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Interactivity, Games, and Gamification: A Research-Based Approach to Engaging Learners Through Games
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Interactivity, Games, and Gamification: A Research-Based Approach to Engaging Learners Through Games


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Games, gamification and game-based learning have entered into the vocabulary of trainers, elearning developers and instructional designers in the past few years. While the use of games for learning …

Games, gamification and game-based learning have entered into the vocabulary of trainers, elearning developers and instructional designers in the past few years. While the use of games for learning seems like a good match, questions arise. How should games be integrated into the curriculum? Can attitudes and behavior change result from playing a game? What elements of games can learning designers borrow from game designers? The answer to these questions can be found in the research on game-based learning.
This interactive presentation includes many examples of using game-based learning for performance improvement and highlights how organizations have used games to achieve learning success. And, yes, you will play a game at this presentation. Discover how research-based practices fit in with today's fast-paced need for quick, effective instruction.

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  • 1. Twitter:@kkappBy Karl M. KappBloomsburg UniversityGamification of Learning &InstructionMay 14, 2013 ASTD PhiladelphiaInteractivity, Games, and Gamification:A Research‐Based Approach to Engaging Learners Through Games
  • 2. Interactivity (I) + Immersion (I) = Sustained Engagement (E)Results in meaningful learning.
  • 3. Interactivity (I) + Immersion (I) = Sustained Engagement (E)Results in meaningful learning.
  • 4. Content ripped from the pages of“The Gamification of Learning and Instruction”Content ripped from the pages of“The Gamification of Learning and Instruction”Slides for This PresentationGoogle “Kapp Notes”Look for ASTD Philly 2013 Presentation ResourcesSlides for This PresentationGoogle “Kapp Notes”Look for ASTD Philly 2013 Presentation Resources
  • 5. 1AgendaHow to apply game‐based strategies to the presentation of learning content?What are three principles for adding gamification and games to learning curriculums? 23What are four motivational aspects of games that improve learning recall and application? 
  • 6. Use game-based mechanics,aesthetics and game thinking toengage people, motivate action,promote learning, and solveproblems.Gamification
  • 7.
  • 8. Some people think Gamification is only about points, badges and rewards…
  • 9. … if it was, this would be the most engaging game in the world.
  • 10. 20% increase in profile completion.
  • 11. … the possibilities of “gamification” are far larger than points, badges and rewards.
  • 12. Two Examples of the Concepts of Games and Gamification
  • 13. Malone’s Theory of Intrinsically Motivating Instruction Challenge Fantasy Curiosity
  • 14. ChallengeJones, B., Valdez, G., Norakowski, J., & Rasmussen, C. (1994). Designing learning and technology for educational reform. North Central Regional  Educational Laboratory. [Online]. Available: 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.”
  • 15. Re‐design the Instruction to Start with a Challenge
  • 16. Fantasy– There are both cognitive andemotional reasons for evoking fantasy.Cognitively a fantasy can help a learnerapply old knowledge to understand newthings and help them remember thecontent. Emotionally, a person canconnect with the experiences and notbring with it “real-world” concerns or fears.
  • 17. Challenge and Consolidation– Good games offer players a setof challenging problems and then let them solve these problemsuntil they have virtually routinized or automated their solutions.Games then throw a new class of problem at the players requiringthem to rethink their now, taken-for-granted mastery, learnsomething new, and integrate this new learning into their oldmastery.James Paul Gee,University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 18. TransferThe ability of simulations to teach skills that transfer to real‐life, on‐the‐job situations seems abundantly positive… Computer‐based simulations—assessed as an alternative to other means of training, as a supplement to other means of training, as a device to combat skill decay in experienced trainees, and as a means of improving performance levels as they stand prior to training—show positive results for transfer a majority of the time.In 22 out of 26 studies, trainees demonstrated equal or superior transfer to the control group from simulations.Shenan HahnADL Research and Evaluation Team
  • 19. Learners assume the role of an aspiring Venetian merchant in the late 15th century, an era when Venice was the center of commerce in the Mediterranean, and therefore the world. 6‐levels. 
  • 20. Recommendations 1) Use a game/simulation to provide a context for the learning. 2) Include Fantasy to overcome resistance, encourage generalization and invoke curiosity.  3) Carefully craft the simulation/game to provide opportunities to increase engagement and interactivity to increase learning.4) Transfer of learning occurs when tasks are cognitively the same.
  • 21. Learners remember facts better…When presented as bulletedlist rather than presented asa story.Is that Fact or Fishy?
  • 22. Story
  • 23. Researchers have found that the human brain has a natural affinity for narrative construction.Yep, People tend to remember facts more accurately if they encounter them in a story rather than in a list.And they rate legal arguments as more convincing when built into narrative tales rather than on legal precedent.Carey, B. (2007) this is Your Life (and How You Tell it). The New York Times. Melanie Green Chapter 2 “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. 
  • 24. 1. CharactersStory Elements5. Conclusion2. Plot (something has to happen).3. Tension4. Resolution
  • 25. NikePlus Stats for Karl
  • 26. Recommendations • Embed facts to be learned in the context of stories.• Start the learning process by providing a challenge to the learner.• Use stories that are related to the context of the desired learning outcome. 
  • 27. We’ve Always WantedCharactersCharacters
  • 28. Rosenberg, R.S. Baughman, S.L., Bailenson, J.N. (2013) Virtual Superheroes: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior. PLOS One., 8(1), 1‐9.Flying around a virtual worldas a superhero made subjectsnicer in the real world. physical world
  • 29. An experience as an avatar can change a persons real life perceptions. In a study conducted by Yee and Bailenson (2006), it was found that negative stereotyping of the elderly was significantly reduced when participants were placed in avatars of old people compared with those participants placed in avatars of young people.Yee, N. & Bailenson, J.N. (2006). Walk A Mile in Digital Shoes: The Impact of Embodied Perspective‐Taking on TheReduction of Negative Stereotyping in Immersive Virtual Environments.. Proceedings of PRESENCE 2006: The 9th Annual International Workshop on Presence. August 24 – 26, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • 30. On tests involving different word problems, the group who had a character explain the problems generated 30% more correct answers than the group with  just on‐screen text.Animated pedagogical agents (characters) can be aids to learning.  A “realistic” character did not facilitate learning any better than a “cartoon‐like” character.Clark, R., Mayer, R. (2011) E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers ofMultimedia Learning. New York: Pfeiffer. Pg. 194. Chapter 4 “The Gamificaiton of Learning and Instruciton”
  • 31. GuruCarlo Vecchio
  • 32. Recommendations • Use characters/agents to model desired behavior.• Use characters/agents to provide feedback and instruction to learners.• Characters should  speak in a natural, conversational tone.• Use two characters, one for coaching and one for expertise is better than just having one character trying to do both.
  • 33. Feedback
  • 34. Games like The Sims provide feedback on many dimensions which provide opportunities to consider tradeoffs and higher level cognitive thinking. 
  • 35. The most helpful feedback provides specific comments  about errors and suggestions for improvement. It also encourages learners to focus their attention thoughtfully on the task rather than on simply getting the right  answer.Shute, V. J., Ventura, M., Bauer, M. I., & Zapata‐Rivera, D. (2009). Melding the power of serious games and embedded assessment to monitor and foster learning: Flow and grow. In U. Ritterfeld, M. J. Cody, & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Serious Games: Mechanisms and Effects. Philadelphia, PA: Routledge/LEA. 295‐321.
  • 36. Embed into a larger CurriculumE-learningTraining ManualsClassroominstruction
  • 37. EngagementPedagogyGameEducationalSimulationInstructional games should be embedded in instructional programs that include debriefing and feedback. Instructional support to help learners understand how to use the game increases instructional effectiveness of the gaming experience.gHays, R. T. (2005). The effectiveness of instructional games: A literature review anddiscussion. Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (No 2005‐004). Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction.”
  • 38. Example
  • 39. Serious games lead to well‐structured prior knowledge on which learners can build but the effect is only seen over time.Wouters, P., van Nimwegen, C., van Oostendorp, H., &  vam der S[el. E.D. (2013), February 4).  A Meta‐Analysis of the Cognitive and Motivational Effects of Serious Games.  Journal of Educational Psychology.  Advanced online publication. Doi: 10.1037/a0031311 39 Studies.  Review of  39 studies 54% conducted in the last year. 
  • 40. Negotiation Skills Can be divided into different segments:• Know your position• Know your opposition’s position• Understand what you can give up. .Immediately after the learning from conventionalinstruction or a game, the surface level and text baselevel representation of content is still sufficiently availablecausing no difference between the conventionalinstruction or the game in comparison studies.In contrast, after 2-4 days, the benefit of deeper processingin the game condition pays off as the surface level and textbase level representation of the content decays.Studies with a one session learning stage in which an immediate and a delayed testis administered show no efficacy on the short term but they do in the long term.
  • 41. “I can’t tell you how many people are coming to me wanting another game solution.” “The repetition of the different paths helped me retain the information.”“I’m a pretty competitive person so challenging myself to get one of the top scores added a layer of fun to learning about the MobileConnect product.”“The game was a fun way to learn about MobileConnect. I enjoyed the scenario‐type questions, which put it all into context.”Player Results
  • 42. Business ResultsAverage contract value 2x higher than for previous mobile product.First call resolution ($35 a call/average) is up 45%Of all the launches done in the previous two years to MobileConnect, the sales team has built the quickest pipeline for this product.
  • 43. Player Results“I really had a good time with Merchants.  It’s original, fun, challenging, outside of the ordinary.  It hooks you!”“This is the best online training I know of.  It has had a positive impact on our business.”“It’s a very new and interesting program.  The lessons from the mentor and the readings are very beneficial.  You learn concepts to help you plan, and afterwards negotiate in situations that reflect real negotiations that you have with clients.”“Very interesting cases.  You learn very efficiently and effectively.  Applicable to real life.”“I found it very interesting, especially the lessons of the mentor.  The main concepts are completely applicable to our day‐to‐day.  I am already looking forward to the next course!”
  • 44. Learning ResultsAverage course evaluation, to date:  9.4 out of 10Average assessment of educational value:  9.3 out of 10Percentage answering “Yes” to “I find it applicable to real life”:  98%Percentage answering “Yes” to “I will recommend this course”:  99%Percentage of learners who completed the course after starting it:  92%The above results are aggregate averages from over 30,000 learners who have taken this course.
  • 45. Special Thank You! • Game On! Learning– Bryan Austin–• The Knowledge Guru– Sharon Boller–
  • 46. 1) Interactivity of games leads to higher knowledge.2) Fantasy, curiosity and challenge are key elements for instructional games.3) Embed facts to be learned in the context of stories. 4) On screen characters can enhance e‐learning.5) Use stories rather than bulleted lists to present facts.6) Present learners with a difficult challenge to engage and motivate them. 7) Use stories that are related to the context of the desired learning outcome. 8) Feedback needs to be targeted.9) Embedded the game into a larger curriculum. Takeaways
  • 47. Contact Karl via Twitter or emailTwitter:@kkappkkapp@bloomu.eduTwitter:@kkappkkapp@bloomu.eduLook for Fieldbook in 2014!