Let the Games Begin: Game Dynamics for Driving Learner Engagement – Robert Gadd, OnPoint Digital Inc.
Robert takes us on a tour through gamification: its history, the leaders, case studies, and how to avoid pitfalls.
Gamification has been around for a long, long time. The first incentive and loyalty programs had, in effect, a gamification element. From green stamps to frequent flyer programs, they all contain elements but are not ramification in themselves as they lack true learner engagement and benefits that technology can bring to bear.
Introducing game mechanics and dynamics into the mobile environment is an effective way of boosting learner engagement. This meeting of games, learning and mobile are reiterated throughout Robert’s presentation. The popularity and ubiquity of games in the consumer and social space cannot be disputed but gamification in the m-learning sphere is still emergent and therefore susceptible to accusations of hype, and style over substance. Possibly due to its rapid evolution or to instances where the basics have not been attended to prior to implementation.
Interest in gamification in the m-learning world is at a high, as can be seen by the popularity of Kevin Werbach’s online course at Coursera. This MOOC course attracted unprecedented numbers of students. However, Robert is also keen to highlight that gamification is the icing on the cake – it’s not the cake! The vital elements of game-enabled learning center on creating a narrative for both the game and for the learning/learners.
When it comes to lessons learned Robert makes 12 interesting points around how not to fail. Knowing what not to do is the first step in how to get it right. All 12 points emphasise the importance of having the learning at the core of any program, and the need to embed the program within existing systems and throughout the organization.
Robert’s own insights are key to a good gamification implementation in your organization: look good, be clear, simple and relevant, avoid the hype, enhance and embed your learning. Alongside Clark Quinn, another of our experts, he cites the importance of basing your decision making on measurable outcomes from previous iterations. Do not go blind into the foray but go armed with the best data you have to ensure the best possible outcome for your learners and your company. By doing this you are offering your organisation a chance to engage with the future of learning for your teams.
Here are two of the great videos Robert mentions from The Fun Theory.
The people Robert rates:
You can read about one of the case studies Robert mentions – BlackBerry 10 – on WorkLearnMobile.
As part of his Expert Insight Robert has kindly made available a page of resources relating to his presentation and gamification as a whole.
Robert has also made his presentation available as a pdf for you to download.