When to use #Gamification

Some ideas on when to use #Gamification. ( a sneak peak of my 2014 Gamification Fieldbook)

Gamification can be used to accomplish a number of goals related to learning. As with any learning intervention, gamification is not the answer to every learning situation and to gamify all content or learner experiences does not make sense. Gamification is especially effective when it is used to encourage learners to progress through content, motivate action, influence behavior and drive innovation.

  • Encourage Learners—Challenges, goals and making progress are all traits that engage and encourage humans. Adding game-elements can be done at the structural level of gamification through points and badges. This is adding a game layer on top of existing curriculum. Gamification can also be done at the content level where the compliance online training module is turned into a “who-done-it” to find where the compliance violation took place.
  • Motivate Action-The old saying “you get what you reward” holds true for the concept of structural gamification. If you want to motivate learners to move through instruction and to accomplish goals, gamification is a great solution.
  • Influence Behavior—Game elements when properly placed into a curriculum or everyday employee activities can positively influence behavior.
  • Drive Innovation—Gamification can drive innovative thinking and activities. One example is the game FoldIt! This gamified process was developed to allow non-scientist to work on the incredibly difficult task of folding proteins into 3D structures. Points are awarded form packing protein and other moves within the protein structure. In this experience, the players are actually predicting protein sequences and players have designed new vaccines from the new and unique ways they’ve folded protein. Some organizations have created a gamified bug tracking system to provide points and rewards for reporting bugs within beta releases of software.
  • Skill Building—If you want to learn how to use the Ruby on Rails, an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language, you could sit down with a manual and plow through pages of text or you could program a web site for Zombie meet ups. Rails for Zombies is a gamified approach to teaching someone how to gain the skills of using Ruby on Rails. It builds programming skills as a person earns points, badges and completes a story about creating a product for Zombies.
  • Knowledge Acquisition—Gamification elements can include points and levels and give the learner a chance to practice through repetition. When done correctly, learners volunteer to experience the learning content again and gain because they are involved in a game-like process where repetition is accepted.

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Karl Kapp
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