Rewards and Game Mechanics

I have been reading a lot on game mechanics lately (in order to integrate some forms of ‘gamification’ into my eLearning projects) and found that to make great games compelling, the player’s experience and expertise needs to change over time and in meaningful ways. Games dole out just the right amount of challenge and learning to keep players engaged and on the edge of their ability. Also, in games when users do not know exactly when to expect a reward, they tend to expect it anytime soon. I also found that the nature of the reward is very important. As we all may know, the goal of rewards is to maximize motivation prior to receiving the reward, as well as happiness after receiving the reward. For those interested, I have created a breakdown of some types of rewards you could implement.

Levels: Standard game mechanic, you can use levels to show progress and gauge learner development.

Prolonged play: The opposite of quick levels, you could reward users by prolonging their game-time to allow for higher scores and measures of success.

Completion: Quick win by providing the learner a feeling of closure by rewarding the completion of a goal/learning outcome.

Points: You could use scores, points or ratings to give learners feedback on their actions and allow comparison with others.

Status/Leaderboards: I read that we constantly assess how interactions either enhance or diminish our standing relative to others and our personal best.

Unlock certain features/elements: This one I like a lot. Exploit learners’ desire to explore by unlocking new features as a reward for specific behavior.

So, as you can see, there is a lot of ways (some easier to integrate than others) we can introduce rewards in eLearning and make our projects more fun and engaging.

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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