Gamification in learning

August 22, 2014  |  Online Education | E-Learning  |  Share

Gamification in Learning


The use of Gamification in training and education is gaining in popularity. Gamification, like traditional games, is driven by elements that include: desire, incentive, challenge, feedback, mastery and reward. These elements are hard wired into human nature and can be very attractive components of a gaming application used for learning. The objective any gamification application is to engage the target audience and have them participate in real time activities that generate real time feedback and behavioral data that can be used to address instructional or learning concerns immediately. This actionable information is driving research that shows gamification is quickly gaining momentum and becoming a vital component in learning strategies.

Gamification as defined, is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to engage audiences. Engagement encourages intimacy, influence, involvement and interaction.  Or as Forrester Research defines it: the four I’s of successful engagement. Engagement should be the goal in launching any learning event.

According to Kevin Werbach, associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and author of For the Win; a best practices approach to a gamification strategy would include the following six steps:

1)      Define your learning objectives

2)      Delineate target behaviors

3)      Describe your players

4)      Devise activity cycles

5)      Don’t forget the fun!

6)      Deploy the appropriate tools

With an effective gamification component built from these six steps you can connect with your audience with the four I’s in ways not available in traditional learning strategies. According to Bing Gordon of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and serves as General Partner and Chief Product Officer for the firms gaming division, “gamification is the new normal for people born after 1971”. Gamification certainly has a bright future. Time to get with the program.

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