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The Power of Play: Learning with The Knowledge Guru


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How do you use the power of play to help people learn? ExactTarget, a global software as a service (SaaS) company, did it with a custom game created with the Knowledge Guru game engine. Players got immersed; the company got learning results.

The Knowledge Guru mobile or desktop game uses repetition and spaced learning to ensure long-term retention. This session will showcase the game and tell you how and why it works. It will also demo Knowledge Guru’s ability to track the learning as players play.

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The Power of Play: Learning with The Knowledge Guru

  1. 1. The Power of Play.By Bottom-Line Performance
  2. 2. Your Game Masters…aka presenters Sharon Boller Scott Thomas Bottom-Line Performance ExactTargetLead designer, Knowledge Guru™ game engine. @scott_thomas_et @Sharon_Boller
  3. 3. The Power of Play for You? • I like to play (board games, team games, computer games, puzzles, word searches, social games, etc.) • We actively use game-based learning in our organization • I’d like to implement game-based learning in my organization – but haven’t convinced people of its value yet.
  4. 4. Today’s agenda
  5. 5. Why games? “I learned SO“Can you much by playing create this game. It wasmore stuff tons of fun. Ilike this?” Play Game learned more by playing this game than any webinar, meeting, or “Mind- document I’ve blowing” encountered.” Annika, Age 8
  6. 6. Why do games work?The shortthey are Because answer? FUN.
  7. 7. Expert view: Carnegie Mellon….To progress in a game is to learn; when weare actively engaged with a game, ourminds are experiencing the pleasure ofgrappling with (and coming to understand) anew system.(Jessica Trybus, New Media Institute’s resident Game-based Learning and Communications Guru and Directorof Edutainment for Carnegie Mellon UniversitysEntertainment Technology Center.)
  8. 8. But what’s FUN?• Winning• Achieving goals• Triumphing• Collaborating• Exploring and building• Collecting• Problem-solving or strategizing• Role playing or imagining• Surprise – surprising others and being surprised ourselves.
  9. 9. What’s Required to Learn? Relevant Practice Ability to retrieve laterSpecific, timely feedback
  10. 10. Breaking it down further: Feedback “The premise of a feedback loop is simple: Provide people with information about their actions in real time, then give them a chance to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors.” Wired Magazine, June 19,
  11. 11. Breaking it down further: Feedback School district had huge problem with speeding. Tried replacing old signs with bigger, new ones, ticketing people during drop-off, pick-up times. Nothing worked. What finally gave measurable improvement was “dynamic speed displays” or driver feedback signs. “Your speed.” Signs have proven to be consistently effective, getting people to slow by 10 mph over several miles. They work because they leverage a feedback
  12. 12. Linking Games to LearningLearning Element Game Elements that MatchMotivation Game goals, PBLs, levels, flow, the “fun”Relevant Game mechanics, story, challenges,practice (e.g. the rules), game theme.Feedback Rewards and consequencesRetrieval later 1) Repeat to remember – repetition; 2) spaced learning 3) Relevant practice.
  13. 13. Today’s agenda
  14. 14. What is the Knowledge Guru?A solution to a problem we’ve seen over and over with our clients.
  15. 15. We wanted…And…we wanted people toable able to play across For people to be be to PLAY.multipleFor them to LEARN while they played. tablet devices: desktop, iPad, or Androidvia For clientsor native app. people were learning web app to TRACK what (or not learning).We wanted a solution that could work And for players to REMEMBER, long after theyindependently of an LMS…or be Tin Can compliant it COULD work with an LMS
  16. 16. How Guru links to LearningMotivation – in story, in challenge (become a Guru) Annika, Age 8
  17. 17. How Guru links to LearningMotivation – in PBLs Annika, Age 8
  18. 18. How Guru links to LearningRelevance– no extraneous content, period. Annika, Age 8
  19. 19. How Guru links to LearningRelevance– game questions mirror customer ?s Annika, Age 8
  20. 20. How Guru links to LearningFeedback– immediate, followed by immediate opp toretry. Consequence = points gained/lost. Annika, Age 8
  21. 21. How Guru links to LearningRetrieval– repetition, spaced learning Annika, Age 8
  22. 22. How Guru does MeasurementAdmin tool lets you verify what people do – and don’t get
  23. 23. Today’s agenda
  24. 24. ExactTarget (NYSE: ET) We have:Indy, we enable marketers - Based in have great customers, including We also  1,500 employees worldwide through software - to integrate data to Best Buy, Groupon, NASA, Nike, Papa  unified view create aMicrosoft worldwide John’s,250,000 users of each consumer and 500 + in real-time, cross-channel engage partners worldwide marketing.
  25. 25. Why ExactTarget used the Guru1. Multiple Product Lines and Multiple Product Launches • 9 distinct product lines within organization • Product line releases each month2. Employees, clients, and partners had training overload; we needed to find a way to “mix it up.”3. MobileConnect was one of the largest product launches we ever had. Critical for us to educate folks.
  26. 26. Positioning the game1. Reinforcement tactic rather than primary learning method. 2. Marketed the heck out of it.
  27. 27. Positioning the game (cont.)3. Required in some functional units.4. Provided managers with idea kits. Drew attention to5. leaderboards on a regular basis.
  28. 28. What Did Folks Say…The game was great! It was a fun way to learn about I’m a pretty competitive person,MobileConnect.soenjoyed the myself to get I challenging scenario-type questions, scores added a The repetition of the one of the top different paths allof funme learning about which put it helped to layer in perspective. the MobileConnect product. retain the information.
  29. 29. Business Results…Annika, Age 8
  30. 30. Next time….1. Ask some questions more specific to specific job role.2. Test game as a primary learning method versus as a reinforcement method.
  31. 31. Want info electronically?• Text the word GURU and your email address to 38767 – EX: GURU• Email will be sent with links to a variety of information sources regarding this breakout session• You can also email and request info as well.• Check out public games for yourself at or download a sample game – Nutrition Guru - from App store.
  32. 32. Thank You! Contact Us…Email sthomas@exacttarget.comTwitter Sharon_BollerHandles scott_thomas_etWebsites www.exacttarget.comBooth #608 (Sharon)DemoFest #54 (Scott)