A Schoolwork Challenge

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn on November 21, 2014

Work can be so busy that we don’t often get the chance to look back at what we do, and analyse how we performed. That’s why I love the E-Learning Heroes website. Looking at the weekly challenges gives me the chance to look at what I do, and maybe try something new, without the pressure of achieving a project deadline and meeting a clients exacting needs and requirements.

​In November 2014, the Articulate eLearning Heroes challenge was to create an elearning game aimed at children. https://community.articulate.com/articles/elearning-games-for-kids. It sounded like a fun challenge, and worth a try.

​I took inspiration from my 13-year-old son, and a science project he had to complete a few months earlier. His ‘challenge’ was to create a poster that was about the solar system. He did a fantastic 3D collage poster, which shows the planets in the order they are moving away from the sun.

​I thought it would be great to take his poster design and translate it into a game, which is how I came up with the following challenge entry.

Click to view the demo

My challenge entry is a combination of multiple choice questions to test yourself on naming the planets, and a drag and drop game to put the planets in the correct sequence from the sun.

What did I learn this week?

I learned that creating a game takes a lot of design and planning; all of the elements have to work together and need to make sense as part of the game. Getting a clear idea of what you want the game to achieve is key; without that vision, how do you know what you need to design and develop? I also learnt that less is more; and being careful not to over-complicate your game.

A key learning point was that we have to think very carefully about the content we design for children, to ensure we pitch it correctly. So having a peer review from the correct audience is essential. My son was a great help, with a great attention to detail.

I also learned that I am NOT smarter than a 13-year-old…. I think I need to go and do some revision.

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