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.