Gamification and Learning (2 examples) August 25, 2011Posted by reto wettach in gamification, learning, play.
It is obvious and heavily discussed that gamification can help while learning.
Here are two examples for how this could look like:
Salman Khan founded the Khan Academy, which not only offers videos for learning (which is handy as the laerner can choose his own pace and his own content) but also exploits gamification strategies for motivating the learners:
One can see badges (they are called archievements), progress bars in various forms (as e.g. “80/99”) or points (653285 – wow!), all classical elements of gamification.
In his inspiring TED-talk, Salman points out that “technology is used to humanize the class room”. This thought is important, especially as I come from Physical Interaction Design: using gamification and other e-learning technologies does NOT mean that traditional classrooms have to be closed down. On the contrary, they play a crutial role in learning as only here one can provide a human experience where peers and/or student and teachers interact with each other.
(video source)(In this video, Salman also explains a little more about the game mechanics they are using)
This link to the real world is even taken one step further in the next example: Quest-to-Learn, a New York based school founded in 2009, is bringing the concept of gamification to traditional schools. Katie Salen, the founder of the school, talks about “game-like learning”. By this she means amongst others “challenge-based contexts”, “high expectations of students’ abilities and skills”, “participation in activities that engage their voluntary commitment”, “opportunities to make contributions and to have these recognized and assessed” and “continuity of support” (source). In this video Katie explains a little more about her concept:
I think both projects are quite inspiring for what we are planning to do in my research project “Experience the Energy,” but also for the way we teach academically. Luckily in Design we already have small classes and a strong focus on doing, but I think we can get much better…
Also for interface design we need to understand more about gamification and learning: the tasks which can be supported by technology are getting more and more complex but the willingness to learn is not growing at all!!! (Actually, two years ago, a friend of mine, senior designer at Philips Medical, told me, that they are having huge problems because medical personell (including doctors) are not willing to learn anything – actually most Dictaphones returned are returned by doctors who are claiming that the device is not working, but who just didn know how to use it… I am already scared of my first encounter with a complicated medical device – hopefully the operator read and understood the instructions…)