We've defined the term 'gamification' and discussed its pro's and cons in a video/blog post this week. If you haven't read the post or haven't seen the video yet you can click here.
In a nutshell, gamification is the application of gaming concepts/approaches in a non-gaming context. For the e/m-learning community, the keywords are: "gamification of learning." For example, a gamified e-learning module will consist of a game like Tic-Tac-Toe or Jeopardy to teach kids about historical figures.
If you're looking to 'gamify' your e-learning, here are 5 considerations derived from gaming design to implement in your approach.
One major consideration in gamifying e-learning is to put context above all else. There are lessons that will result in a more interesting and effective learning experience; however, there are also some lessons that wouldn't be as effective when gamified. One of the more important questions you should ask yourself when considering context is: "Can a gaming approach help the learner apply the skills in the real world more?"
What do open-world games like "Skyrim" and "Minecraft" have in common that makes them very successful? Definitely not graphics (Minrecraft looks like moving pixelated boxes, while Skyrim has realistic graphics)! The answer is that both games are player-centric. This means that both games are focused on what the player wants to do - instead of the game telling them what to do. As much as possible, we want to put learner-centricity as a consideration. We can do this by putting the ball in the learner's hands by employing branching scenarios based on the learner's action/choices instead of forcing them to follow a linear e-learning module.
This is a very important aspect of gaming. A game has to focus on an person's achievements so that it gives the impression that a learning is improving throughout the process of the game. A classic example of this motivation is the "fuzzy feeling" you get every time that "ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED" box pops up on your Xbox console.
Nothing beats friendly competition. This is the reason why MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) exist. Aside from being highly interactive and social (you can interact with millions and millions of players around the world), it also offers friendly competition among individuals (or groups). Nothing beats the feeling of being able to "one-up" another player, or be on top of the heap.
5. Fun and Challenging
'Nuff said - no one wants to play a boring game that does nothing but insult the gamer's intelligence!
Here are our top 5 considerations in gamifying elearning. Do you have other suggestions? Please let us know through the comments field below: