Gamification – Is that the strategy that will lead you to the promised land?

Gamification: that involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. Gamification has been called one of the most important trends in technology by several industry experts.  Gamification is a strategy which has its precursors from the Soviet Union’s involvement of workers at work with games and experiments and USA’s various management approaches, with a sense of  childhood’s play, to weaken the split between work and play.   Such strategies have also been widely used in the design of multi-media games for entertainment, which engage the game players with “playfulness” and fun.

Gamification sounds novel to education, and has not been widely applied as yet.  However, if we treat education as a business entity, then why can’t education be gamified?

As cited in wikipedia “Business applications for gamification are just beginning to appear as well. RedCritter Tracker incorporates gamification elements such as badges, rewards, leaderboards and ribbons into project management.[10]

The magical bullet with gamification relates to:

1. Turning grade into fun – with game levels

2. Using agency in game – to provide choice

3. Leverage external motivators – with game, and Alternate Reality Game.

Integrate these games into classroom activities, tasks and projects, and you would have a class of students ready to share ideas, using games-design to approach problems, or to explore ways to solve real problems, or taking up an adventure.

I could imagine that within a few years, there would be a plethora of gamification in education and learning, when badges become the norm in recognizing those learners who have achieved certain levels of “capability” or competency in networked learning, or in building networks for collaboration and cooperation.

The Google document, wiki, Google Hangout, and Blog collaboration could also be part of this gamification, in search of new knowledge or adventure in emergent learning.  The recent x MOOCs could all be “badged” to recognize the learners too in their “levels” of involvement and engagement, though it is still too early to come up with a model that would gamify the whole x MOOC business of education.

It’s really up to your imagination to engage and involve both learners and educators in education in this exciting network of learning, and gamification could be an important strategy both for the institutions and educators to employ in getting the learners on board and be engaged, with fun.

If you are looking forward to the promised fun land, isn’t gamification the way to go?

Photos: Google image

How have you used gamification in your field of work, or education?

Postscript: An interesting post.







Impact of internet on our brains

What is the Internet Doing to our Brains?

Dr. Paul Howard Jones shared his views and findings in the video.

Is Google rewiring our brains?

Is it true that the more time we spend on internet, the less time we spend in real life socialising?

In the highlights of Recent Social Network Site Research

– SNS’s generally stimulate teenage social connectedness and psychological well-being

– It is about how the technology is used: Benefits if supporting existing friendships

Is the internet bad for us?

Paul compares technology of fire-making

– GOOD for warmth and toasting muffins

– BAD: if used carelessly – No panic headlines: “Fire may destroy us”

– we understand dangers and precautions.

It’s about how we use technology – when, how much, what for…

So, it is the affordance of technology that makes the difference, based on what and how technology is used in situations.

Would the use of internet lead people to do more or less physical exercise?  Research findings on this were divided – with some indicating that people exercised more whilst others indicating that people exercised less with the use of internet.

Are games (and internet games in particular) good teachers?

In Paul’s views games could be good teacher.

Action video games improve:

– Performance on many visuomotor tasks

– Switching of visual attention

– Suppression of distracting visual influences

– Inference of an action’s probable outcome

– Contrast sensitivity (primary factor limiting sight)

What are people doing on internet?

– Adults – pornography & illicit relationship

– Young people – gaming

This is an interesting finding.  I think it depends on what sort of games people are involved in.  There are World of Warcraft, educational games etc.

In the virtual World such as SecondLife, there are lots of people immersed in it, for socialising, communicating and sharing, education, or dating etc.  There are huge potential of the use SecondLife in Medical and Health Education, SecondLife in distance education.

Another reason why games could simulate learning is based on the premises that : We love uncertain rewards.  This is especially true for those of us who like to overcome the obstacles, and to achieve certain outcomes, like advancement of achievement levels and engagement and interaction with others to accomplish team, network, or community (or COPs) goals – that’s the reward that most of us like.  These may relate to the use of gamification to engage people (students in particular), so they would interact with the games, people and those involved in the system.

What else have you found, with internet and games in particular, on our brain?

To explore further:

How about the impact of internet on teaching and learning?  Your views….