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Sample design for a learning game

Getting students to design their own learning game can in itself be an effective learning tool.

Here's one designed by Gordon Dryden to teach the basic principles of innovation: The Aha! Game.* A brief but graphic color-slide presentation

introduces creative thinking and problem-solving. The game is based around eight segments of a pineapple, with each segment an aspect of the marketing cycle: the product or service; the customers; presentation; pricing and profitability; distribution; promotion; building satisfied customers; and taking on the world through niche marketing.

In one version of the game, 11 key marketing tips are numbered in a workbook under each segment. Students roll two dice, and what-ever the total they discuss the implications or run quiz shows to find telling examples. Another version is a board game, with cards similar to Trivial Pursuit and Roger von Oech's Creative Whack Pack. The Aha! game generally takes students through a mythical product-problem (such as selling surplus bananas) - and the eight segments provide plenty of "state changes" and breaks - between graphic visual presentation, group workshops, discussion in pairs and quiz shows. It teaches thinking and problem-solving skills along with marketing principles.

* The Aha! Game is copyright The Learning Web Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand.