Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Serious Games To Become Financially Literate

Serious Games bringing transformational learning to business

Via: Enspire Learning - Fluent in Finance™: Live Edition

Enspire Learning announced the release of a new learning experience: Fluent in Finance™: Live Edition, which aims to provide a better way for non-financial managers to learn finance.

Learn to Speak the Language of Business

Enspire's Fluent in Finance is an online and blended curriculum designed to teach finance concepts to managers in a meaningful and memorable way. Combining a mixture of interactive case studies, rich media tutorials, and practice exercises, Fluent in Finance is a curriculum that allows learners to understand financial concepts and provide the skills needed to apply them.

Fluent in Finance Live Edition

In addition to the online curriculum, the Fluent in Finance Live Edition brings the benefits of classroom learning to the web through instructor-led discussions and coaching sessions. While playing Finance Challenge, a multiplayer simulation, learners apply their financial knowledge in realistic settings and also receive individualized feedback on their performance from skilled instructors.

Live Edition is designed for non-financial managers, small business owners, and dynamic professionals who can commit to a six-week program with regular web-based meetings. Managers, entrepreneurs, and professionals with tight scheduling constraints should consider the Basic Edition.

About Enspire

Enspire Learning was founded in 2001 with the mission to create effective online learning. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company provides innovative e-learning development services to corporate, academic, and government training departments.

A Case Study

In 2007, Sun Microsystems commissioned Enspire Learning to create an onboarding game. Sun wanted to appeal to a younger demographic of potential employees, to teach them about the company, and to generate enthusiasm about joining the company. However, they also wanted to appeal to current employees (mean age 42), many of whom work remotely and rarely see the office; the company wanted them to feel integrated into it.

After testing several iterations, Enspire created two games for Sun. One, Rise of the Shadow Specters, was a puzzle-based action game in which learners dodged lasers, jumped from platform to platform, and evaded the villainous shadow specters. The other, Dawn of the Shadow Specters, was a “choose-your-own-adventure” game that appealed to employees who did not like video games. The project was a success, but only because of careful attention to detail.

The Sun project shows that some serious business needs, like increasing enthusiasm for the company, can be achieved using a fun game. Not all serious games will be as fantasy- oriented and action-packed as Rise of the Shadow Specters, but this game is an example of the diverse needs that serious games can meet for a company.