Designing Mini-Games as Micro-Learning Resources for Professional Development in Multi-Cultural Organisations


  • Sylvester Arnab
  • Ludmila Walaszczyk
  • Mark Lewis
  • Sarah Kernaghan-Andrews



The need for self-directed learning for professional development drives an increase in the delivery of easy to use ‘just-in-time’ resources that respond to the often-dynamic workplace and work culture. This is especially important in the era of globalisation, when the number of employees, who are culturally diverse, increases each year. Most medium and large companies operate in an international environment, and this is due to the expansion of international enterprises with branches in various countries that requires cooperation with foreign clients, and the employment of foreign nationals in their companies. In order to guarantee the effectiveness of workings in companies, there is a need for continuous education in the aspect of the cultural diversity. This paper explores micro-learning, which focuses on delivering brevity through bite-sized learning units or short-term learning activities. Learning content in this case can take many forms, from text to interactive multimedia. These contents are often created on demand, which can sometimes be less contextualised and pedagogically informed. Based on a case study of the need for training on cultural risks in multi-cultural organisations, this paper focuses on the design of mini-games as playful learning resources for supporting an online learning platform that has been developed as a response to this training need. Fifteen mini-games have been developed to complement eight main topics related to cultural risks and to promote reflection, practice and the self-assessment of knowledge acquired through the platform. The main eight topics represent the risk areas identified that include cultural awareness, understanding different cultures, communication, learning styles, hierarchy, team-working, qualities in the working place, and stereotypes through a survey carried out with personnel (n=154) from multi-cultural organisations across five countries - Cyprus, Italy, Latvia, Poland, and the UK. The discussions include unpacking the mapping of pedagogical and gameful design considerations based on Arnab et al.‘s (2015) Learning Mechanics-Game Mechanics Mapping (LMGM) model. The paper also discusses the findings from the testing of the online platform across 5 countries including 166 participants (two-step testing). The insights provided will be valuable to researchers, practitioners, designers, and developers of micro-learning resources.



21 Apr 2021