Book Review (of sorts)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Karl Kapp’s book, “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction” (Pfeiffer), just in time before the whole COVID19 Australia Post fiasco. What a delight! In an age when there’s so much confusion about this in the field, Kapp offers a timely, common-sense view of realities and possibilities. Among my own frustrations which are in L&D (and of course Marketing) who are swept away on tides of badges and points without really understanding the instrinsic motivation and factors critical to successful, meaningful gamification. Take a look at the incredibly popular new game Draw Something, in which the only “rule” is an implicit one and successful play requires collaboration, not competition.

Kapp pitches the book at just the right level, making material relevant for more experienced gamers as well as for those to whom all this would be rather new. Several chapters offer basics about game elements and play, while others offer reviews of theory and research regarding games for learning, player types and patterns, and snapshots of ways games can support workplace performance of particular types of tasks. Chapters open with questions, which provides a nice advance organizer for the information to come.

The author has called in some big guns in terms of expertise, with Alicia Sanchez providing a chapter-length case study from Defense Acquisition University, and a chapter on virtual reality games from expert Koreen Olbrish. I also enjoyed that Chapter 11 is written by high school senior Nathan Kapp, the author’s son, who brings a particularly relevant perspective as he “has been playing video games his whole life.”

This is an excellent resource for those seeking to make sense of the gamification craze and apply gamification principles to create better learning experiences.

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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