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How To Use Gamification In Learning: Part 2
In Part 1 of this article I’ve presented 10 incredible uses of gamification from the Free eBook: How Gamification Reshapes Learning, where 23 carefully selected gamification experts share their specialized knowledge on gamification, education, and business and offer insight on the effective uses of gamification in learning. Read Part 2, to learn about 13 more fantastic uses of gamification in learning.
- Resembling real-life situations and experiences.
“The luxury hotel chain Marriott offers a gaming application called “My Marriot Hotel” to recruit employees. As part of the game, individuals can create their own hotel restaurant, purchase supplies for the kitchen, manage orders from the chefs, and even hire staff. Players are motivated by a point system—players gain points if the customers are satisfied, and lose them if they provide poor service. The goal is to help people acquire new knowledge and skills and apply that newly acquired knowledge to the real hotel to fill one of the many job openings available across the globe. The “My Marriot Hotel” game contains the essential elements of gamification, including goal-setting, an instant feedback system, interactive competition, virtual rewards, and “leveling” up within a program or application.”
By Marina Arshavskiy
- Overcoming prejudices and accepting that traditional teaching needs to change.
“Play is important for learning. When I watch my young children exploring the world, they literally kill themselves out of curiosity, if my wife and me weren’t keeping them from getting seriously hurt. Nothing is safe from our three boys, as they touch, explore, and play with things. And have fun. But when they will become teenagers, they will just hang in the classroom like rotten meat. If we destroy their natural curiosity, they will become totally unengaged and cynical. Nothing would seem to engage them anymore, except videogames. So why do we still design our educational systems in a way that actually kills curiosity? Such a traditional design wastes a tremendous amount of human potential and it’s time we upgrade our 19th century education system to the 21st.”
By Mario Herger
- Getting learners involved and learn by doing.
“My company employs techniques from real-time strategy games (RTSs) and massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) in an online learning application called SCM Globe. It is an interactive simulation that provides a 3D virtual world and customizable HUD to enable students to design and simulate the operations of real or fictional company supply chains. Using simulation results, students improve the design of their supply chains until they achieve the results they want. In the process they learn about the operations of global supply chains. As students design supply chains and simulate their operations, they experience the challenges and dilemmas that all supply chain managers encounter. Students learn by doing, and can experience frustration in the process of finding out what works.”
By Michael Hugos
- Illustrating progress, increasing engagement, creating challenges, and instilling a sense of accomplishment.
“Gamification can make eLearning beautifully intuitive. For example, building in “levels” is not just a great way of showing progress; it also allows you to start with the basics and get more complex as their understanding of the content develops. By gamifying, you harness the power of what humans inherently love to do – play games.”
By Michael Osborne
- Empowering learners to feel like heroes.
“Educators know that play is the highest form of research. For me, gamification is the process of using game like thinking and dynamics to engage audiences and solve problems. Our western education system has always been gamified at a systemic level, but it will evolve into a ‘post-industrial’ phase. We have new cultural and global problems to solve and educators agree that there is room for improvement in engagement levels; this is where education and games diverge. The main way gamification reshapes learning is by permitting learners to set and understand their own goals; by re-defining failure; and by changing feedback to be fair, frequent, granular, and not fully contingent on the teacher.”
By Natalie Denmeade
- Asking students to practice outside the classroom.
“While teaching web design in a class of a higher education environment, besides using the Codecademy platform (which offers game mechanics such as points and badges) for practicing web design skills, I was asking students to practice at home and send me a snapshot of their dashboard just before every class. By checking this, I developed a leaderboard where students on top were the ones with many points and badges. Although not all of them liked this kind of competition, most of them (78%) said that this was a motivating factor for more hard work and participation outside the classroom.”
By Dr. Panagiotis Zaharias
- Deconstructing games and reverse-engineering what makes them successful to engage, challenge, and keep us focused.
“Games are artificial learning environments. There is no game without a challenge that you have to overcome. We love to be challenged. Our brain is a learning engine and it was developed only for this one purpose. When I failed my 8th grade, most adults thought that the reason was simply that I had been distracted by videogames. Although I spent much less time playing than doing sports, it was (and obviously still is) the common perception that often “games” are responsible for undesirable results in school. But now, just for a second, let’s change this perspective. Think about this: Why blame a game for being so engaging and motivating that school seems to be so damn boring in comparison to it? Shouldn’t we learn from the best and try to fix what’s wrong with education? Or in a nutshell: Don’t blame the gamer, blame the “game”.”
By Roman Rackwitz
- Motivating the acquisition of tacit knowledge.
“Tacit knowledge is that we cannot describe –how to ride a bike for example– and is not a realm of formal study. However, in an organization, this is the most impactful on productivity, retention, organizational health and effectiveness. Game mechanics help attract, direct, and engage people in behaviors that drive organizational learning and the spread of tacit knowledge. The existence of games at work is an aberration –unexpected, and thereby attractive in their uniqueness– and incredibly effective in motivating behaviors designed to encourage the spread of tacit knowledge.”
By Ross Smith
- Being the future of workplace learning.
“Gamification can power up “learning”, which like many other areas, fosters active engagement. Gamified learning is already helping make organizational Learning and Development areas, such as onboarding, sales training, safety training, and compliance training (and even the more complex areas such as knowledge management, process adherence, business ethics, and business continuity management) engaging and impactful, resulting in highly productive employees and meaningful ROIs for organizations across the world.”
By B. Santhosh Kumar
- Providing ongoing motivation in order for learners to stay engaged in a long-term endeavor.
“Example: We worked with a global company this year to prepare sales reps for the launch of a new product AND their first-ever android smartphones. We created a mobile game that helped them build their product knowledge, as well as skills in navigating the phone and accessing information. They loved competing, achieving new levels, and seeing their scores go up. The game’s challenges and feedback kept them highly engaged, and by the end of the game, they were adept at linking product features and benefits to specific customer questions and objections AND in using their phones.”
By Sharon Boller
- Helping students recognize how philosophy applies to understanding the world.
“I assign digital games in my college courses to provide students with safe, virtual environments for engaging in playful problem solving, while cultivating their creative and critical thinking skills. One of my most well received digital game-based learning assignments employs the first person interactive fiction game, The Stanley Parable, for teaching the philosophical theories of free will and determinism. The Stanley Parable is a narrative-driven game that places the responsibility of choice on the player. To complete the assignment, my philosophy students must play through the game and write an analytical essay on whether or not Stanley, the game’s hero, has free will. My students revealed that they felt the need to conduct extensive research on free will and determinism to properly analyze the game that they enjoyed.”
By Sherry Jones
- Promoting the retention of high-yield clinical facts for medical students’ board and course exams.
“In early 2014, we released a medical gaming app called “Scrub Wars” that uses action-themed gameplay; studying for exams was facilitated through an eLearning platform using gamification techniques and spaced repetition to promote micro-learning of high-yield material. Traditionalists often scoff at the idea of using games to promote learning, because they mistakenly assume that the educational program is a substitute for learning through classroom and book study. We aggressively promoted the app as a supplementary test preparation method, instead of a replacement, to traditional methods of study. Therefore, not only do study techniques that utilize gamification techniques promote learning through an entertaining and engaging medium, but proper marketing of the program as a compliment to traditional study is a necessary prerequisite in order for it to be promoted successfully.”
By T. Raven Meyers
- Being a part of a long-term business strategy, rather than a one-off event (such as a game).
“Last year I designed a gamification platform for an insurance call center where the business challenge was customer retention, the goal was one-call resolution, and the desired behavior changes were to have call center agents stop putting customers on hold, stop transferring calls, and strategically question and actively listen to customers. Agents were split into teams, and team members earned points for each time they did not transfer a call or place a customer on hold. Double points were given if a customer complaint was resolved with one call. Teams received “super powers” attached to each level they achieved on the leaderboard. The top super power was “Invisibility” – which was a day off with pay for the ultimate top performers. For agents who found themselves on the bottom of the leaderboard, the platform would automatically populate short, two-minute “Power Boosters” (video eLearning modules), which gave tips on strategic questioning and listening skills to help agents better identify and solve customer issues on one call. Three months after the gamification project was implemented, call hold times decreased by 17%; transfers were reduced by 52%, and customer retention increased 31% over pre-gamification levels.”
By Vicki Kunkel
Now that you know the most powerful uses of gamification in learning, you may be interested in learning about the difference between gamification and game-based learning. Read the articleGamification vs Game-Based eLearning: Can You Tell The Difference? and have a closer look at the basics of both gamification and game-based eLearning, in order to determine which methodology is more appropriate for your next eLearning course.