I feel as though I know how to gamify a course on a small scale, and the creative part of me yearns for this pathway. Creating a simulation experience would be wonderful, but I currently lack those design skills.
But....just because I can gamify a course, does that mean that I should?
The following points keep running through my mind:
1. According to Mohl ( 2014), gamification is fun. -----> I want my courses to be fun. Don't we all?
2. Prince (2013) links gamifying an activity or a course to increased involvement and engagement, as well as fostering ongoing relationships. -----> I want my adult learners to be engaged in the course and to begin relationships that can lead to networking.
3. Designing gamified content can be both time- and energy-consuming. -----> While I do not have a lot of time, I would be willing to use my time to gamify a course if it were worthwhile for students and resulted in increased engagement, enjoyment, and learning. Gamifying a course will be time-consuming, so much care will need to be taken in planning out the narrative, the mechanics, and the dynamics, along with their delivery.
4. Research is split regarding the benefits of gamification with regards to increasing learning. -----> I wonder, though, would making a course fun enough that students looked forward to engaging with it necessarily result in increased learning?
5. Kim (2015) suggests gamification needs a goal, a reason to gamify a course or a training. Without a goal, there is no reason to gamify. -----> Obviously, gamifying because one can gamify is not really enough. I need a reason to gamify. One reason could be to demonstrate gamification in a class that focuses on gamification in business and education. But aren't there other reasons? Could the goal of increasing engagement within a course be enough? How about the goal of making content more fun to learn? Or encouraging students to interact more with one another? Are these goals "good enough"? Or is the issue really one of, would gamifying a course help a faculty member/designer achieve a specific goal better than the current method an instructor may be using?
6 Another consideration is motivation. A gamified experience should include both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. -----> Points, leaderboards, and badges of game mechanics work well to extrinsically motivate but what about sharing knowledge, participating, engaging in a course or experience? Will aesthetics motivate one to do these behaviors? Aesthetics focuses on what the player feels while playing. Is this feeling enough to intrinsically motivate a student?
7. Where/How might Bloom's Taxonomy fit into gamification? -----> As in many educational institutions, we integrate Bloom into all courses, and gamified courses will have to also apply Bloom. This thought just occurred to me, so, obviously, I need to delve into more research. A quick purview of the research takes me to the Pedagogy wheel below which reminds us of the criteria for choosing apps that help address Bloom's taxonomy:
Also of interest - and continued exploration on my part - is Allen Interactions' Taxonomy Alignment for Gaming:
Much to think about. . . . .
My next stepsNo pun intended, but I'm game for gamification. If I can gamify a course in such way that addresses the above-mentioned items, I want to do so. Even if doing so takes a lot of time, to me, if the results are worthwhile then so is the time involved in gamifying.
Ready, Set, Go!!!!!!
ReferencesKim, B. (2015). Designing gamification in the right way. Library Technology Reports 51(2), 29-35.
Mohl, L. (2014). Serious fun - How HR can up the game. Workforce Solutions Review 5(3), 24-27.
Prince, J. D (2013). Gamification. Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, 10(3), 162-169.