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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Game Elements for Learning: Week 3

ge4l

Well, all good things must come to an end and the same can be said of my micro-MOOC #GE4L. Although, while it might be the end of the MOOC, my journey into the world of Gamification has only just begun. As I said in my last post, I’m keen to start applying what I’ve been reading and learning about in this course and I intend to do this in the near future.

Some reflections about this course:

  • I’ve been exposed to a rich array of resources and examples which has both consolidated what I already know about Gamification and expanded my thinking on the subject
  • I need to play more games!
  • Gamification (if done well) should make learning more interesting, enjoyable and fun for the learners
  • Creating a gamified learning experience will take some time in the planning, design and creation but we need to start (as always) with our learners and what they need to be able to do ( I also believe this extra effort is worth it)
  • Some people I would recommend to learn more about Gamification are – Karl Kapp, Jane McGonigal, and Amy Jo Kim. If you know of others, let me know!
  • I’ve made some great connections because of this course and hopefully we’ll stay in contact in the future.

From an overall MOOC experience, I’ve learned that:

  • Ryan Tracey’s 10 Hot Tips for MOOCers was very useful and worked well for me
  • It’s best to not be overwhelmed by the amount of resources and discussion threads, look for things that interest you or might be useful to you and focus on them
  • You only get out what you put in (a cliché but its true)
  • Participate as much as you can and get involved somehow (and do this regularly)
  • MOOCs seem suit people who are self-directed learners so they might not be for everyone.

Last but not least, a huge thank-you to our Game Masters: Robin Bartoletti, Whitney Kilgore, Heather Farmakis and Michelle Pacansky-Brock. You are great facilitators and provided a lot of support to participants, clear instructions, a large variety of resources that covered a number of different fields and you encouraged all of us to contribute and share with others in some way. The time and effort that you put into creating and running this course was terrific and greatly appreciated by me and I’m sure all of the other participants. I would definitely participate in another MOOC.

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Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Gamification, MOOC

 

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Game Elements for Learning: Week 2

ge4l

To be honest, I didn’t participate too much in the course this week. I did look through the readings though, and again there is a great variety of links and sources of information for participants, that cater for different areas of education.

There comes a point when you can only read so much information on a topic, then you need to start applying what you’ve learned about and give it a go on a real project. Obviously, I still don’t know everything there is to know about gamification but I reckon I know enough to start creating a module and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more along the way. I’m keen to see examples of gamification being used in online learning, specifically workplace e-learning. I read a great post from Karl Kapp on The Gamification of Retail Safety and Loss Prevention Training in Learning Solutions magazine. I’d love to see more, so if you have any examples or know of any, please let me know.

I have a new module that I need to start working on for my organisation (I work in local government). The topic is our Code of Conduct – exciting stuff! It’s a compliance course and traditionally they are quite boring given the content. We don’t have an online course for this topic at the moment so while I’ve got a blank canvas to work with, I want this one to be different. We’ve also just purchased an Articulate Storyline licence (which I’m excited about) in which the module will be created.

What I intend to do is blog about the development of the course as it progresses and throw around some ideas in the process. I’m more than happy to take suggestions – I’m actually hoping to get them. It will be an example of showing my work, which is something else I want to do more of. I’ll be keen to receive feedback or ideas from you, in a collaborative kind of way as it goes along.

I’ll post more about this in the coming weeks!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Gamification, MOOC

 

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Game Elements for Learning: Week 1

ge4l

Another week down in GE4L and its been a good, solid week. I’m finding that there is a LOT of info/resources provided by our Game Masters and other participants, which is great but it does mean that I’m probably a bit selective in what I read. I really like how you can read as much as you want to or need to. However, a couple of key things that I took away from this week (both are quoted from the MOOC) which will be helpful in gamification design were:

The “Seven Core Concepts for Smart Gamification” which were outlined by Amy Jo Kim in a video clip:

  1. Know who’s playing – design for their social style
  2. Build Positive Emotions (PERMA) into your core activity loop
  3. Build a system that’s easy to learn and hard to master
  4. Design for Onboarding (Tutorial), Habit-Building (Grind), and Mastery (Elder Game)
  5. Use Progress Mechanics to “light the way” towards learning and mastery
  6. As players progress, unlock greater challenges and complexity
  7. Deliver intrinsic motivations like Power, Autonomy and Belonging

There was also The PERMA model, which are five essential elements that should be in place for us to experience lasting well-being. These are:

Positive Emotion (P)

For us to experience well-being, we need positive emotion in our lives. Any positive emotion like peace, gratitude, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, or love falls into this category – and the message is that it’s really important to enjoy yourself in the here and now, just as long as the other elements of PERMA are in place.

Engagement (E)

When we’re truly engaged in a situation, task, or project, we experience a state of flow: time seems to stop, we lose our sense of self, and we concentrate intensely on the present. This feels really good! The more we experience this type of engagement, the more likely we are to experience well-being.

Positive Relationships (R)

As humans, we are “social beings,” and good relationships are core to our well-being. Time-and-again, we see that people who have meaningful, positive relationships with others are happier than those who do not. Relationships really do matter!

Meaning (M)

Meaning comes from serving a cause bigger than ourselves. Whether this is a specific deity or religion, or a cause that helps humanity in some way, we all need meaning in our lives to have a sense of well-being.

Accomplishment/Achievement (A)

Many of us strive to better ourselves in some way, whether we’re seeking to master a skill, achieve a valuable goal, or win in some competitive event. As such, accomplishment is another important thing that contributes to our ability to flourish.

For me, both of these provide some good considerations when designing a gamified learning experience. They also highlight the complex and multifaceted nature applying gamification in a meaningful way.

Image from GE4L MOOC site

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Gamification, MOOC

 

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Game Elements for Learning: O-week

ge4l

A couple of weeks ago I enrolled in my first MOOC: ‘Game Elements for Learning’ through the Canvas Network and Academic Partnerships. This one is a micro-MOOC and it lasts for 4 weeks. I’ve read a little bit about Massive Open Online Courses via blog posts and Twitter and I wanted to experience one for myself. I’ve studied online before with a cohort of about 60 people who were located in various parts of the world but I wanted to experience what its like with hundreds, maybe even thousands of participants! This particular one caught my eye because it’s about gamification, which is something else I want to learn more about.

One of the first things I did this week was to re-read Ryan Tracey’s ’10 Hot Tips for MOOCers’ blog post as there’s some good advice for first time MOOCers like me. I’ll probably read it again as I progress through the course.

This MOOC is a cMOOC (with the ‘c’ standing for connectivist) which is different from an xMOOC (which is a more instructor-led, traditional higher education approach). As such, there is a lot of encouragement for us to contribute to forums and connect via LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs etc. and to share our resources, knowledge and experiences. I’ve started to do this although I need to jump into the discussions forums a bit more.

By the end of the course we, should be able to:

  • Define game thinking and design
  • Locate game elements for use in learning
  • Apply or create a game element to a learning activity.

I’ve worked my way through the first topic and it was a good introduction to the course and the area of gamification itself. There were a few different activities – I created an avatar, posted to a forum, watch some video clips, read some introductory info and completed a gamification quiz where I earnt a badge!

Some initial thoughts:

  • Really good communication from the Game Masters (facilitators) leading up to the start of the course, providing plenty of instructions and support
  • Plenty of opportunities to collaborate and link to personal blogs and social media
  • The response time to other participants questions and posts seems quite quick given the numbers
  • The site itself is easy to navigate and there’s plenty to explore
  • You really need to be a self-directed learner so this type of may not  be for everyone.

While I am keen to learn more about gamification, I’m also looking at the course from a design and facilitation perspective. The reason games are motivating is because they satisfy our basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness (as per Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory). I’m interested to see if the course does this (so far so good) and how I can incorporate these techniques into my courses. Also, as someone who wants to continue to develop my skills as an online facilitator, I’m hoping to pick up some ideas from our Game Masters as we go along.

Overall, a great start to the MOOC. I’m looking forward to working through the next topic as well as meeting and learning from other MOOCers.

GE4L MOOCers, how was your first week?

Image from GE4L MOOC site

 

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