Leveraging Game Elements for Learning, Engagement, and Fun


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Games, gamification, and game-based learning have entered into the vocabulary of trainers, eLearning developers, and instructional designers over the past few years. But the influx has left many questions: What elements from games should be used in learning design? How does one seamlessly integrate story, challenge, badges, and points into the learning process? Does competition help or hurt learning? What research exists to support game elements for learning?

This interactive presentation includes many examples of using game elements for learning. And, yes, you will play a game during this session. Discover how research-based game thinking and design can be leveraged to create effective, engaging instruction.

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Leveraging Game Elements for Learning, Engagement, and Fun

  1. 1. By Karl M. Kapp Bloomsburg University Gamification of Learning &Instruction  EMAIL: kkapp@bloomu.edu TWITTER: @kkapp BLOG: http://karlkapp.com/kapp‐notes/ Welcome to the Session 207: Leveraging Game Elements  for Learning, Engagement and  Fun
  2. 2. Ripped from the pages of “The  Gamification of Learning and  Instruction” and the “Gamification of  Learning and Instruction Fieldbook” Bring this presentation to your organization:  contact Karl at http://karlkapp.com/contact/
  3. 3. Covert Takeaway Challenge
  4. 4. Notes Slides Additional Ideas www.karlkapp.com/kapp-notes
  5. 5. Profiting Pirates Design Challenge
  6. 6. You are a game designer at WildGames Corporation which is a great job.
  7. 7. Except the company has recent hit on some hard  financial times. 
  8. 8. It is Friday at 4:55 PM and you only have two things  on you mind… 
  9. 9. Hey, someone wants us to create a game called “Profiting Pirates”
  10. 10. We are competing internally for the project. Winning team earns the right to work on the project.
  11. 11. Two Development Teams teama teamb
  12. 12. Rules • A statement is presented – Choose the best response • Text Keyword Response: – To 37607 Take out  your text‐ machines Standard Texting Fees  Apply! 
  13. 13. How To Respond via Texting 1. Polleverywhere has no access to your phone number 2. Capitalization doesn’t matter, but spaces and spelling do TIPS Amaze Inamaze alright Amaze
  14. 14. Each team will be confronted with a series of questions. The team that correctly answers the questions wins the work.
  15. 15. What about the other team?
  16. 16. Losers are assigned to the “watching grass grow” project.
  17. 17. Wow, I heard about that project, its almost as fun as… never mind. Profiting Pirates is much better.
  18. 18. Ok, first decision. We want to increase competition. Should we increase or decease the number of people competing against one another at any give time? Aahh… Increase or Decrease?
  19. 19. Garci, S., & Tor, A. (2009) The N‐Effect: More Competitors, Less Competition, Psychological Science, Volume  20—Number 7  Decrease….people finished a timed quiz faster, trying to be in top 20%, if they believed they were in a pool of 10 versus a pool of 100. Average test scores fall as the average number of test takers at test-taking venues increases. Called the “N-Effect”
  20. 20. Next decision. Do we use badges or levels to show linear progress to the player?
  21. 21. Use badges to show non-linear progress and use levels to show linear progress. Use levels as “Scaffolding?” What is “scaffolding”?
  22. 22. Scaffolding: Process of controlling the task elements that initially are beyond the learner’s capacity.  Guided Practice. Step-by-step instructions and then fading of instruction.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. Use coins, points and rewards to provide feedback on performance, updates on progress, level of correctness and to show Mastery. Kapp, K. M. (2012) The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. New York: Pfeiffer. Chapter Four. Pages 89-98.
  25. 25. Do not use just to show completion, that “shiver’s me timbers.”
  26. 26. Next decision about this pirate game. How do we start the game? What should the players first in-game experience be?
  27. 27. You have two choices: Tell the player three important things about being a pirate ship captain. or Open with player steering a ship through a rocky shoreline being fired upon by cannons.
  28. 28. Why does this answer make sense? Not Sure?
  29. 29. Good game designers know that games are engaging because they require action right away. Action draws in the player and encourages further engagement. Start by steering the ship.
  30. 30. Research indicates that learners who used interactive games for learning had the greater cognitive gains over learners provided with traditional classroom training. 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. 
  31. 31. Too often instructional design is about the content and not about the actions that need to occur. Game Design is about action. Let’s create action.
  32. 32. Ok, next decision. Provide a map with the location of all the treasure. or Create mystery and curiosity concerning the location of treasure.
  33. 33. It is always a good idea to build curiosity and mystery into a game. Reveal locations of treasure gradually throughout the course of the player’s journey.
  34. 34. Malone’s Theory of Intrinsically  Motivating Instruction  Challenge Fantasy Curiosity
  35. 35. Fantasy– There are both cognitive and emotional reasons for evoking fantasy. Cognitively a fantasy can help a learner apply old knowledge to understand new things and help them remember the content. Emotionally, a person can connect with the experiences and not bring with it “real-world” concerns or fears.
  36. 36. Here are some of my notes on the subject.
  37. 37. A sense of suspense, mystery and intrigue draws people into games and can draw them into learning as well.
  38. 38. OK, next decision, should we: Make the game easy so we don’t discourage the players. or Make the game challenging, knowing some players will fail the first few times.
  39. 39. 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 self confidence. White, R.W. (1959) Motivation reconsidered: The concept of competence. Psychological Review, 66, 297‐333. 
  40. 40. This is known as the flow state.
  41. 41. What elements contribute to flow?
  42. 42. Achievable Task Clear Goals Control Over Actions (Autonomy) Concentration
  43. 43. Ok, that’s flow But… how do we build intrinsic motivation to learn?
  44. 44. Challenge, Curiosity, Control, Fantasy, Cooperation, Competition and Recognition.
  45. 45. Hey, that’s Malone’s Theory of Intrinsically Motivating Instruction
  46. 46. Yes, and keep in mind, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be viewed as two largely mutually independent constructs rather than the opposite ends of a single dimension. Research indicates that in the classroom intrinsic and extrinsic motivation do coexist.
  47. 47. Well, the next decision, should we: Put the player at risk, they could die at any moment. or Let the player safely explore the environment.
  48. 48. Seriously, you are asking me this question. The player needs to be at risk.
  49. 49. No risk, or danger equal no skin in the game. Get the player emotionally involved by putting him or her at “mock” risk.
  50. 50. In games, failing is allowed, it’s acceptable, and it’s part of the process. Games accommodate failure with multiple lives, second chances and alternative methods of success.
  51. 51. Do you punish failure in your learning design or do you allow and encourage the freedom to fail?
  52. 52. Also, failure or earned success can lead to emotion which leads can lead to Episodic Memory.
  53. 53. Next decision, should we: Give player choices about what level to enter the game. or Create one path for every player.
  54. 54. Choices, players need choices. Look, let me tell you what motivates people.
  55. 55. People are motivated when they have autonomy, mastery and relatedness.
  56. 56. Hey, isn’t that the Self-Determination Theory?
  57. 57. Why, yes…yes it is.
  58. 58. 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 and choices. 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
  59. 59. Another decision, should we: Create a game that can be played in one sitting? or Create a game that is played over time?
  60. 60. Let’s make it so the game is played over time.
  61. 61. 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 One study revealed retention benefits of between 35% and 61% with average of 41%. When learning is spaced over time and learners were tested on the content on a regular basis.
  62. 62. Another example: 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
  63. 63. 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 “Use stairs instead of an Elevator” “Avoid snacks while watching TV; you may overeat.” Such as…
  64. 64. 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
  65. 65. Wow. You have provided me with a lot of information, thanks. So let me ask one more question.
  66. 66. Rrrrr, who won?
  67. 67. Ugh….
  68. 68. How about a re-cap…
  69. 69. 1) Keep the number of competitors low 2) Use rewards to motivate performance, not completion 3) Begin with activity 4) Create curiosity, mystery, intrigue 5) Create a challenge for the learner 6) Put learners at “mock” risk 7) Give learners meaningful choices 8) Give learner a choice of where to “enter” the learning 9) Have games played over time rather than all at once Tips to leverage game elements for learning:
  70. 70. Copy of Slides and Notes available at www.karlkapp.com Contact Karl at: kkapp@bloomu.edu