More Gamification thoughts

From what I have been reading lately, the concept of play is that play is optional, so for something to truly be play-based, a learner needs to be able to choose not to play. I believe that if a facilitator chooses to add a game layer to the curriculum, it could be difficult for a student to not be part of the game layer and participate in class in a more traditional way.

As you know, many games are based around the concept of direct competition, in the gamification circles we call this mechanic “leaderboards”. Such game elements, like leaderboards, I feel highlight the fact that some students succeed while others fail, which personally I think is a crap way of teaching. The same can be said for the old traditional public display of rewards (like the old gold stars approach). Students who are doing well can be driven to continue to gain more stars, while students who are struggling watch as their classmates accumulate more and more accolades while they are just trying to get started.

One advantage of an LMS designed for gamification is that the system can assist teachers in the design of a course. By embedding different types of reward-based and meaningful game-based and play-based layers, facilitators can easily try out different gamification techniques in their class avoiding the public humility of the students. The LMS can also provide information as to what types of game elements might be good for different types of class activities and what risks the instructor and students may face when using the system.

From my discussions with students, if they see a system that looks like a traditional LMS or outdated Web site, it has been discussed that the facilitator will have to work harder to help students realize that the class experiences are different and exciting. Whereas if the students come into a gamified system that looks like a game or has game mechanics, it can be said that they are more likely to approach the learning with an open mind and a playful spirit. Just food for thought.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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