When and how to use games
"Stretch your mind and fly."
In terms of the course design of a training program, games are a versatile and useful tool. They may be used to open an activity or program, implemented anytime during an on-going training, or even used to conclude or summarize a program. Games can provide a needed change of pace, energize a lagging group and rekindle interest in the subject matter. A trainer needs to be sensitive to the timing and appropriateness of any game introduced during the course of a training program.
Successful management of games as a method of training requires attention to procedures such as the following:
• Appropriately time the game in a session or on-going program.'
• To provide Trainees an opportunity to appreciate the use of games as an effective training method.
• Trainees will have participated in and analyzed a game as a learning tool.
1. Explain to Trainees the purpose and advantage of using games as a teaching tool in their work. Ask if they can cite examples of things they have learned through playing games (perhaps spelling skills through Hangman or history through Trivial Pursuit, for example).
2. Explain that they will play two games today that will teach or reinforce knowledge about guinea worm disease and that these games could be adapted to any subject matter. Ask Trainees to pay attention to the process as well as the content of the game in order to provide feedback at the end of the exercise.
FOR GAME 1: TIC-TAC-TOE
1. Explain to Trainees that they will play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. The classic principle of Tic-Tac-Toe applies, except that each of the nine squares will be filled with information concerning guinea worm instead of Xs and Os.
2. Display an empty frame (like the one following titled "Frame A" ) on flip chart paper. The frame titles can be changed to provide whatever content you wish. For example, to cover prevention of guinea worm you may want to use a frame like the one titled "Frame B." Or you could go into greater detail on a specific aspect of a problem as "Frame C" would do for filtration of water as a preventive measure. You could prepare several frames with different emphasis, to be played in separate rounds, providing a more comprehensive lesson.
"We cannot resort to simplistic or extreme solutions which substitute for common sense."
FRAME A - GUINEA WORM DISEASE
FRAME B - GUINEA WORM PREVENTION
FRAME C - WATER FILTRATION
3. Divide the large group into two teams, A and B. represented by different color markers to be used on the flip chart. (The team colors should be different from that used to make the frame and write the titles. ) Active players from each team, for each round, should not exceed five members. Active players may be rotated from round to round to give everyone a chance to respond. Explain that nonactive players are not allowed to give answers or prompt their team members.
Explain that the starting team (chosen by coin toss or other means), picks any square and tries to fill it in with the answer (A correct statement that addresses both the horizontal and vertical frame titles). Team members have no more that 15 seconds to give a right answer. If they cannot answer correctly, go to the next team, which may try for the same square or choose another. A volunteer writes the correct answer in the appropriate square. The trainer, or another informed person, should be prepared with answers on all squares to approve or disapprove the participants answers. There may be more than one right answer. Accept only one right answer for each square.
When a line of three squares, in any direction, is completed in the same color, the round is over and the winner is congratulated.
4. Determine starting team and play game.
5. Allow discussion on any answers that were controversial and ask for feed back on the exercise from all Trainees.
Proceed with another round of the game, allowing different active players from each team.
FOR GAME 2: FRUIT PASS
TOTAL TIME = 25 MINUTES
1. Explain to Trainees that they will be playing a game to quiz each other on their knowledge of guinea worm disease.
Arrange seating in a fairly tight circle. Choose a local fruit that can handle being tossed (and possibly dropped), such as an orange, apple, mango, etc.
One Trainee is to toss the fruit to anyone else in the circle and call out one of the following subjects: LIFE CYCLE, TRANSMISSION, PREVENTION, TREATMENT, or MYTHS.
Explain that when the receiver catches the fruit, she or he must provide a statement about guinea worm that corresponds with the key word given. She or he then tosses the fruit to someone else in the circle, calling out another of the five subjects.
The trainer, or another informed person, should be prepared to judge the answers either right or wrong. Depending on size of group and competitiveness desired, wrong answers could mean elimination from the circle until a winner is declared. If needed, post the names of the five subjects somewhere for quick reference.
2. Conduct the game until basic information about guinea worm is covered or until participants lose interest.
3. Allow discussion on any answers that need clarification. Ask for feedback on the game itself as an animation technique for learning.
4. Given enough time, repeat the game using a completely different subject so that Trainees can see how easily the game can accommodate various subjects.
"Dare to invent the future."
• The trainer calls out the key words as the fruit is tossed from player to player. This allows some monitoring of details that still need to be addressed.
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