gamifiedIt was a dark and lengthy car ride. I had two and a half hours of nighttime driving ahead of me and I’d had a long day. I needed to stay alert, but my usual staples (cranking up the A/C and putting on high energy music) weren’t enough. I needed something more. So I came up with a game and started playing it right then and there in my car.

Goal of the Game

Arrive at my destination safely.


I must follow the standard rules of the road.

How to Play

Make sure I have somewhere to go in case something happens. For example, there must be an open lane to merge into and/or enough distance to rapidly slow down or speed up to avoid an accident. There must be at least one “escape route” at all times.

Wow, did that make a difference! Consciously giving myself a continuous goal was engaging beyond a normal drive. I didn’t “zone out” the way people tend to on long trips. If I didn’t have any escape routes I actively looked for them and worked to create them. If I had at least one I was constantly checking to see if anything was threatening it or if any additional options had opened up.

In essence, it was defensive driving. It didn’t teach me anything new. There wasn’t any content learning involved.

It was all applied practice. Practice often seems to get lost somewhere along the line when it comes to eLearning. Having a few assessment questions at the end of a module doesn’t count for much. Most of the time if you retake a module it’s the same questions. And where’s the replay value, the motivation, in that?

Would I voluntarily sit through the same self-paced eLearning about defensive driving multiple times? Probably not. Will I be playing my driving game again? You bet I will.


If you’d like to learn about custom course creation from Digitec Interactive, visit our eLearning page.

If you’d like to read more about instructional design best practices, check out the rest of this author’s blogs.

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