E-learning Design Challenge Series – Designing a Game Based Course

Below is an e-learning design challenge I found on the web.

The e-learning Design Challenge comes from an application that may be familiar to many of you: new employee induction. As part of a complete package, your challenge today is to design an online learning activity that focuses on the importance of punctuality.

Imagine you are working for a national retail grocery chain. New employees are generally between the ages of 17 and 22. For many, it is their first job. For the purpose of this challenge, you can assume that employee intakes occur every two months coordinated across the country.

A computer for online training is provided at all stores, but employees can also access the learning resources from their home computers. The rules may state for example that retrenchment occurs on the third incidence of tardiness. But then training will have been wasted and rosters disrupted. Also, the threat of sacking may be an ineffective inducement for a young employee with wavering self-esteem. This gets to the heart of the problem that you need to address.

Can you create an online activity that inspires young inductees with the benefits of being accountable for their actions and responsible to their fellow employees in the context of punctuality?


If you notice, the target audience for the proposed online training program are youngsters who have never been on job before. Usually youngsters do not like advices on order and discipline. No matter how much you preach , they never pay heed.

So the best way to approach this problem is to teach while you entertain them. An interactive and entertaining training program would be most suited to reach youngsters. In a fact a game based training program will convey the message much faster.

The objective of the proposed training program is to help learners manage time and work effectively.

So you need to teach learners how to:

  • Maintain a schedule of the daily work including (personal and official work) to be done
  • Schedule tasks in such a fashion that official work does not get disrupted
  • Execute all tasks as per schedule

Therefore the proposed training program would be a task based course.

Design Strategy

The course would be set in an apartment and would later switch to a grocery retail showroom.

The course would begin like a story where Dude Joe has just joined MacJoys grocery retail showroom. Its been a week and his boss – Big Boss Tom is terribly annoyed with him for not being punctual to office and with his work. Dude Joe is now terribly upset. Big Boss Tom has given him a week’s time to prove that he can be punctual to work.

man.gifDude Joe

At the outset the learner will be informed that he/she has to help Dude Joe manage his time at home and workplace and impress Big Boss Tom.

boss.jpgBig Boss Tom

A talking head would guide the learner throughout the course.

lightbulb11-12-04.jpgTalking Head

The course would begin at Dude Joe’s home. The time would be 9 ‘O’ Clock in the night. Dude Joe is about to go to bed. The talking head would direct the learner to click on Dude Joe’s computer. Once the learner does that, Dude Joe heads towards his computer. On the screen the day planner is displayed.


The day planner would show the official task (which would be the goal of the game based course) for the next day such as Meet Big Boss Tom at 9.00 AM.

Based on the task , the learner has to schedule time for Dude Joe’s personal work. The learner will be informed that it takes Dude Joe thirty minutes to reach office. Such hints would be given for all tasks.

The learner has to fix time for Dude Joe’s personal work. For example

Wake up time – 6.00 AM

Brush Teeth – 6.00 – 6.10 AM

Work Out – Till 7 AM

Shower – 7 – 7 15 AM

Cook Breakfast – By 8 AM

Have Breakfast – 8 – 815 AM

Leave for work – 8 15 AM

After the learner has scheduled, the learner has to ensure that Dude Joe follows the schedule. A clock would appear at the top right of the screen to help the learner keep track of the time.


For example at 6.00 AM the learner has to click on the alarm clock to wake up Joe. Then click on the bathroom and then tooth brush. When the clock strikes 6.10 AM, the learner has to direct Joe towards the gym and so on. The talking head would give detailed instructions to the learner on what he/she needs to do to direct Joe.

The challenge of this game lies in scheduling right. The game will pose different official tasks at one go.

Official Tasks might be as follows

  • Pick up goods from Macjoys at 8.00 am
  • Deliver at Jhonsons residence at 9.00 am
  • Report to work by 9.30 am

The learner will have to adjust Joe’s personal schedule accordingly. Failure to schedule right will result in Joe losing his job.

Every time Joe pleases Big Boss Tom, he gets an incentive. After the learner plays this game, he/she will learn the importance of scheduling and following the schedule.

Hope this post was useful. Please send me your comments/suggestions.

Also read: E-learning Design Challenge Series – Designing a Web Based Course on Water Conservation


One Response

  1. […] last year I had picked up an e-learning design challenge from the web and I designed a strategy for the given business case. At that point of time I could just put my design ideas in writing […]

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