Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning – My Thoughts on Chapter 1


I have just finished reading the first chapter of Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning. and am totally convinced and impressed with the way Professor Karl Kapp talks about the need for game based learning.

This chapter was certainly an interesting read because Professor Karl Kapp engages and convinces you about the importance of game based learning in the current era through facts and anecdotes.

I would like to repeat some vital points that Professor Karl Kapp raises in this book.

The first thing is the problem of knowledge transfer. I totally agree with him that knowledge transfer is the biggest problem in most organizations. To solve this problem, organizations convert their SOPs and vital information to e-learning courses and they are made available to the employees during the training and probation period.

But how effective are these courses? Do employees really benefit by these courses? Are they motivated and involved enough while taking up these courses?

Unfortunately in most organizations, the e-learning courses used for training remain a part of the training procedure and become a formality. Whether the employees really get benefited by these courses is a million dollar question.

I remember having taken up an e-learning course which was essentially an induction program. The course was well designed with nice graphics and there was interactivity too in the sense there were click on buttons and drag and drop exercises. Yet I was not able to get the best out of the course. I got bored reading the on screen text. I was in a hurry to run slide after slide because it was getting painful. Believe me it is impossible to read for too long on your computer screen.

As Professor Karl Kapp rightly identifies learning is successful only when the learner is engaged, motivated and above all emotionally involved. You need to just get engrossed in what you are learning. That’s very important.

I hardly remember me getting excited or screaming during class hours during my school days. Learning was always a pain.

The pleasure and excitement I get out of playing games, I haven’t got in any classroom training session and even more so I haven’t experienced the involvement and excitement in some of the e-learning courses I have gone through.

Some of the e-learning courses just seem to be an online version of the text book.

Looking at the kind of work Professor Karl Kapp and others are doing and the emerging technologies, I am sure things will not be the same anymore.

As Cammy Bean rightly says “We’re no longer talking about designing “courses”; instead we need to talk about helping companies design different strategies (and using games, blogs, wikis, instant messaging — the gamers’ learning tools), about crafting a strategic approach to learning and performance support throughout an organization.”

We as instructional designers must constantly update ourselves with new technologies and must work our minds towards creating something new and interesting.

I am looking forward to reading more of Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.

Here is the official website of the book:

There is lot of interesting information here.

Also visit Professor Karl Kapp’s blog here:



2 Responses

  1. Rupa,

    Thanks for joining in the book tour. Knowledge transfer is a huge issue and many organizations of all types and all sizes are going to need to tackle this issue to ensure their employees are ready for the future.

    Also, I agree 100% that many e-learning courses are like an online textbook and that we as instructional designers need to take some time to design interactivity and interactions into the courses…to take advantage of the unique capabilities of an online environment.


  2. Rupa,

    Looking forward to hearing more from you on ways to integrate all of this exciting stuff into instructional design and actual solutions! After reading Karl’s book, I must say, my head is spinning….


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