The Gamification of Learning: What Research Says About Simulations & Serious Games

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Keynote address from The Medical Device & Diagnostic Trainers Summit held in Princeton, NJ by the Socieyt of Pharmaceutical & Biotech Trainers

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The Gamification of Learning: What Research Says About Simulations & Serious Games

  1. 1. The Gamification of Learning:What Research Says About Simulations &  Serious Games  By Karl M. Kapp Bloomsburg University October 2, 2012Twitter:@kkapp
  2. 2. Are games/simulations effective for learning?
  3. 3. Let’s PlayFact or Fishy…
  4. 4. Agenda 1 2 How do you apply game-based strategiesWhat does research say about to the presentation of learning content?games and game elements forlearning? 3 What elements from games can be added to traditional e-learning?
  5. 5. Rules Take out • A statement is presented your text‐ – If “true” indicate: FactX machines – If “false” indicate: FishyX• Text Response: Standard Texting Fees  Apply!
  6. 6. Games/simulations must be fun to be educational?   Image Courtesy of http://www.designingdigitally.com/Sitzmann, T. (2011) A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-based simulation games.Personnel Psychology .Review of 65 studies. Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction.”
  7. 7. FISHY! Image Courtesy of http://www.designingdigitally.com/Sitzmann, T. (2011) A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-based simulation games.Personnel Psychology .Review of 65 studies. Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction.”
  8. 8. Simulation/games build more confidence for on  the job application of learned knowledge than  classroom instruction.Sitzmann, T. (2011) A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-basedsimulation games. Personnel Psychology .Review of 65 studies. Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning andInstruction.”
  9. 9. Fact, 20% higher  confidence levels.Sitzmann, T. (2011) A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-basedsimulation games. Personnel Psychology .Review of 65 studies. Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning andInstruction.”
  10. 10. In a Meta-Analysis…Knowledge retention forgame/simulation was 9%higher than for traditionalinstruction. Is that Fact or Fishy?
  11. 11. Fact! Retention/ % Higher Type of Knowledge Retention 9% Declarative 11% Procedural 14%Sitzmann, T. (2011) A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-basedsimulation games. Personnel Psychology .Review of 65 studies. Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning andInstruction.”
  12. 12. Fact! Delivery Method vs. % Higher Game/Simulation Lecture 17% Discussion 5%Sitzmann, T. (2011) A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-basedsimulation games. Personnel Psychology .Review of 65 studies. Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning andInstruction.”
  13. 13. Fact! It wasn’t the game, it was Retention level of activity in the game. % Higher Type of Knowledge Retention 9% In other words, the Procedural engagement of the learner in 14% the game leads to learning. Declarative 11%Sitzmann, T. (2011) A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-basedsimulation games. Personnel Psychology .Review of 65 studies. Chapter 4 “The Gamification of Learning andInstruction.”
  14. 14. Evidence‐Based Recommendations 1) Use a game/simulation to provide a context for the learning. 2) Don’t focus on “entertainment.” 3) Carefully craft the simulation/game to provide opportunities  to increase engagement and interactivity to increase  learning.
  15. 15. Wait a minute, games  can be expensive. Level of Interactivity Type of  Type of  Game Play Low Medium High Knowledge  (Customer  Taught Development)Exploration/Simulation $25,000‐ $35,000‐ $50,000‐ Problem‐Engine/Free Play Area $35,000 $50,000 $150,000 SolvingBranching story, On‐Line $10,000‐ $15,000‐ $30,000‐ ConceptualBoard Games $15,000 $30,000 $50,000 Knowledge/  RulesMatching, Trivia Games,  $1,500‐ $3,000‐ $5,000‐ Declarative Drag and Drop Games $3,000 $5,000 $20,000 Knowledge/ Fact/Jargon
  16. 16. Use game-based mechanics,aesthetics and game thinking toengage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems. Gamification
  17. 17. Elements ofGames that Aid Learning• Story• Character• Recognition• Levels• Challenges• Chance• Replayability• Aesthetics• Time• Continual Feedback
  18. 18. Elements ofGames that Aid Learning• Story• Character• Recognition• NOT Enough Time  Levels• Challenges• Chance• Replayability• Aesthetics• Time• Continual Feedback
  19. 19. Two Elements of Games that Aid Learning1. Story2. Characters
  20. 20. Story
  21. 21. Learners remember facts better…When presented in a bulletedlist as opposed to whenpresented in a story.Is that Fact or Fishy?
  22. 22. FISHY: Researchers have found that the  Yep, People tend to remember facts  human brain has a natural affinity for  more accurately if they encounter  narrative construction. 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. 
  23. 23. Story Elements1. Characters2. Plot (something has to happen).3. Tension 4. Resolution5. Conclusion
  24. 24. NikePlus Stats for Karl
  25. 25. Recommendations • Embed facts to be learned in the context of stories.• Use stories that are related to the context of the  desired learning outcome. 
  26. 26. We’ve Always Wanted Characters
  27. 27. An on-screen character isdistracting to the learner..Is that Fact or Fishy?
  28. 28. FISHY: On transfer tests involving different word problems, the  group who had a character generated 30% more correct  answers than the group with 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.
  29. 29. Research indicates that learners perceive, interact socially  with and are influenced by anthropomorphic agents (characters) even when their functionality and adaptability  are limited. http://codebaby.com/elearning‐solutions/examples/
  30. 30. Who is more likely to run 24 hours later?A. Person who watched an avatar that did not  look like them runningB. Person who watched an avatar that looked  like them runningC. Person  watching an avatar  that looked like  them loitering /hanging out
  31. 31. Within 24 hours of watching an avatar like  themselves run, learners were more likely to  run than watching an avatar not like them or  watching an avatar like them loitering .Fox, J., Arena, D., & Bailenson, J.N. (2009). Virtual Reality: A survival guide for the social scientist. Journal of Media Psychology,21 (3), 95-113.
  32. 32. If learners watch an avatar that looks  like them exercising & losing weight,  they will subsequently exercise more in  the real world as compared to a control  group.Fox, J., Arena, D., & Bailenson, J.N. (2009). Virtual Reality: A survival guide for the social scientist. Journal of Media Psychology, 2195-113.
  33. 33. Evidence‐Based Recommendations • Use characters/agents to model desired behavior.• Use characters/agents to provide feedback and  instruction to learners.
  34. 34. Games can influencepeople to behave in apositive manner.Is that Fact or Fishy?
  35. 35. Fact: Games can influence people to behave in a positive manner.Greitemeyer, T. & Osswald, S. (2010) Effective of Prosocial games on prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  Vol. 98 . No. 2., 211‐221.
  36. 36. 28% helped to pick up pencils
  37. 37. 33% helped to pick up pencils
  38. 38. 67% helped to pick up pencils
  39. 39. 22% intervened
  40. 40. 56% intervened
  41. 41. 1) Use a game/simulation to provide a context for the learning. 2) Don’t focus on “entertainment.” 3) Carefully craft the simulation/game to provide opportunities to increase  engagement and interactivity to increase learning.4) Embed the game /simulation into the curriculum. Provide “set‐up,” game‐ time and debrief.5) Embed facts to be learned in the context of stories.6) Use stories that are related to the context of the desired outcome.7) Use characters/agents to model desired behavior. 8) Use characters/agents to provide feedback and instruction to learners.
  42. 42. QUESTIONS?Contact Karl via Twitter or email Twitter:@kkapp kkapp@bloomu.edu

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