Adapting games and resources for student need

The best games and the most effective ones are customised to the needs of the students and the local educational opportunity. This is why all of the resources and games in Vocational Training Materials Australia are open documents and editable. 

Customising can include:

  • changing questions
  • updating answers
  • adding new questions and answers
  • adding graphics and videos
  • adding language supports eg translations or graphics of particular concepts
  • changing the rules to fit the situation or needs of the group

As a trainer you might also have particular students in your group who will need specific adaptions for trauma-based behaviours eg shyness, non-participation, aggression, poor concentration etc; cultural needs or other educational needs. Adaptions to accommodate this need includes creating an environment that is supportive, safe and secure so that the student and group has a successful course with high engagement and retention. To achieve this, you might need to consider the following: 

  • Forming teams - With some students you will need to take care in how you form teams and groups. You might have students from cultural groups that are not allowed to have direct engagement with particular skin groups, genders or other criteria. If this is the case, you might take advice from the students about how to best form groups to minimise issues.
  • Trauma informed - You might also have students who are shy or have experienced trauma and so will be reluctant to engage in games and activities. Consider giving students who request/prefer not to play the game, other roles such as the scribe for tallying points, trainer assistant to help set up the games, or an observer role. They might also buddy with someone else playing the game or play in a 2 person game with someone they feel comfortable with. While encouragement is great, it is important that students are not forced to participate but are still included in the activity in some other inclusive way.
  • Literacy and language levels - If you have students who have low levels of English language and literacy, you might have the whole class work in pairs, matching students with higher levels of language/literacy with a student with lower language/literacy levels, to work in teams to play the game.

Further reading:

  • What Trauma Looks Like in College-Aged Students and Adult Learners. By Angela Lehr  May 16, 2018