Gentle Bamboo Solutions

Training session design ideas from Super Mario


Have you played Super Mario?

You should!

It teaches you the two things you must absolutely know about designing your training sessions.

Ever noticed how World 1-1 is designed in Super Mario?

The first mushroom doesn’t emerge until the player has moved a little to the right of the screen, and the mushroom powerup is designed to be near unmissable when it finally drops down, bounces off the first pipe, and slides towards Mario. Each gameplay mechanic, or idea, is introduced in sequential order, and only after the player has experienced, and hopefully absorbed, the lessons of the previous idea.

A learner entering your course most likely knows very little about the course. That is why he has joined your course! Your training program should take this into account. Like Super Mario’s World 1X1, pick tasks that introduce one basic idea at a time, and order them so that each task builds on the lessons learned in the previous task.

Another aspect in which your training should be like Super Mario is that you should keep your feedback cycles small. The first concept you teach is simple. Each subsequent concept and task then grows in complexity and in length. This idea shares similar principles with World 1-1: allow a learner easy, simple wins, and a sense of forward progress.

Fast feedback loops are your friend when it comes to training. Every instruction that a learner completes works to give them a sense of forward momentum.

So, design your sessions like Super Mario was designed and your learners will remember you and your course the same way players have never forgotten Super Mario.

Ready? Player 1: