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604 Reinforce Leadership Skills with a Digital Card Game

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET
Tuesday, November 8

Tracks: Leadership

Many leadership skills programs would benefit from role-playing activities where the leaders address key issues, ideas, or concepts and act out how they would deal with those situations. Unfortunately, typical role-play exercises are often accompanied with moans and groans, as few people seem to be eager to participate. But what if there were a way to have leaders participate in a role-play without them knowing it? Enter the concept of a leadership card game, where each turn requires the person to act out a scenario and defend their response. This creates a chance for rehearsal, practice of key skills, and feedback from peers.

Now more than ever, leaders need to think critically, learn from peers, and provide direction and focus in the face of criticism, cynicism, and uncertainty. One effective way to accomplish this goal is through deliberate practice of leadership skills and by identifying areas in which leaders feel they need more support. In this session, you’ll learn how organizations are leveraging simple card games to provide leaders with an opportunity to both identify their games and practice their critical thinking and analysis skills. You’ll see how they use card games to apply specific leadership methods to specific situations.

First, you’ll examine the affordances of card games and learn why card games are some of the most effective tools for teaching leadership and critical thinking. Next, we’ll look at how an international organization created scenarios based on their leadership model and how they encouraged leaders at every level to engage in rich dialogue concerning specific leadership situations. Finally, you’ll learn how analytics were leveraged to provide feedback and insights into performance. All of this will be accomplished by playing a leadership card game so that the experience can be seen in action. You’ll leave the session with a new approach to leadership development for multiple levels within your organization and an appreciation of how you can make the practice of critical leadership skills more enjoyable and, most importantly, more impactful for the leaders in your organization.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How a digital card game can be used to foster critical thinking
  • How to conceptualize a role-play activity without the typical “moans and groans” of an online role-play
  • How to apply the engagement and fun of playing cards while learning virtually
  • How to foster dialogue and nurture leadership skills through challenging others in a game

Karl Kapp


Bloomsburg University

Karl Kapp, Ed.D., is a professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University, where he teaches instructional game design, gamification classes, and online learning design. He is the creator of the web video series, “The Unauthorized, Unofficial History of Learning Game.” Karl has authored or co-authored eight books including The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, its accompanying field book, and the widely popular, Play to Learn. He is the author of 10 LinkedIn Learning courses. Karl’s academic and practitioner work explores the research, theoretical foundations, and practical application of gamification and game-thinking to organizational performance issues.