Digital Learning – Gamification

Wednesday 17th March

Gamification is defined simply as using game design elements and mechanics to create a learning object.

The purpose of gamification is to increase the engagement and maintain the motivation of learners. It can be used in schools and a lot of businesses are now using it within their in house training programmes to motivate their employees and engage them. However it is not about turning the learning into a game!

Breaking this down we need:

  • Design – What goes where and why it is there?
  • Elements and mechanics – goal setting, feedback, rewards, narratives, badges, leaderboards etc
  • Non – game contexts – parts not for entertainment

We discussed in the session that motivation can come from –

  • Intrinsic – points, badges – content remains the same
  • Extrinsic – how to engage the learner – changing the content into another form; storytelling or challenges

We discussed that there is a difference between play and gaming – play is free-form it brings fun and joy. Gaming has a structure and rules that need to be follow. You don’t really think about those things when you are playing games as you are so focussed on the game in hand and getting those badges and rewards. In the session we also discussed Csikszentmihalyis Flow. Flow simplified is trying to create the balance between boredom and anxiety. There is a need to create the players journey, there needs to be tests and challenges to keep the player interested. If its too hard then they will feel anxiety if its too easy then they will become bored.

There are different user types that access games –

  • Socialisers – motivated by relatedness
  • Free spirits – motivated by autonomy
  • Achievers – motivated by mastery
  • Philanthropists – motivated by purpose
  • Players – motivated by rewards
  • Disruptors – motivated by change

Andrzej Marczewski has devised a list of 52 Game Elements and it is a very interesting website to visit and read as it dives deeper into gamification and what different people need to enjoy a game and learn.

Gamification is a very interesting topic to look into I think. There are quite a few advantages to it as it can engage the learner and help them understand what it is they are looking at and understanding. I also think it is a good tool to use within businesses as it engages the employee, it doesn’t just become another boring training session they have to attend. It could also be a good tool to use for new starters within a company and introduce them to what they will be doing. I also think gamification could be a good tool to use in education – it will help students learn and keep them interested.

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