How to Elevate Your 
Learning:
What is Gamification? 
Is there any Science Behind It?
By Karl M. Kapp
Bloomsburg Universit...
Covert Takeaway Challenge
Notes
Slides
Additional Ideas
www.karlkapp.com/kapp-notes
Brief history of…

The World
You know, we could make human growth 
hormone; all we have to do is isolate the 
gene.
‐‐ Herbert W. Boyer, Ph.D., Co‐Foun...
We’ve learned and struggled for a few
years here figuring out how to make a
decent phone. PC guys are not going
to just fi...
This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than
9 million new iPhones sold — a new record for
first weekend sales—Tim Cook,...
ENIAC's main control panel
4

2
3
What variables do I
balance to keep my
person happy?

How should I
manage my time?
What leadership
strategy should I
use?
Not another 
online 
lecture.
Sorry, had you 
on mute, could 
you repeat the 
question.
I am going to 
need more 
coffee.
“Study of 2,300 people found only 
6% of organizations are successful 
in influencing behavior change.”
‐‐Al Switzler
New
Instructional
Approaches
are Needed
Gamification
Gamification
Lots of Hype
Gartner Group predicts by 2015,  40 percent 
of Global 1000 organizations will use 
gamification as the primary mechanism ...
Gartner Group predicts that by 2014, 80 
percent of current gamified applications 
will fail to meet business objectives, ...
Let’s Play

Fact or Fishy…
Rules
• A statement is presented
– If “true” indicate: FactX
– If “false” indicate: FishyX

• Text Response:

Standard Tex...
How To Vote via Texting

FACT01
FACT02
FISHY01

TIPS

1. Polleverywhere has no access to your phone number
2. Capitalizati...
Room is Divided in Half

teama

teamb
“Games” and “Gamification”
are the same thing.

Is that Fact

or Fishy?
What is this “game” stuff?
Gamification is
the use of gaming
elements
integrated into a
training program
aligned with
trai...
What is this “game” stuff?
• Gamification is to Learning Game as:
– Part is to Whole
– Piece is to Puzzle
– Slice is to Pi...
What is this “game” stuff?

Gamification + Simulation = Learning Game
Gamification
Elements that
Aid Learning

1. Story
2. Challenge
3. Mystery
4. Characters/Avatar
5. Challenge
6. Levels
7. F...
Gamification
Elements that
Aid Learning

1. Story
2. Challenge
3. Mystery
4. Characters/Avatar
5. Challenge
6. Levels
7. F...
Elements of
Games
1. Reward Structures
2. Feedback
3. Story
4. Challenge
Adding points, badges and
leaderboard to any training
makes it awesome!
Is that Fact

or Fishy?
Fishy… if it was that easy…this would be the most engaging 
game in the world.
20% increase in profile completion.
Use coins, points and rewards to provide feedback on 
performance, updates on progress and level of 
correctness. 

Kapp, ...
The value, or size, of an anticipated reward influences 
the motivational signal sent to the brain only within 
the contex...
Receiving a PREDICTABLE reward 
releases one shot of dopamine.

Howard-Jones. P.A., & Demetriou, S. (2008, September 11). ...
Receiving an UNPREDICTABLE reward 
releases two shots of dopamine. 

Yeah, me!

Howard-Jones. P.A., & Demetriou, S. (2008,...
What can you do?

Intelligently add game elements to
instruction. Use points, rewards
and badges to convey
meaning…not sim...
Feedback
Provide specific comments  
about errors and suggestions 
for improvement. 

Encourages learners to focus 
their attention...
Games like The Sims provide feedback on 
many dimensions which provide 
opportunities to consider tradeoffs and 
higher le...
Leaderboards provide 
opportunities for players to 
receive feedback about their 
performance as compared to 
others. 

Co...
What can you do?

Use feedback to inform learners of
errors in thinking and to focus them
on the task they are learning.
Learners remember clinical facts
better…

When presented as bulleted
list rather than presented as
a story.
Is that Fact

...
Researchers have found that the 
human brain has a natural affinity for 
narrative construction.

Yep, People tend to reme...
Story Elements
1. Characters
2. Plot (something has to happen).
3. Tension
4. Resolution
5. Conclusion
NikePlus Stats for Karl
What can you do?
Use meaningful stories. Provide the
context for the learning.
One way to engage learners is to…

Present them with a difficult
challenge.
Is that Fact

or Fishy?
Fact.
Provide a challenge
Jones, B., Valdez, G., Norakowski, J., & Rasmussen, C. (1994). Designing learning and technology...
Re-design the Instruction to
Start with a Challenge
Sales Training
• Course Objectives
– Adhere to the proper policy for providing
information to physicians
– Understand what...
It is your first day on the job as a sales
representative and you have just
witnessed a rival sales representative
providi...
What can you do?

Give your learners the “Koboshyi
Maru” equivalent.
“Koboshyi Maru” is a no win,
difficult situation designed to
teach “thinking.”
Putting it All Together
ExactTarget is a global marketing organization focused 
on digital marketing tools – email, mobile, and web 
and was recen...
Introducing a new product, MobileConnect and 
wanted to bring the sales force up‐to‐speed on the 
features and functionali...
VENDOR
http://www.theknowledgeguru.com/
Player Results
“I can’t tell you how many people are coming to me wanting another 
game solution.” 
“The repetition of the...
Business Results
Average contract value 2x higher than for previous mobile product.
First call resolution ($35 a call/aver...
Business Results
Average contract value 2x higher than for previous mobile product.
First call resolution ($35 a call/aver...
Retention benefits between 
35% and 61% with 41% 
average.

Subject matter was Anatomy 
and Physiology
Dobson, J. L. (2013...
A study using a randomized control group conducted a 
trial between Aug 10, 2009, and Nov 30, 2012, at ten 
sites in south...
“Use stairs instead of 
an Elevator”

“Avoid snacks while 
watching TV;  you may 
overeat. “
Ramachandran, A., et. al.., E...
Lowered risk of developing 
Type 2 diabetes by 36%.

Ramachandran, A., et. al.., Effectiveness of mobile phone messaging i...
Covert Takeaway Challenge
Covert Takeaways

Once upon a time, there was a well 
known doctor, Gee Ames. Dr. G. 
Ames always told engaging stories 
t...
She also really liked games. She played 
Halo all the time. So she knew what made 
games motivating.  One day her 
colleag...
Her wisdom prevailed and an 
effective gamification solution was 
put into place. As a result, she was 
able to rise to th...
Copy of Slides and Notes available at
www.karlkapp.com

Contact Karl at:
karlkapp@gmail.com
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?
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How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?

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How to Elevate Your Learning:What is Gamification? Is There Any Science Behind It?

  1. 1. How to Elevate Your  Learning: What is Gamification?  Is there any Science Behind It? By Karl M. Kapp Bloomsburg University Gamification of Learning &Instruction  EMAIL: kkapp@bloomu.edu TWITTER: @kkapp BLOG: http://karlkapp.com/kapp‐notes/
  2. 2. Covert Takeaway Challenge
  3. 3. Notes Slides Additional Ideas www.karlkapp.com/kapp-notes
  4. 4. Brief history of… The World
  5. 5. You know, we could make human growth  hormone; all we have to do is isolate the  gene. ‐‐ Herbert W. Boyer, Ph.D., Co‐Founder of Genentech
  6. 6. We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in. --Palm CEO Ed Colligan, 16 Nov 2006
  7. 7. This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than 9 million new iPhones sold — a new record for first weekend sales—Tim Cook, 2013. Palm sold to HP in 2010, by 2011 Palm was done.
  8. 8. ENIAC's main control panel
  9. 9. 4 2 3
  10. 10. What variables do I balance to keep my person happy? How should I manage my time?
  11. 11. What leadership strategy should I use?
  12. 12. Not another  online  lecture.
  13. 13. Sorry, had you  on mute, could  you repeat the  question.
  14. 14. I am going to  need more  coffee.
  15. 15. “Study of 2,300 people found only  6% of organizations are successful  in influencing behavior change.” ‐‐Al Switzler
  16. 16. New Instructional Approaches are Needed
  17. 17. Gamification
  18. 18. Gamification Lots of Hype
  19. 19. Gartner Group predicts by 2015,  40 percent  of Global 1000 organizations will use  gamification as the primary mechanism to  transform business operations.
  20. 20. Gartner Group predicts that by 2014, 80  percent of current gamified applications  will fail to meet business objectives,  primarily due to poor design.
  21. 21. Let’s Play Fact or Fishy…
  22. 22. Rules • A statement is presented – If “true” indicate: FactX – If “false” indicate: FishyX • Text Response: Standard Texting Fees  Apply! But you have  UNLIMITED TEXTING Take out  your text‐ machines
  23. 23. How To Vote via Texting FACT01 FACT02 FISHY01 TIPS 1. Polleverywhere has no access to your phone number 2. Capitalization doesn’t matter, but spaces and spelling do FACT01
  24. 24. Room is Divided in Half teama teamb
  25. 25. “Games” and “Gamification” are the same thing. Is that Fact or Fishy?
  26. 26. What is this “game” stuff? Gamification is the use of gaming elements integrated into a training program aligned with training and/or business goals to promote change in behavior Game-based Learning is the use of a game to teach knowledge, skills and abilities to learners using a self-contained space. Simulation Learning is a realistic, controlledrisk environment where learners can practice specific behaviors and experience the impacts of their decisions.
  27. 27. What is this “game” stuff? • Gamification is to Learning Game as: – Part is to Whole – Piece is to Puzzle – Slice is to Pie – Steering Wheel is to Car • Gamification uses elements of games but is not a game in-and-of itself.
  28. 28. What is this “game” stuff? Gamification + Simulation = Learning Game
  29. 29. Gamification Elements that Aid Learning 1. Story 2. Challenge 3. Mystery 4. Characters/Avatar 5. Challenge 6. Levels 7. Feedback 8. Replayability 9. Freedom to Fail 10.Asethetics 11.Time 12.Rewards
  30. 30. Gamification Elements that Aid Learning 1. Story 2. Challenge 3. Mystery 4. Characters/Avatar 5. Challenge 6. Levels 7. Feedback 8. Replayability 9. Freedom to Fail 10.Asethetics 11.Time 12.Rewards NOT Enough Time 
  31. 31. Elements of Games 1. Reward Structures 2. Feedback 3. Story 4. Challenge
  32. 32. Adding points, badges and leaderboard to any training makes it awesome! Is that Fact or Fishy?
  33. 33. Fishy… if it was that easy…this would be the most engaging  game in the world.
  34. 34. 20% increase in profile completion.
  35. 35. Use coins, points and rewards to provide feedback on  performance, updates on progress and level of  correctness.  Kapp, K. M. (2012) The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. New York: Pfeiffer. Chapter Four. Pages 89-98.
  36. 36. The value, or size, of an anticipated reward influences  the motivational signal sent to the brain only within  the contexts of the reward system. Howard-Jones. P.A., & Demetriou, S. (2008, September 11). Uncertainty and engagement with learning games. Instructional Science, 37, 519-536.
  37. 37. Receiving a PREDICTABLE reward  releases one shot of dopamine. Howard-Jones. P.A., & Demetriou, S. (2008, September 11). Uncertainty and engagement with learning games. Instructional Science, 37, 519-536.
  38. 38. Receiving an UNPREDICTABLE reward  releases two shots of dopamine.  Yeah, me! Howard-Jones. P.A., & Demetriou, S. (2008, September 11). Uncertainty and engagement with learning games. Instructional Science, 37, 519-536.
  39. 39. What can you do? Intelligently add game elements to instruction. Use points, rewards and badges to convey meaning…not simply completion.
  40. 40. Feedback
  41. 41. Provide specific comments   about errors and suggestions  for improvement.  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.
  42. 42. Games like The Sims provide feedback on  many dimensions which provide  opportunities to consider tradeoffs and  higher level cognitive thinking. 
  43. 43. Leaderboards provide  opportunities for players to  receive feedback about their  performance as compared to  others.  Comparative and  relative feedback
  44. 44. What can you do? Use feedback to inform learners of errors in thinking and to focus them on the task they are learning.
  45. 45. Learners remember clinical facts better… When presented as bulleted list rather than presented as a story. Is that Fact or Fishy?
  46. 46. 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  http://www.unc.edu/~mcgreen/research.html. Chapter 2 “The Gamification of Learning and  Instruction. 
  47. 47. Story Elements 1. Characters 2. Plot (something has to happen). 3. Tension 4. Resolution 5. Conclusion
  48. 48. NikePlus Stats for Karl
  49. 49. What can you do? Use meaningful stories. Provide the context for the learning.
  50. 50. One way to engage learners is to… Present them with a difficult challenge. Is that Fact or Fishy?
  51. 51. Fact. Provide a challenge 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
  52. 52. Re-design the Instruction to Start with a Challenge
  53. 53. Sales Training • Course Objectives – Adhere to the proper policy for providing information to physicians – Understand what is permissible to share with the doctor and what is not – Identify off-label sales practices
  54. 54. It is your first day on the job as a sales representative and you have just witnessed a rival sales representative providing off-label information to a physician you are going to see in five minutes. What is the first thing you should do?
  55. 55. What can you do? Give your learners the “Koboshyi Maru” equivalent.
  56. 56. “Koboshyi Maru” is a no win, difficult situation designed to teach “thinking.”
  57. 57. Putting it All Together
  58. 58. ExactTarget is a global marketing organization focused  on digital marketing tools – email, mobile, and web  and was recently purchased by Salesforce.com.  ExactTarget is a leading cloud marketing platform  used by more than 6,000 companies including Coca‐ Cola, Gap and Nike.
  59. 59. Introducing a new product, MobileConnect and  wanted to bring the sales force up‐to‐speed on the  features and functionality of the product.
  60. 60. VENDOR http://www.theknowledgeguru.com/
  61. 61. Player Results “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.”
  62. 62. Business Results Average 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 prior to  MobileConnect, the sales team built the quickest pipeline for this  product.
  63. 63. Business Results Average 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 prior to  MobileConnect, the sales team built the quickest pipeline for this  product. Larsen DP, Butler AC, Roediger HL 3rd. Repeated testing improves long‐term retention relative to repeated study: a randomized  controlled  trial. Med Educ 43: 1174–1181, 2009. Dobson, J. L. (2013) Retrieval practice is an efficient method of enhancing the retention of anatomy and physiology information Advances  in Physiology Education  37: 184–191, 2013; doi:10.1152/advan.00174.2012.
  64. 64. Retention benefits between  35% and 61% with 41%  average. Subject matter was Anatomy  and Physiology Dobson, J. L. (2013)    Retrieval practice is an efficient method of enhancing the retention of anatomy and physiology information Advances  in Physiology Education  37: 184–191, 2013; doi:10.1152/advan.00174.2012
  65. 65. A study using a randomized control group conducted a  trial between Aug 10, 2009, and Nov 30, 2012, at ten  sites in southeast India with over 500 subjects. Working Indian men (aged 35—55 years) with impaired  glucose tolerance were randomly assigned to either a  mobile phone messaging intervention or standard care.  Ramachandran, A.  et. al. Effectiveness of mobile phone messaging in prevention of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle modification in men in  India: a prospective, parallel‐group, randomised controlled trial The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Early Online Publication, 11  September 2013 doi:10.1016/S2213‐8587(13)70067‐6
  66. 66. “Use stairs instead of  an Elevator” “Avoid snacks while  watching TV;  you may  overeat. “ Ramachandran, A., et. al.., Effectiveness of mobile phone messaging in prevention of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle modification in men in  India: a prospective, parallel‐group, randomised controlled trial The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Early Online Publication, 11  September 2013 doi:10.1016/S2213‐8587(13)70067‐6
  67. 67. Lowered risk of developing  Type 2 diabetes by 36%. Ramachandran, A., et. al.., Effectiveness of mobile phone messaging in prevention of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle modification in men in  India: a prospective, parallel‐group, randomised controlled trial The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Early Online Publication, 11  September 2013 doi:10.1016/S2213‐8587(13)70067‐6
  68. 68. Covert Takeaway Challenge
  69. 69. Covert Takeaways Once upon a time, there was a well  known doctor, Gee Ames. Dr. G.  Ames always told engaging stories  to her patients to encourage the  behavior of maintaining their  treatment plan because learning  needs to be engaging to change  behavior. It was highly effective and her patients were among the  most compliant in the hospital. She was also a teaching doctor and  taught interns. She was widely  regarded as the best instructor  within the hospital but she did not  always tell her interns the answer  to questions because she knows  that is ok for a learner to struggle. 
  70. 70. She also really liked games. She played  Halo all the time. So she knew what made  games motivating.  One day her  colleagues wanted to create gamification  for examining X‐Rays.  They simply gave points for correctly  reading an X‐Ray.  Created a leaderboard  and handed out badges.  The wise doctor, Gee Ames,  informed her  colleagues that simply adding points,  badges and leaderboards does not make  learning effective. You need context,  feedback and challenge she chastised.
  71. 71. Her wisdom prevailed and an  effective gamification solution was  put into place. As a result, she was  able to rise to the position of chief  medical officer in a large  healthcare organization.   Today, she helps thousands of  people through intelligent  gamification—so can you. 
  72. 72. Copy of Slides and Notes available at www.karlkapp.com Contact Karl at: karlkapp@gmail.com

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