I need to develop refresher training for a security policy. My thought is to share the policy (or excerpts of it) and then have the employees play an online game to reinforce/evidence their knowledge. As an added objective, I would like to improve communication between staff and their managers regarding this policy, so would like as part of the game that there be a piece of information about the policy that staff can only obtain by asking their manger (or vice versa). Any ideas on what type of game might fit the bill, or any templates already out there?
Thanks, Richard Dine
You may need to back up a bit and start from the beginning. First, a game is a poor tool to push a particular message (what I call the Trap of the right answer). A game as a learning tool is interesting in that it gives an opportunity to test hypotheses, make mistakes, and see the result of decisions (oops, I lost an armoured division....). At any rate, you can give out information and then reward those who get right answers at the test, but you are only encouraging looking for the right answer, not understanding.
Second, why an online game ? Are the participants spread out geographically ? A game is much more effective if the interaction and feedback is directly among real participants: for feedback, nothing beats participants.
Suggestion: have part of the group, or several small groups, think up security measures, and have another part think up methods to circumvent the measures. The groups test their work against each other, then discuss the results in terms of expectations and mistakes. You may even produce a new and improved security system !
Pierre: Thanks for responding. Yes, it needs to be an online game because we have a large and dispersed organization. Worse, and I should have been clear about this in my original post, the game needs to be mostly "solitaire" where they interact with the computer but not with other staff. Again, the one exception is I would like them to interact with their supervisor, but that probably has to be a short interaction and only a small piece of the training.
I like your idea about a competition on threats and solutions and will thank that one through further. It will not work for my current training need, however.
One reason why I think a game would be helpful for the current need is that this will now be the third or fourth round of training on the same general policies in the past three years, so how do you keep it fresh and interesting and how do you help deepen the awareness? I think our staff knows most of the rules, so at some level I am not doing "training" but trying to get staff to realize the seriousness of following the rules in order to prevent security risks, even as they have all their day-to-day tasks. I am hoping a game would give staff both a positive attitude about some of what we're doing and more likely to make the knowledge/awareness stick.
If a game sticks closely to the specialty of the players (e.g., an accounting game for accountants), it is natural for them to follow their routine and habits. When the objective is to stimulate awareness of what is the regular environment, I suggest a scenario which integrates the processes into an imaginary environment. For example, for a game on entrepreneurship in the agriculture, I created (but someone else programmed) a game in which the players are competing to raise a new griffin for the royal court. Costs, choice of mates, feeding, etc, are present in the game, but routine pig care is not applicable.
You might create a kind of reverse spy game, in which the player has to track the possible dangers to the actual procedure. Simply changing the names and the actions can have a beneficial effect on attention and concentration.
Thanks again Pierre. Are you aware of any comparable game out there I could view? Richard
There are quite a few MMOG, many of them free, or inexpensive. You might define some desirable characteristics, such as team work, the importance of sharing documents, the dangers of improper procedure, and see if there is not one or more that you could use. Your participants would join the group, or enrol, or whatever, and play as a team, or against each other, depending on your objective. Many existing games can be used as learning environments, since they are learning environments within their frame of reference. Using what exists is a very cost-effective method, except that you need to find a game that fits your purpose.
If you let me know what you need, maybe I can make some suggestions.
Possibly useful information (PSI): http://www.techzed.net/2012/06/16/best-free-to-play-multiplayer-gam...
Thanks Pierre. Meanwhile, what is your background? Would it make sense to speak directly about this?
With respect to multiplayer games:
1. For the mandatory all-staff training, any "game" I would use would have to fit within the NARA Learning Management System and be asynchronous, so I assume I would need a solitaire type game; I would like something more interactive and interesting for them than just quiz questions. Given the limitations and nature of the issues for this refresher course, I am leaning towards having the staff identify problems/rules violations in staged pictures. I remain open to more exciting ideas.
2. I could see a benefit for synchronous multiplayer games for specialized training. We are trying to sensitize our couriers to some of the rules so perhaps something for them. Since this is the Federal Government, I am not sure about the rules for using these types of games, whether our IT group would be concerned about their security, etc. Do you know of other Federal agencies (other than the military who are much more sophisticated about this than I could be) that use these games to good effect?
The simplest, easiest, and cheapest solution for games that have been used in the Federal government, are solitary, and can show understanding of learning content are question-based games such as Thiagi's game frames (Web Game Shells - http://thiagi.com/web-game-shells.html). Simple to implement and easy to get boss by-off since the price is so cheap and the amount of time from idea to game is so small.
The MMOG that Pierre discusses is wonderful and I hope you can go with a large-scale game, but in case you just want a simple answer and you haven't seen Thiagi's game shells before, I thought you might want to know.
Thanks Greg. I was looking at the Thiagi games but nothing jumped out at me as working for this project. Do you have one or two of his games that you think would work?