagogical elements of engagement and authenticity, motivation, practice and reflection, and scaffolding, in ensuring training effectiveness.
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