Games, Gamification and Interactivity for Learning
Games, Interactivity and
Gamification for Learning
By Karl M. Kapp
Gamification of Learning &Instruction
Sorry, had you
on mute, could
you repeat the
“Study of 2,300 people found only 6% of
organizations are successful in influencing
behavior change among employees.”
What is this “game” stuff?
Learning is the
use of a game to
skills and abilities
to learners using
Learning is a
realistic, controlledrisk environment
where learners can
impacts of their
Good game designers know that games
are engaging because they require action
Action draws in the player and
encourages further engagement. Start
by battling a dragon.
Research indicates that learners who
used interactive games for learning
had the greater cognitive gains over
learners provided with traditional
Vogel, J. J., Vogel D.S., Cannon‐Bowers, J., Bowers, C.A., Muse, K., & Wright, M. (2006). Computer gaming and
Interactive simulations for learning: A meta‐analysis. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 34(3), 229‐243.
Too often instructional design is about
the content and not about the actions
that need to occur.
Game Design is about action.
Ok, next decision.
Provide a map with the location of all
Create a sense of mystery and
curiosity concerning the location of
It is always a good idea to build curiosity and
mystery into a game. Reveal locations of dragons
throughout the course of the player’s journey.
A sense of suspense, mystery
and intrigue draws people into
games and can draw them into
learning as well.
OK, next decision, should we:
Make the game easy so we don’t discourage the
Make the game challenging, knowing some
players will fail the first few times.
It needs to be challenging.
Jones, B., Valdez, G., Norakowski, J., & Rasmussen, C. (1994). Designing learning and technology
for educational reform. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. [Online]. Available:
http://www.ncrtec.org/capacity/profile/profwww.htm and Schlechty, P. C. (1997). Inventing
better schools: An action plan for educational reform. San Francisco, CA: Jossey‐Bass. Chapter 2
“The Gamification of Learning and Instruction.”
In fact, give them the
Kobayashi Maru of challenges.
Look! Things that are too easy or too difficult
will not pique a learner’s interest because they
lead to boredom or frustration.
Research has shown that challenge is correlated
with both intrinsic motivation and motivation
related to the desire to seek competence and
White, R.W. (1959) Motivation reconsidered: The concept of competence. Psychological Review, 66, 297‐333.
When given control over their learning, research
has shown that learners invested more and
attempted more complex strategies than when
they had no control. So give learners control.
Cordova, D.I., & Lepper M. R. (1996) Intrinsic motivation and the process of learning: Beneficial effects of
contextualization, personalization and choice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 715‐730
Lot of information, thanks. So let
me ask one more question.
Slide courtesy of Angel Green of Allen Interactions Twitter:
Here are five tips to help an
instructional designer to think like a
Begin with activity
Create curiosity, mystery, intrigue
Create a challenge for the learner
Put learners at “mock” risk
Give learners meaningful choices
Copy of Slides and Notes available at
Contact Karl at:
Learning should be engaging.
Stories provide a context for learning.
It is ok for a learner to struggle.
Simply adding points, badges and
leaderboards does not make learning