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Get Your Learning Game On: Gamification of Education

February 27, 2012 - 0 Comments

I ran across this great infographic regarding the potential for gamification to have a truly meaningful impact on education. Some key stats that stuck out for me:

  • 1.2 million fail to graduate high school each year
  • 3B hours are spent on playing video and computer games

Gamification of Education

Of course gamification isn’t the end all, be all solution for upping the students investment in their education. I read a great post about 3 Reasons NOT to Gamify Education and the quote that stuck out for me was:

“I don’t think just because you offer an award, like a badge, it will motivate students intrinsically or help them at all. But, tying it into your classroom to make the overall experience fun, meaningful and a challenge can help.”

I think this is a key point that anyone considering gamification of their product/training/event/etc. should consider. Basically slapping on a gamified approach won’t make it successful. Serious thought should be applied to what it is you are most wanting your demographic to think/know/feel/do and when appropriate a gamification tactic can be deployed to motivate your demographic accordingly.

Jesse Schell breaks down how gamification and games can make a significant impact on education. About 14 mins in he talks about one of my favorite example Quest to Learn, which I have blogged about previously, and another example I recently became aware of called Khan Academy.

So what are some examples of good vs. bad gamification for education? Surprisingly I found my good and bad examples, of course this is in my opinion only, from the same company.

So the bad first. MetaNeer Labs has introduced an app called CheckPlus. This app rewards students for cheking in during classes and rewards with points that can later be used to redeem prizes such as food or coffee. So while I get that universities have an ever increasing number of now shows for classes I don’t think simply checking in is the goal most professors would be going after, I think they want active and engaged students in the seats. Which leads me to my good (I would say great actually) example from MetaNeer Labs…

This is an app called Hands Up. This app enables students to send professors instant feedback during the class regarding how well they understand the material being presented by the professor. The app provides the students with a simple way to indicate their comprehension by selecting “I get it,” “I am completely lost,” or “I’m 50/50.” The important thing is this real time feedback can enable the professors to see the responses and adjust their class accordingly. The benefit for the students is the professor can tailor their lecture on the fly which hopefully results in better comprehension and therefore grades for the students.

In my ideal world these two apps would be married together and the students wouldn’t earn the points until they had checked in to the class and provided their feedback on the lecture.

Yup I am not a fan of click action rewards I want my demographic to be more invested because I believe it will actually result in higher satisfaction and reward for them in the long run. What do you think?

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