New Home Forums Community, Engagement & Gamification Options to Gamification

7 replies, 3 voices Last updated by  Lorraine Watson 7 years, 10 months ago
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    Lorraine Watson

    Thought I’d follow up on my question in today’s Art of Ecourse webinar about alternatives when your audience (and ecourse creator) isn’t into gamification, points, badges, etc. @andyfreist replied with people want to be entertained and there were many ways to go about this.

    So to make a sweeping statement less nebulous for me to grab onto, what are some alternative ways to be entertaining that are not gamification.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Thanks for the great question Lorraine and thanks for coming on the webinar today. Here are a few off the top of my head, before I go to bed. Happy to continue the conversation tomorrow   🙂

    Let me know your questions AND what are 2-3 ways you could envision creating a gamified experience?

    Challenges: Give them challenges that they have to report back to the community and share their results (video, written, selfie, etc)

    Quizzes or Tests: Make it so they have to “do the work” before they are allowed to move onto the next lesson.

    Community: Give your audience plenty of opportunity and invitation to come back to your community to share their experience, insights, epiphanies, pictures, artwork, homework, etc…

    Ask yourself: What would make you want to participate, do the hard work and complete your course? Design this for you.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    How can you make your course, exercises and lessons more game like? What sort of risk-reward challenges can you create? How can you get people out into the real world applying the things you’ve taught and then coming back to your forum to share their results? Gamification is about motivation and inspiring people into action.


    Catherine Fox

    I like what Andy has said — for me challenges that involve going out and DOING something even if it means taking photos (I’m thinking of things like – go out to a park and look at the plants and find one which most appeals to you – take a photo with your phone), or “art work” challenges like writing or drawing something. Collecting badges and moving along a journey map also is appealing even though I dont like usual computer game stuff or competition.


    I’m thinking “gamification” means perhaps more “how to make it play” and some sort of measure of that play? Doesn’t always need to be competitive or points-scoring based.


    good questions and response!!


    Lorraine Watson

    @bradleytmorris – am I correct that a challenge is the new assignment? My intent has been to include assignments and the community aspect is an integral part of the course and experience.

    If I designed the course for me, there are two key elements: 1) quality materials (eg. pdfs, videos) that had some thought and effort put into formatting (which tells me the instructor put some thought into the process) and 2) high engagement by and with other participants. From a participant’s perspective, the more active the community, the more committed to the well-being of community and its members I feel.

    [Edit] There are three key elements – 3) teacher / instructor engagement in the community throughout the course, not just for the “lesson” time or call in period.


    I don’t see quizzes or tests working well, especially as a gateway to further lessons. Working through the material and doubling back over past material will be key to expanding awareness and clarity.


    I honestly can’t get my head around gamification and how to include it, likely because I’m not into gamification (as in, “meh, whatever”). If you couldn’t use the word “gamification”, what sorts of questions would you ask to incorporate the same elements.


    Lorraine Watson

    How can you get people out into the real world applying the things you’ve taught and then coming back to your forum to share their results? Gamification is about motivation and inspiring people into action.

    @bradleytmorris, okay, this is on the path of getting around using the word and into gist of the idea.

    By “applying” things, do you mean taking a step beyond doing an assignment, or is the assignment enough?


    I’m thinking “gamification” means perhaps more “how to make it play” and some sort of measure of that play?


    @catherine_wildfox – LOL – perhaps that’s part of the problem. I’ve never been big on “play” – even as a kid. Fun is hanging out with the cats, reading, having great conversations, pondering while watching clouds float by.



    DOING something even if it means taking photos (I’m thinking of things like – go out to a park and look at the plants and find one which most appeals to you – take a photo with your phone), or “art work” challenges like writing or drawing something.


    @catherine_wildfox – thanks for these seeds for ideas.

    @bradleytmorris, @andyfreist and everyone … what other ideas do you have, have seen, or used to inspire participation and engagement to do the hard work?


    Lorraine Watson

    Did some more digging around on gamification and capturing some key ideas that can help get around the G-Word hurdle:

    from: Bunchball

    [The G-Word is] taking something that already exists – a website, an enterprise application, an online community – and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty [by] amplifying the effect of an existing, core experience by applying the motivational techniques. It works because it leverages the motivations and desires that exist in all of us for community, feedback, achievement and reward


    Game Mechanics  [Highlights are elements I want to include, but not necessarily in the way they suggest. Promoting competition is just not going to happen, the antithesis of where I want to go with the course]

    Fast Feedback: Immediate feedback or response to actions – Encourage users to continue or adjust their activities with onscreen notifications, text messages or emails. Congratulate a user for reaching a goal, encourage the next step to a milestone or promote a new reward.

    Transparency: Where everyone stands – Show users exactly where they stand on the metrics that matter to you and to your audience. Individual and team profiles show progress in real-time and historically. Leaderboards show who’s just ahead and who’s behind as well as overall ranking on any number of metrics.

    Goals: Short- and long-term goals to achieve – Missions or challenges give users a purpose for interaction, and educate users about what is valued and possible within the experience.

    Badges: Evidence of accomplishments – An indicator of accomplishment or mastery of a skill is especially meaningful within a community that understands its value. Often used to identify skills and expertise within a group.

    Leveling Up: Status within my community – Levels indicate long-term or sustained achievement. Used to identify status within a community and to unlock new missions, badges, activities, and rewards.

    Onboarding: An engaging and compelling way to learn – Video games train you how to play as you play – users learn by doing. Simple missions help new users become engaged immediately as they master basic tasks, rather than being stumped by an unfamiliar interface or a detailed manual.

    Competition: How I’m doing compared to others – Raise the stakes for accomplishing a goal by showing users how they compare to others, as individuals or in teams. Encourage competition with time-based, team and individualized leaderboards. Where do I rank? How can I overtake my closest competitor?

    Collaboration: Accomplish a goal working with others – Connect users as a team to accomplish larger tasks, to drive competition, and to encourage knowledge sharing. Show team members how they are contributing to the group’s success. No one wants to let down their team members.

    Community: A context for achievement – Community gives meaning to goals, badges, competitions, and other mechanics. Sharing participant achievements creates energy in the community by making people aware of what others are doing. They learn about goals, badges, and rewards that they may want to pursue.

    Points: Tangible, measurable evidence of my accomplishments – Used to keep score and establish status or accumulated to purchase virtual or real goods. Earn points through activities, sharing, contributing, or by creating something useful to others.


    Five intrinsic motivators

    There are five specific intrinsic motivators that have the most impact. These intrinsic motivators are: [Highlights are elements I want to include]

    • Autonomy: “I control.” Autonomy in the workplace exists on a continuum – from jobs where employees have none and are told exactly what to do, to jobs where employees have all the autonomy they want, whenever they want it, as long as the work gets done – and everywhere in between.
    • Mastery: “I improve.” Getting better at things is satisfying on a number of fronts. For some employees, it means the job gets easier. For others, it brings the psychic and possibly financial rewards that come from doing something that 1) couldn’t be done before and 2) not everyone else can do.
    • Purpose: “I make a difference.” Every employee needs to feel like they’re making a difference and that their efforts and accomplishments have meaning.
    • Progress: “I achieve.” People respond well when they see that they are making progress on something they care about, whether in the workplace or in life.
    • Social Interaction: “I connect with others.” Humans are innately social creatures, and we want to connect, interact, affiliate, care and share. We also want to be recognized, and we want to understand and be understood.


    Gamification of Education Infographic– more elements to inlclude

    Progression – see success [validation]

    Investment – feel pride in your work

    Collaboration: work with others to accomplish goals

    Virality: involve others

    Epic Meaning: work to achieve something sublime or transcendent


    Cascading Information Theory – unlock information continuously

    Discovery: navigate through the learning environment and uncover pockets of knowledge

    Infinite Play: learn continuously

    Synthesis: work on challenges requiring multiple skills to solve


    Techniques / Ideas [subset of all ideas shown]

    – Authoring Platform: produce something (eg model, art, visual or written text)

    Simulations: test theories and tinker with variables

    Trigger System: jumping off point for discussion

    Exemplars of Point of View: take on different identities

    Documentary: document the learning process and reflect on it

    Texts to be Critiqued: critique ideology

    Research Assignments: learn in the process of learning


    The Neuroscience of Learner Engagement Infographic

    Social learning

    – To our brains, learning socially feels more natural than learning alone.

    Building caring relationships with teachers and other students increases the desire to learn.

    – While our brains have evolved to pay attention to other people, we find it more challenging to analyze ourselves. By discussing topics with others, we’re able to empathize and consider it from completely different viewpoints, helping us to be more critical and develop a more robust understanding.

    – as you populate your learning system with people and social networking, learners will find themselves much  more willing to use the system

    – a student must care about new information or consider it important to go through the limbic system and be stored in long term memory

    – putting information into a personal context helps it reach long term memory“relational memory” is stored more effectively

    activity which is more personal and social is more immersive, more emotionally engaging and more cognitively stimulating






    Lorraine Watson

    Five primary elements involved in increasing your fluid intelligence, or cognitive ability

    Intelligence isn’t just about how many levels of math courses you’ve taken, how fast you can solve an algorithm, or how many vocabulary words you know that are over 6 characters. It’s about being able to approach a new problem, recognize its important components, and solve it—then take that knowledge gained and put it towards solving the next, more complex problem. It’s about innovation and imagination, and about being able to put that to use to make the world a better place. This is the kind of intelligence that is valuable, and this is the type of intelligence we should be striving for and encouraging.


    1. Seek Novelty: geniuses like Einstein were skilled in multiple areas, or polymaths, as we like to refer to them. Geniuses are constantly seeking out novel activities, learning a new domain. It’s their personality. There is only one trait out of the “Big Five” from the Five Factor Model of personality (Acronym: OCEAN, or Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) that correlates with IQ, and it is the trait of Openness to new experience. Be an “Einstein”. Always look to new activities to engage your mind—expand your cognitive horizons.


    2. Challenge Yourself: Efficiency is not your friend when it comes to cognitive growth. In order to keep your brain making new connections and keeping them active, you need to keep moving on to another challenging activity as soon as you reach the point of mastery in the one you are engaging in. You want to be in a constant state of slight discomfort, struggling to barely achieve whatever it is you are trying to do


    3. Think Creatively: Contrary to popular belief, creative thinking does not equal “thinking with the right side of your brain”. It involves recruitment from both halves of your brain, not just the right. Creative cognition involves divergent thinking (a wide range of topics/subjects), making remote associations between ideas, switching back and forth between conventional and unconventional thinking (cognitive flexibility), and generating original, novel ideas that are also appropriate to the activity you are doing.


    4. Do Things The Hard Way: Technology does a lot to make things in life easier, faster, more efficient, but sometimes our cognitive skills can suffer as a result of these shortcuts, and hurt us in the long run. Your brain needs exercise as well. If you stop using your problem-solving skills, your spatial skills, your logical skills, your cognitive skills—how do you expect your brain to stay in top shape—never mind improve? Think about modern conveniences that are helpful, but when relied on too much, can hurt your skill in that domain. There are times when using technology is warranted and necessary. But there are times when it’s better to say no to shortcuts and use your brain, as long as you can afford the luxury of time and energy.


    5. Network: By networking with other people—either through social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or in face-to-face interactions—you are exposing yourself to the kinds of situations that are going to make objectives 1-4 much easier to achieve. By exposing yourself to new people, ideas, and environments, you are opening yourself up to new opportunities for cognitive growth. Being in the presence of other people who may be outside of your immediate field gives you opportunities to see problems from a new perspective, or offer insight in ways that you had never thought of before. Learning is all about exposing yourself to new things and taking in that information in ways that are meaningful and unique—networking with other people is a great way to make that happen.




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