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Love, the edtechnessa!
Going through a life plot twist and changing my focus to the world of physical therapy (and hopefully being admitted to a doctorate of physical therapy school). In the meantime, this blog will not be updated [unless some other huge plot twist occurs].
Thank you for reading and commenting about gamification in education. There are lots of other gamification websites available for your reading pleasure- go check them out…
Until later! Keep playing on…
Today while getting my requisite coffee, there was a cluster of moms. I know they were moms because they were discussing their young kids, as moms often do with one another. One woman was struggling to encourage her kids to have fun without technology (no, we aren’t going to go into this topic- this is a tech blog after all). Another woman said that her younger child wanted a phone like their older sibling (even though the younger kid didn’t understand that the older sibling’s phone didn’t have a phone plan).
Yet another mom said that her kid did better with his multiplication on the iPad (over writing them out)…. wait for it… because he earned points and could earn badges. Bet she has no idea what Gamification is, but she sees that it works… she identified its benefit. You can’t seek out a better testimonial than a parent seeing positive results when all they want is for their child to succeed. Let’s make learning fun, let’s make work fun… because when designed well, there are positive benefits. Education.com has provided a good list of multiplication apps. Know a better app not on this list? Drop us a line and let us know!
Howdy y’all! Wish I could say I was on vacation to someplace exciting, but it just ain’t so.
Been busy though and now I’m going to pay some attention to you and this blog… Take a moment to fill out my survey and tell your friends and your friends’ moms to fill this bad boy out. Only available for a limited time!
Soon we will be coming back strong with amazing blog entries all about the use of technology in learning and of course, gamification! I want to hear what you want first though… bring it!
Big Head? He’s the Brazilian loggerhead turtle that is predicting FIFA Cup team winners before the games take place. He’s 1 for 1 now, eating a fish underneath a Brazilian flag instead of under a Croatian flag or soccer/football to represent a draw. Though, according to this article, the legendary footballer Pele believes Chile will take it all. I’m a hometown girl and will be rooting for the US of A during their games.
While there is no overall gamification strategy throughout the FIFA World Cup Brazil site, they do have a few corporate sponsored games with the possibility of winning physical prizes. The Castrol’s Predictor Challenge does use leagues/teams with leaderboard and points. The game also provides golden questions that are only available 24 hours before the game to encourage daily visits to the site. How would you have gamified the World Cup website to make engagement better?
While FIFA players are going to fight it out like cats and dogs, back home at the “GSummit” (G for gamification), Neil deGrasse Tyson in his keynote speech suggests that we all have something to teach at the end of the day. If anyone else headed to GSummit, please drop us a line here and share your thoughts. We are made of star-stuff/star-dust and the universe wants to kill you. Change your perspective because 1/3 of galaxies rotate counter-clockwise. Guess what- he knows where Krypton is! Cat memes have messages? There are probably as many science memes as cat memes. Okay, wait a minute! While blogging at BBWorld13 last year, keynote speaker Clay Shirky highlighted cat memes and now Neil deGrasse Tyson brings them up. This sounds like a “catspiracy”. Why not turtle memes? The turtles and tortoises of the universe are revolting.
Big Head approves this message.
Interesting blog post (this is me saying you should read it). Really ties into a couple of basic principles. 1. who, what, when, where, why and 2. Activity Loops: Engagement loops (motivation, action, feedback) or Progression loops (onboarding, challenge, rest- repeat a few times with increasing challenge slowly leading up to a boss fight). Badges are good example of an engagement loop. 3rd principle this post ties into is go social. People want to share what they do with their time. It connects us.
You are doing good business now. The idea behind gamification is that you want your business to be even better. This means utilizing the best of your current practice to motivate existing customers to recognize your brand, participate, and spend more.
A well designed customer gamification program identifies and enables power social media users to become social media brand ambassadors. Using the best practices in the industry, gamification can be turned to a powerful social customer acquisition and activation mechanism.
1. Define the gamification target. Your target determines everything. Understanding the habits of your target will make or break your gamification program.
2. Measure statistics about target. How often does your average customer engage now? What are the statistics divided by type of activity, divided by customer age, location, device usage, product usage?
3. Build gamification achievements based on statistics. Abstract how measurable statistics change over time throughout the customer lifecycle…
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A new study shows benefits of violent video games for kids’ learning Washington Post Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive…
Violent games are beneficial to learning? Not what you expect, right? Everything in moderation, of course.
See on www.washingtonpost.com
- Violent video games make teens eat more and cheat more (exploringscienceworld.wordpress.com)
- Do Violent Video Games Lead to Less Violent Crime? (slacearchive.wordpress.com)
My 7 tips for good gamification design in under 7 minutes… http://t.co/hJV47JlnWD
Great video (with a lovely accent)- take a gander! 7 top tips to help you design a successful gamification design… What do you think is the most important?
See on gamificationnation.com
Turkey day is near, as is Black Friday (Blue Sunday, Cyber Monday etc). It’s the “big day” for the retail world. Currently, gamification is the biggest buzz word in the business sector. Businesses want to increase engagement with their clients and develop customer loyalty which can reap substantial financial rewards, especially during the high holiday season. Let’s examine Target’s use of gamification in their Facebook page for Black Friday- the busiest shopping day of the year.
Poor gamification design in Black Friday campaign
Gamification.co describes the poor design of the Target’s 2012 Facebook Black Friday campaign- notice that they didn’t run the same or similar campaign again this year. The gist of the campaign is that you choose between two items to guess which item is on sale for Black Friday. It then tallies and records how much you would save if you bought 20 “secret” items. This information is already available through various formats- no new information. The choices that the player makes is not meaningful. It ends up being gamification for gamification’s sake, what Gamification.co describes as “pointsification,” ie poor gamified design. After reviewing Gamification.co’s article, below are a few take-away lessons.
- Lesson 1: Games elements enhance the game play experience.
Don’t make people play the game to discover information that is readily available. Below we’ll discuss examples of game design that successfully reveal new information through puzzles and/or “easter eggs.” The objective of Target’s game does not align to the game activities that players perform.
- Lesson 2: Social sharing should engage others to play.
Target allowed players to share how much they would have saved if they purchased the 20 “secret” items. Ability to socially share accomplishments in game play is important to elements of engagement and competition. Besides the fact that completion of the game as the only result of the game, the act of sharing this “achievement” does not engage others to play the game. After sharing, your friends should want to compare their game play to yours or in example, beat the “savings” you earned. People are social by nature and usually want to connect with others by sharing their activities.
2 Examples of Good Gamification Elements
Using puzzles and/or providing “easter eggs” within a game can progress game play, as well as adding elements of mystery and excitement. Prior to book releases or major press releases, J. K. Rowling used interactive puzzle games on her Scholastic website to entice her fans to discover bonus content or new information before it was shared through traditional venues. Fans were required click on items in a certain sequence to reveal the bonus content or news releases.
Easter eggs refer to hidden items inside of the game or activity, as if they were eggs hidden during the Easter holiday during a scavenger hunt. Sometimes these easter eggs will be graphics or textual clues to assist in resolving a larger puzzle or task.
Kevin Werbach’s Gamification course on Coursera uses easter eggs by changing items in a bookcase seen behind him in video lectures each week. These items when collected or noticed by the students are evaluated to determine its value. Werbach offered bonus points to the first student who guessed the hidden message adding a level of competition, as well as bragging rights as a form of reward. This type of game element supports players who like to explore or play a discovery role. Werbach’s secret message was related to learning about games and added an extra layer to watching class lectures.
Target made the mistake of using redundant information in their Black Friday game which invalidated the game objectives, resulting in an epic gamification fail. Kevin Werbach used hidden clues in video lectures that provided new, but optional information to students to encourage additional motivation to watch lectures. What other types of easter eggs, hidden clues or puzzles can be added to a course to make learning fun? Would using these elements distract you from the primary message of the course content? How does one balance adding an engaging activity so that it doesn’t overshadow the primary learning objective?
Motivating students to achieve, learn, retain. It’s what instructors and instructional designers want. The question continues to be how to do it best, your newest buzz word- what’s “best practice”? Gamification is another buzz word being throw around in various sectors from corporate business to education, with claims to increase interaction, sales or engagement by supposed triple number percentages. Gamification is the process of applying game elements to ordinary activities to affect a desired change. A best practice, possibly. Get ready for a news flash: education is already gamified.
But, Education Is (Poorly) Gamified
Is education is already gamified? Some say yes it is, yet poorly. We say poorly because students aren’t effectively engaged and compete poorly on a global scale. Let’s address some game design elements currently used in education:
- Course objectives are goals for attainment.
- Students earn points for completing tasks (assignments=quests).
- Students collaborate in groups (guilds).
- Students get feedback through grades.
- Students level up based on points, moving from C-> B -> A. Students level up through grade years as well.
- Grades K-12 have honor rolls while universities have the Dean’s List in the way of leader boards.
- The ultimate badge/certification is a diploma.
The imperative is to address these game elements, as well as others, in order to make them more effective towards the course objectives. Game design is everywhere, as Elizabeth Sampat argues. Gamification is one tool for learning in education, not a solution or magic formula. It depends on the design, the mechanics. Good Design = Good Gaming.
Get Practice in Game Design
Before you begin to apply game elements to your lessons, you may want to get into the “trenches” first. Playing well-designed games is a great way to start to get experience in gamification and game design. Find games that have a “stickiness” factor- the addictive qualities or that desire to make you want to keep playing. Ask yourself why you keep playing? What makes you think about the game when you are not playing? What game elements are used and what continues to motivate you? What frustrates you, though not enough to make you want to give up? These are the elements you should captivate and employ to increase collaboration and engagement in your courses.
Check out 16 principles of good game design by James Gee for more details how to apply game elements to education. My favorite is “pleasantly frustrated,” whereas I continue for the past 249+ days to try to beat level 147 in Candy Crush with the sound turned off (because it is annoying), without contributing any money to it’s company, King.
Examples of Applying Game Elements to Education
1) BOSS LEVEL
Applying game elements to education is especially effective when you teach the players how to build their own game. This Edutopia article describes how students create their own boss level assignment to overcome. The phrase “boss level” refers to the culminating challenge in a video game where players use all the skills they have to solve the problem. Students apply what they have learned during the semester to create a challenging task, a Rube Goldberg machine (a machine designed to accomplish a simple task in a complex way, usually through chain reaction)- transitioning the learner to leader. This approach provides prime opportunity for a student-centered learning environment.
Professor Lampe from University of Michigan teaching informatics shares how he gamified his class lectures here through- *gasp* a video. Prof. Lampe has received testimonies from his former students noting they have a better recollection of the class experience and the course content compared to others classes. Study is still ongoing to quantify the result of the gamification of his course.
3) THE QUEST
Steven Johnson from Temple University introduced The Quest to his MIS3538 Social Media Innovation course. He used self-paced learning and self-selected activities that progressively got more difficulty providing feedback through points, badges, ranking through a leader board and recognition for leveling up. Read more about it.
Hopefully this has your brain gears churning away of how to apply gamification principles to engage students. Don’t forget to leave us a comment especially if you think Candy Crush’s music is weird or if you have used gamification in your course. Until next time, keep on gaming!
- Are video games the key to engaging students in STEM education? (smartbrief.com)
- MQ: Gamification in Education (kendyreece.wordpress.com)