Game Rush – Motivation and Engagement Strategies for Gamification

Thanks YouTopia.

This USDLA 2014 session was presented by Katharine Hixson and David Small from Pearson.

One helpful concept clarification was the difference between games and gamification. Gamification is all about using the principles of games.

On the games side, there are simple games such as hangman or crossword puzzles. More advanced like using Jeopardy in your class, and then the complex such as immersive learning environments.

Gamification is using points, badges, levels, timers, bonuses and narrative.

Narrative: Show, don’t tell. Why is this important? Create a scenario around the assignment to make it engaging.

The part that really catches me is the idea of narrative. What’s the story or back story for this assignment or project. David reminded us of WebQuests. Haven’t heard anyone talk about that in a while – but a well designed WebQuest sets up a narrative background for an interesting and engaging task.

They shared a taxonomy of gamification based on Bloom’s, but I couldn’t find it on the Internet, so I won’t replicate it here.

This was a good introduction to the concept of gamification and what it could possibly look like in an online course.

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