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Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games Paperback – 30 Mar 2017

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5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews from Amazon.com

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About the Author

Sharon Boller is president and chief product officer of Bottom-Line Performance (BLP), a learning solutions firm she founded in 1995. Sharon has grown BLP from a single-woman sole proprietorship to a more than $3 million company with 30 team members. Under Sharon's direction, BLP created the award-winning Knowledge Guru platform, which enables users to author and distribute game-based learning solutions. This platform earned the coveted Brandon Hall Gold award for best innovation in gaming and technology in 2014. In addition, BLP has earned numerous other awards for custom game-based solutions, including Horizon Awards and LTEN Awards.Sharon frequently speaks on game-based learning and learning design topics at the local and international level for eLearning Guild, ATD, Chief Learning Officer, Training magazine, and other industry groups. She is the author of numerous articles on game-based learning, learning science, and instructional design, as well as a book featuring team-building simulations and games, Team Training. Her latest book, co-authored with Karl Kapp, is Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games (ATD Press). Karl Kapp is a professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, where he teaches subjects related to games, gamification, and learning technologies. He is the director of Bloomsburg's Institute for Interactive Technologies, which works with organizations to create interactive instruction, including games, gamification solutions, and simulations. He is also the founder of The Wisdom Learning Group, where he consults internationally with companies, helping them devise strategies around technology-based learning, game-based learning, gamification, instructional design, and learning technology strategy development. He is also co-founder of the educational games company 2K Learning. Karl is passionate about sharing his knowledge and teaching others. To that end, he has authored or co-authored a half a dozen books, including The Gamification of Learning and Instruction and The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook. Karl's latest book, co-authored with Sharon Boller, is Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games (ATD Press). He is a TEDx and international speaker on the subjects of games, gamification, and learning innovation.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Don't start with a tool, start with your mind! 5 Mar. 2017
By Zsolt Olah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At conferences I often get the question from instructional designers and developers: "What tool should I use to make learning games?" My two cents is that you don't start with a tool, you start with your mind. You start with a book like Play to Learn by Sharon and Karl. Anybody can build a learning game, just like anybody can write a novel who knows the alphabet. This book provides a solid foundations of the process of creating EFFECTIVE learning games. Combining theory and practice, Sharon and Karl walk you through the steps of everything you need to know.

My suggestion is to read through the book once to get the full picture. Then put it aside. Sleep on it, Let your brain synthesize the information. Then start the book again. This time, do all the exercises and identify a small project where you would want to apply your magic to. Also, connect with others at the organization, create a game club if you don't have yet. Designing and developing learning games is not a one person job. This book will help you start but without doing it, you will not go far.

If you haven't attended their workshop yet, I would strongly recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cure for Shallow Gamification 9 Mar. 2017
By Corey S Callahan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gamification and I have a...complicated relationship.

I love game design, but I have seen so many horrible "slap some points into it" attempts at gamification that I'm cautious any time learning and games come together. This is NOT one of those shallow attempts at marrying games to learning. Rather than simply trying to cram a few game elements into a learning experience, this book actually walks you through linking your desired learning outcomes to game design from the get-go. In other words, you wind up with solid game-based learning solutions rather than another cheap Jeopardy knock-off.

The writing is easy to comprehend, even for those new to gaming or learning design. It's also chock full of handy templates and checklists that help in designing your own game-based learning.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking Guide for the Everyperson! 24 Mar. 2017
By Michael J. Sutton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received my copy of Play to Learn. I have always highly respected your work, but this is the penultimate text on designing and developing a workshop to teach games, gamification, and most importantly game-based learning.

You have provided an incredible product and service to the multitude of communities that have relied upon your expertise and knowledge in: elearning, serious games, sims, and gamification.

I pray you receive significant recognition and awards; and become exceptionally wealthy because of this milestone in the emerging field. This book could be the foundation for the field exploding, now that others can so easily understand the concepts and components, where the sum is greater than the parts.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential, Step-by-Step Guide to Learning Game Design! 7 Mar. 2017
By B. Penticuff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book provides great examples and step-by-step advice on creating effective learning games that capture your learner's attention while also making sure your learning objectives are realized. In addition to being a great resource for learning designers, I really love how this book is also an essential resource for developers who want to incorporate learning science into their work. It's easy to recognize the attractive power of games for learning, but without the techniques and practical advice given throughout this book it's much harder to recognize the core dynamics, mechanics, and game elements that are essential to them being effective.

Regardless of your background or previous experience, if this subject interests you at all, this is the book to get. I highly recommend!
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of tips to help you play to learn 9 Mar. 2017
By Kristen H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a practical look at what it takes to create effective, instructionally sound learning games. It’s full of useful tools for studying commercial games, with an eye towards designing your own games for training. Plus, it includes several worksheets to help you plan the goal and rules for a learning game. There’s even a link so you can play a game about designing a game – the authors mean what they say in the title: Play to Learn!

I found the chapters on prototyping and playtesting particularly helpful. With tips for creating paper prototypes and step-by-step directions for playtesting a game, each chapter includes several illustrative examples. If you’re thinking about creating your first learning game or you’re an experienced designer looking for some new ideas, I would highly recommend it.
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