Wanna talk gamification?

Apr 18, 2013

Hi, everyone: This discussion on gamification (using game elements to engage learners) started in the "Freelance Heroes" thread, and was so robust we decided it deserved its own thread.

Wanna talk gamification? This is the place.

40 Replies
Brenda Heilman

Brian Allen said:

I'm also participating in the Coursera Gamification MOOC...  Been an interesting experience so far, and it's cutting down on my participation here in the Community unfortunately due to how time-intensive it has been for me.

Just past the halfway point of the class so far and have covered topics like history of games and gamification as well as game elements and the psychology around why games and gamified systems work or don't work.  Good stuff, but looking forward to the second half of the course now.

Ditto!  I'm really enjoying the course, but it does take a bit of time from the Community!
David Becker

I built a game-based simulation for last years guru awards using articulate studio that may be of interest to some of you. Here is the link. http://www.articulate.com/blog/guru-honorable-mention-navigator-game-by-david-becker/

My thoughts on gamification:

Its about engendering curiosity, exploratory behaviours and playfulness

Its about telling a story with multiple plots and using protagonists and antagonists to arouse and engage learners

Its about the learner uncovering the theory in use or set of principles and using successive approximation to refine the theory/principles until they are able to successfully apply them to multiple situations

Its about balancing the feeling good (reward and dopamine release) with feeling stressed/pressured (stress and cortisol release) and things like unlocking badges, stars etc, leader boards and countdown timers help create that balance.

It ideally should promote community activity such as chatting, sharing content, ideas, tacit knowledge and experience etc

Alan Landers

I'm all about gaming!  It's a lot of fun for the learner and fun for me to create.  I'm not going to get into any serious, academic discussion about gamification. (I read the articles and books)  I don't care too much what others think about it.  I just know that when I make my little game-like courses, people like them.  My first one wasn't so hot, but they're getting better.  BTW, with the younger generations moving into corporate America, I think it would be a good idea for all IDs to learn about gaming and start incorporating it into their programs.

The absolute best book on gaming is by Jane McGonigal (she was mentioned earlier in this thread).  It is called: "Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World".  It is an excellent primer on the topic.  Also a good site to keep track of is Bunchball.com.  Bunchball was founded by Rajat Pariah, the guy who came up with the term "gamification".  They have free webinars every now and then.  They're pretty cool.

Jerson  Campos

@ Daniel and Phil

Some great timing. During the Gamification course, they did a case study on the Overstack forum and how they were able to successfully implement gamification into the forum. They not only improved user participation, but the quality of help being provided by those that did participate. Their design and implementation also created a better community as a whole.  

I've uploaded this into my dropbox folder so other can see it. HERE

Daniel Brigham

Phil Mayor said:

The Microsoft forums do scoring, not sure if that added any value. also I doubt any of their MVPs was selected on the number of correct answers they gaveThis is also reliant on users verifying answers.  I like the informal nature of this forum, this is one of the big advantages over other forums.  There are no rules on how to post so new users are not intimidated about posting.  some people come an go, others stay others never return, but the majority of posts are answered how many forums can boast that?

i also think the scoring system can be counter productive, I a user wants to get themselves recognised and can see that one of his peers has 500 posts and 200 correct answers does he really want to use the forums as a way of wining recognition. There is also the likelihood of abusing both is system, at the momento users can mark their posts as correct, it is very easy to set up a second account and start having conversations with yourself and scoring points.

I would much prefer upgrades to the site to include better search.

Thanks for the input, Phil: What would you want to improve regarding the search function?
Daniel Brigham

Jerson campos said:

@ Daniel

I think the biggest reason why people don't linger on this forum is how it is structured. They have basically 2 columns that show about 15 posts each side. Most people who come to check on the forum will only read whats on the main page. At most, it will only display what has been posted or commented on in the past 24 hours. So if someone hasn't checked on the forum for a couple of days, they won't see any of the posts they missed. I know this is what I do. I'll go to the forum, check out each side, scan the titles, read any posts I find interesting, help out when I can, than go back to work. I do this about every 2-3 days.

Other than an intrinsic motivation to help other people or the extrinsic motivation of being recognized by peers, the forum offers nothing to motivate somebody to help or linger around a bit. They can throw in some points, badges, and leaderboards to try to keep people looking around and helping, but without a well thought out design to address specific objectives than it won't serve any real purpose. 

Right now, when you click on a person's profile you see his bio, what posts he has replied to , and his friends. You can also find out how many posts he has made. None of it showing how helpful they have been or how many posts have been suggested as correct answers. So why bother helping out? Nobody is going to know really how much I have helped out? Nobody is going to know if I have provided tons of technical help on this product or that LMS.

Here is an idea I had. This came to me after reading a post  Bruce made  about how a client contacted him after going through the forum and seeing his posts everywhere. Why not connect how helpful someone has been to their profile? This way people will have a professional investment in the forum. The more helpful someone has been they  more points they receive. They more points they receive the more badges they unlock. The more badges and points they have, the more their profile shows how much they have contributed.

How I first envision this is that the forum be broken down into different categories. Technical help, LMS assistance, Instructional Design, etc. Every time somebody provides a helpful answer or a correct answer to a question in these categories, they get awarded points for that category. These points will be reflected on their profile in these categories by either a total sum points, or by unlocking badges. ( I think a combination of both). This way potential clients can click on their profile and get a general idea of the person. Yes the client still has to his/her homework, but it will still provide some insight on the skills the person has.

This is just some quick thoughts on this. 

Jerson, thank you for the thoughtful reply. I, too, think that perhaps sectioning out the topics wouldn't be a bad idea (ID, Quizzing, A/V issues, etc.)--this might allow the forum to capture more of the conversations. I'm on the fence regarding points, though. Not totally sure why, as it does make sense to formally acknowledge someone who has helped you solve a problem. In the next day or so, I'll check out that forum in your dropbox. Thanks for making that available, and again, for your thoughtful reply. --Daniel
Phil Mayor

Daniel Brigham said:

Phil Mayor said:

I would much prefer upgrades to the site to include better search.

Thanks for the input, Phil: What would you want to improve regarding the search function?

I would like the search to give meaningful results, at the moment I cannot find posts that I know exist using the built in search.  Google on the other hand will find these posts no problem.  

Scott Hewitt

Some great links and resources to review. I've used techniques from many creative industries in projects included graphic design, animation, film making and computer game design is no difference. You can apply techniques from game design and integrate it into your instructional design and elearning projects - this can include level design, interface design, graphic design, course mapping and much more. There is so much more to game design and game theory than reward systems and leaderboards. You can add game theory and game design to your instructional design toolbox!

We've worked with our local university who have a game design degree to mix up and mash up computer game design and elearning design - we've ran a few sessions called designing a course in a day! During the session we've all shared techniques from both sides, learning a lot that we can apply to our own projects.

There is a lot that you can learn from read books but I suggest that you play games! Here is an intro to what to look for in games if you haven't played for a while!

If you can have a chat with a game designer to find out about game theory - speak to them about reward, recovery, recuperation, level mapping, pace, exploration, co-operation, strategy, problem-solving and much more!

I'm interested in ARG - Alternate Reality Games. the work of http://janemcgonigal.com/ is superb. Have a look at Top Secret Dance Off - it will make you smile

Belen Casado

I lost the Coursera Gamification MOOC, but I've recently enrolled the "Video Games & Learning" MOOC that starts today.

I must say that I'm not a good player, I really don't like games, and the last time I played was the 'arcade' years, with Tetris or Arkanoid, so I think it's very challenging for me and out of the comfort zone to follow this course. I've just started watching some lectures and... yes: I'm amazed, this is really promising.

If you're interested, you can still enrol.

Something to think about: can we build good games if we are awful players?

Belen Casado

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.