The second part of our constructivist learning theory and Seppo series focuses on exercises and opens the functions behind them. The exercises are the heart of the game and it is not indifferent what kind of exercises you create for the games, therefore it is good to know how to use them and why.
As an open-ended exercise, creative exercise has a lot of uses. Think of a picture as an answer method: players can take photos that show how the subject is present in their everyday life. But the answer can also be a mind-map or a process chart – hand drawn and photographed or made with an app.
Video and audio are good for explaining things: for example the mind-map can be explained in more detail. Learners can act out a situation and make a video of it, or they can interview an expert. For language learning and younger students' reading exercises, video and audio are powerful tools, especially when learners are allowed to record their answers at their own pace outside the classroom. Without the social pressure of the classroom setting, many learners who rather stay quiet in a big group, excel in these assignments. And let’s not forget text: it’s good for listings, writing definitions, explaining, summarising...
Multiple choice and checkbox exercises can be used to check prior knowledge but also to get new information and apply it. For example true-or-false questions, picking multiple correct/incorrect statements and selecting the correct explanation work well for these purposes.
Missing word exercise can be applied in naming key concepts. Match pairs exercise works for showing relationships between concepts. Another application is to connect a concept with the correct explanation.
Our newest exercise type is the create and comment exercise. Like in creative exercises, players can answer with text, picture, video or audio. In addition, they can see what others have answered and comment on the answers. It is excellent for sharing and creating knowledge together. The new exercise will become available in spring 2021 – if you are interested in trying it already, please contact us.
The instructor has an important role as the more knowledgeable person who can guide learning by giving feedback during the game. The feedback can be both instructional – pay more attention to this and that – as well as supportive – keep up the good work. If players have misunderstood something, it is possible to ask them to redo an exercise. If there's a correct solution to an exercise, automatic feedback is good for explaining it.
We hope that these blog posts help you to get a better grip of the pedagogical functions of Seppo and maybe open the eyes of those who still doubt that you can benefit from gamification!