Great time in Washington DC presenting on Games, Gamification and the Quest for Engagement. Here are some resources.
Here is a brief summary of some of my design considerations:
At the beginning of the presentation, learners are challenged to look at the presentation from two perspectives. One is as a participant/learner so they can learn new knowledge but the second is as a designer of instruction. This helps to cultivate thinking about the design of the learning event itself and what can be done to create a similar type of event within the participant’s own organization. The request to look at it from a designer perspective is designed to help with the transferability of the content right from the beginning. The participants think about transferring the content as soon as the session begins.
Then, almost right away, the learners were able to make a decision. What team should I be on? The teams were chosen by favorite color or at least a color the person liked. They could immediately identify with the color they chose. This provides ownership and a sense of choice.
Keeping the learners involved included three things, the first was an engaging story–you want to know what happens next, second is wanting to know how you and your team are doing in answering the questions, and third, and most importantly, is the knowledge that is to be learned during the process. The goal was to model how these three elements can be integrated to provide an engaging and meaningful learning experience.
The use of characters straddled the line between fantasy and reality. The setting was a 1940-1940–Detective Noir type environment but the “detective” was a Learning and Development professional and the “lady in distress” was actually the boss. So the genre is manipulated to be more appropriate for the times and for the message that blended realism with the detective theme. This theme was chosen because of the sense of mystery.
Also, notice questions were mixed. There is a “Yes/No” question, “True/False”, multiple choice, selection of the best answer and, generally, a mix of the types of questions that are asked and answered. This avoids repetition and provides another method of engagement through novelty of new question types.
Audience polling, however, was not the only audience interactivity. A few times, the audience was asked for what they had learned up to that point. This provides an opportunity for reflection and forces recall of previously learned information. The recall helps with retention and focuses the learners on the subject at hand.
The presentation ends with a cliffhanger. In learning situations we often want to try to give the learners every last bit of information about a subject, an almost impossible task. But one thing we can do is provide a curiosity or a motivation for them to seek additional information or to want to learn more on their own. This should be encouraged in our design of instruction.
Articles and Blog Entries of Interest
Related Discussion about Gamification
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