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20+ ways to Add Game-like Elements to Your Learning Designs


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This slideshow was initially presented at the 2012 New Media Consortium Summer Conference in Cambridge, MA.

Published in: Education, Technology
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20+ ways to Add Game-like Elements to Your Learning Designs

  1. 1. 20+ Ways to Add Game-like Elementsto Your Learning Designs Brett Bixler Lead Instructional Designer Penn State University This presentation by Brett Bixler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  2. 2. Today • Who am I? • Intro to the Educational Gaming Commons • What is Gamification? • Types of Gamification • Elements of Gamification • Examples • Additional Resources and Communities • Exercise • Open Discussion
  3. 3. Who am I?• Lead Instructional Designer• At PSU since 1984• Working on bringing best practices/uses of educational technology to Penn State • Founded the Educational Gaming Commons
  4. 4. The EducationalGaming Commons • Goal • Foster research, teaching, and learning around educational games, virtual worlds, and simulations. • Staff • Brett Bixler – Founder and Evangelist • Chris Stubbs – Manager • Elizabeth Pyatt – Instructional Designer • Web – • Facebook -
  5. 5. The EGC (contd) • Projects • Engagement Initiatives • One-on-one consultations • Virtual Worlds Research and Development • Sponsoring presentations, guest speakers, etc. • EGC Lab • Innovative space at PSU containing PCs, game consoles, and a variety of games, virtual worlds, and simulations
  6. 6. What can I do to make instruction more compelling?
  7. 7. What is your favorite game? Why? What is it about this game that appeals to you?
  8. 8. Gamification??!?Gamification <> Games!
  9. 9. What in the world is gamification and game-like elements?
  10. 10. What’s Going On Here?
  11. 11. Gamification Elements • Gamification • The use of one or more "gamelike elements" or dynamics in a non-game context to improve engagement or change behavior. • Gamelike Elements • Pieces or mechanics that make up games.
  12. 12. Gamification – Surface-level & DeepSurface-level Changes • Change overt parts of course/instruction • Grades = Levels • Quiz = Minion • Test = Boss • Final = Big Boss • Assignments = Crafting • Teams = GuildsDeep Changes • Change your activities to include gamelike elements. • Examples: Team challenges, restructuring content to optimal challenge.
  13. 13. Gamification ElementsOver 25 Elements ExistAchievements Infinite GameplayAppointments LevelsBehavioral Momentum Loss AversionBlissful Productivity LotteryBonuses OwnershipCascading Info. Theory PointsCombos ProgressionCommunity Collaboration QuestsCountdown Reward SchedulesDiscovery StatusEpic Meaning Urgent OptimismFree Lunch Virality From
  14. 14. “Big” Gamification Elements • Scaffolding (cascading information theory & progressive implementation) • Feedback • Levels • Achievements & rewards • reward success • points & progress bars • status/ ranks/badges • Uncertainty and Expectation • Flow
  15. 15. Cascading Information Theory • Match the level of task difficulty to the current ability of the student.Scaffolding • Provide just enough support so the student can accomplish the task. Remove this “scaffolding” over time.
  16. 16. Progressive Implementation A series of tasks, from simple to complex, that lead towards the ultimate goal.
  17. 17. Levels • Levels are a system by which players are rewarded for accumulating points. • Often features or abilities are unlocked as players progress to higher levels. • Levelling is one of the highest components of motivation for gamers.Examples • Real world – Job promotions. • In a game – Earn enough points. • A good use – Use levels to show competencies.
  18. 18. Feedback • Timely informing the student of their accomplishments/failures. • Games do this all the time! • The following all provide feedback.
  19. 19. Achievements • A virtual or physical representation of having accomplished something. • Achievements can be easy, difficult, surprising, funny, accomplished alone or as a group. • Achievements are a way to give players a way to brag.
  20. 20. Badges • An overt reward of achievement. • Meant to be displayed for others to see.Examples  Real world – Scouts.  In a game – Complete a task, earn a badge.  A good use – Mozilla Badges.
  21. 21. Countdown • The element in which players are only given a certain amount of time to do something. • This will create an activity that increases frenetically until time runs out or the goal is met.Examples  Real world – Limited-time sales.  In a game – Race to a goal.  A good use – Mastery quizzes that can taken as often as needed.
  22. 22. Points • Points are a running numerical value given for any single action or combination of actions.
  23. 23. Progression Where success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing itemized tasks. Progress bars!Examples • Real world – Coffee cards. Buy 6, get one free. • In a game - Progress bars and subtasks. As you level up, you receive power and better equipment, etc. Progression is powerful. • A good use - Drive traffic to local businesses via challenges that unlock rewards.
  24. 24. Switching Gears? - Motivation? • Defining it is an elusive process, as difficult to do as grasping a slippery fish in a dark cave. • Here’s the one I like: • “The term motivation in psychology is a global concept for a variety of processes and effects whose common core is the realization that an organism selects a particular behavior because of expected consequences, and then implements it with some measure of energy, along a particular path.” (Heckhausen, 1991, p. 9).
  25. 25. Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation Extrinsic - From outside you. Intrinsic - From inside you. • There is a controversy over gamification and extrinsic motivation - some say it weakens intrinsic motivation. • The fact is there just arent enough facts to know this for sure.
  26. 26. Uncertainty • When we cant quite predict something, we get really excited about it. • Like driving down a winding vs. straight road.
  27. 27. Flow • The ultimate motivational state, where hours go by in minutes. • Achieved by balancing the learner’s current ability with the difficulty of the current challenge.
  28. 28. So How is GamificationHappening in Higher Ed? right now?
  29. 29. Surface-level GamificationLee Sheldon’s Multiplayer Game Design Class• Class time is divided between • fighting monsters (Quizzes, Exams etc.), • completing quests (Presentations of Games, Research etc.) • crafting (Personal Game Premises, Game Analysis Papers, Video Game Concept Document etc.).• You gain XP by defeating monsters, completing quests and crafting.
  30. 30. XP for a GradeGrading Procedure• Start as a Level One avatar. Level Twelve is the max. Level XP* Letter Grade Level Twelve 1860 A Level Eleven 1800 A- Level Ten 1740 B+ Level Nine 1660 B Level Eight 1600 B- Level Seven 1540 C+ Level Six 1460 C Level Five 1400 C- Level Two-Four 1340 D Level One 0 F
  31. 31. What Do YOU Think About This? Is this good, bad, ugly?
  32. 32. What Did Students Think? • Leveling should be evenly spaced out. • Knowing point values per assignment is gold. • Avatars are cool, but hard to integrate. • Guilds make you feel you are part of something? multiplayer-game-design-post-mortem/
  33. 33. What Did Students Think?• Forcing attention to reading via in-class guild quizzes was a plus. One question determined at random via die roll.• Guild competition during open book midterm was valued.• Quests (individual presentations) seem to suffer the same drawbacks as traditional presentations. multiplayer-game-design-post-mortem/
  34. 34. What Did Students Think?• Overall - students were uniformly enthusiastic about the class as game approach. Many wished that other of their courses could be taught the same way; and thought the techniques could be used with just about any subject matter.• Keep in mind this is a game design class! multiplayer-game-design-post-mortem/
  35. 35. Marriage – The Game?
  36. 36. An Example of Deep Gamification… • Course on intro. to new social technologies. • Do you just present the technologies, or do you add game-like elements to it? • Instructor makes teams. Five rounds of play. The team with the most points wins. • Google Docs & Forms • Second Life • NMC Horizon Report • Gaming • Emerging Technologies
  37. 37. An Example 2…• Google Forms • 1-point level - Individuals can only take the survey once –You MUST add your CODE to the last question and answer all the questions to earn all points. URL to the form. • 5-point level – each individual can earn 5 points for their team by creating a Google form (survey) with at least 3 different question types and sending me the link to survey to complete it instructorEmail. Put your name CODE in the title of the survey.
  38. 38. An Example 3…• Emerging Technologies • 25 points for each team member posting Watch the video at URL . The speaker asks at one point in his talk, “If not now, when… if not me, then who???” Your posting should answer three questions to earn the points: • What does the speaker mean by this quote? • What does it make you think about in light of what you are learning in this class? • What does it make you think about outside of this class and why? • Post your comment to the blog at URL Use your name CODE to earn points!!!
  39. 39. Some Gamification Providers
  40. 40. Some Gamification Info. Sites • Kapp Notes • • Gamify • • • Gamifying Education (new) • • The Gamification Summit • • June 19-21, 2012
  41. 41. Gamification Time!
  42. 42. Gamification Time! • Form groups of 2-3 people. • Pick a subject and a lesson, or use one of the provide examples. • Brainstorm on three ways you would gamify this lesson. • Don’t sweat the details!
  43. 43. Questions?Thoughts?