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What’s in a Game? Student Learning during Online Game Play


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This presentation shows what to include when creating online games for our classes and how these characteristics serve to improve student learning when utilized properly. Viewers will be able to identify the elements of gaming that impact student learning as well as explain some of the motivational factors that can be increased via gaming that serve to increase student learning through game play.

Christian Broderick, Instructional Technologist at Wilmington University,, and C. Josh Simpson, Faculty Development Manager at Wilmington University,, first shared this presentation at the 2016 Northeast e-Learning Consortium,

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What’s in a Game? Student Learning during Online Game Play

  1. 1. What’s in a Game? Student Learning During Online Game Play Presented by: Christian Broderick & C. Josh Simpson Wilmington University
  2. 2. Why gamification?
  3. 3. Game mechanics vs. game dynamics… VS. Principles and rules that govern behavior. Incentives, feedback, etc. Using these principles/rules to engage and motivate the learner.
  4. 4. Dynamics that engage and motivate… 1. Narratives that match learning outcomes 2. Motivation- positive feedback, badges, progress bars 3. Ability-start simple; move toward the more complicated 4. Cognitive guidance and rehearsal 5. Cascading Information- (small segments) 6. Provide appropriate behavioral triggers 7. Allow for multiple attempts
  5. 5. Game dynamics that stifle motivation… “Why bother?” “Why continue?” “Why?” The games in this gallery share one thing in common= Students are not triggered to act in any meaningful way
  6. 6. Motivation, ability & behavioral triggers As instructors/designers, our goal should be for games/ learning experiences to: 1. Provide proper motivation 2. Build ability over time 3. Supply effective triggers
  7. 7. Learning and game play… a recap Our goal= create an environment where students feel a need to complete the task, an inner ability to complete it, and are provided a mechanism for marking progress toward task completion