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Improving Learner Motivation for eLearning

Motivation has been and continues to be a widely studied area across many of life’s domains. Motivation is the energising force that initiates and sustains behaviour and ultimately produces results. Many motivation theories focus on the amount of motivation, with a larger quantity said to result in improved outcomes. However, as educators we shouldn’t focus on generating more motivation from our learners but instead focus on creating conditions that facilitate the internalisation of motivation from within our learners.

Self-determination theory (SDT), an empirical theory of motivation by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, focuses on the degree in which behaviour is self-motivated and self-determined. According to SDT, engaging in activities for their inherent satisfaction and that are enjoyable are said to be intrinsically motivating. Unlike other motivation theories, extrinsic motivation (engaging in activities that lead to a separable outcome) is not a single construct; it exists in four distinct forms according to the extent to which the motivation for the behaviour emanates from one’s self. In other words, extrinsic motivation can be viewed by the degree to which it is controlling of one’s behaviour (external) or allows one’s behaviour to be more autonomous (internal).

SDT Continuum

Ryan and Deci, 2000.

Organismic Integration Theory (OIT), a sub-theory of SDT, places the four types of extrinsic motivation along a continuum of relative autonomy, depending on the level of control or autonomy. As can be seen in the diagram (from left to right), the types of motivation along the continuum relate to increasing levels of internalisation and autonomy and lower levels of control. Progression along the continuum is not necessarily linear and is subject to contextual factors. However, greater internalisation “is critical for effective psychological and academic functioning at all education levels” (Niemiec and Ryan, 2000, p.138).

How can we help learners to internalise their motivation?

SDT proposes that all humans require the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs, namely:

  • Autonomy (a sense of being in control and having freedom),
  • Competence (a sense of being able to do something i.e. being competent), and
  • Relatedness (a sense of being associated or connected to others).

Contexts that satisfy all three basic needs will help support people’s actions, resulting in more sustained motivation over time and positive outcomes. Learners are not always motivated to complete eLearning modules/courses – it might be a requirement of their job or as part of a qualification. But, if we can use strategies to support their competence, autonomy and relatedness needs we can assist learners to internalise their motivation of these types of externally regulated activities.

What do these support strategies look like in practice?

Here are some strategies that you can apply to your eLearning that can help improve learner motivation by satisfying their basic psychological needs:

Autonomy:

  1. Allowing learners to make meaningful choices that have consequences
  2. Providing learners with more than one way to reach their end goal
  3. Allowing learners to customise their environment e.g. choosing a character
  4. Encouraging learners to take risks and be creative during the eLearning module/course

Competence:

  1. Making the rules and goals for learners clear and structured
  2. Allowing multiple opportunities to complete parts of the eLearning module/course to allow learners to build their competence
  3. Requiring learners to frequently make decisions to keep the eLearning module/course moving forward
  4. Measuring learner performance in multiple ways
  5. Increasing the difficulty as the learner progresses through the eLearning module/course
  6. Linking progression (the reward) to learner competence
  7. Providing learners with constant and varied feedback and support
  8. Allowing learners to review or replay earlier parts of the eLearning module/course
  9. Recognise learner achievement e.g. experience points or badges

Relatedness:

  1. Providing space/areas for learner interaction and discussion e.g. forums
  2. Providing opportunities for learner collaboration e.g. a group quest or challenge

Motivation plays an important role during eLearning experiences and our challenge is to create eLearning that our learners want to engage in. As educators, we have an opportunity to assist learners with the internalisation of motivation in the way we design and deliver learning experiences. While it’s not always easy, we need to use strategies that help satisfy the competence, autonomy and relatedness needs of our learners if we want to improve their motivation towards the module or course they are completing.

References:

Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2008) Facilitating optimal motivation and psychological well-being across life’s domains. Canadian Psychology. 49 (1), 14-23.

Kapp, K. M. (2012) The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. Pfeiffer/ASTD

Niemiec, C. P & Ryan, R. M. (2009). Autonomy, competence and relatedness in the classroom: applying self-determination theory to educational practice. Theory and Research in Education. 7 (2), 133-144.

Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2000) Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology. 25, 54-67.

Also, check out this website for more information on self-determination theory: http://www.selfdeterminationtheory.org/

A similar version of this article originally appeared in Training & Development magazine, October 2013 Vol 40 No 5, published by the Australian Institute of Training and Development and eLearn Magazine, October 2013.

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Shout-out to my Personal Learning Network

When I started working as an Instructional Designer a few years ago, I didn’t have much ID experience. In fact, I didn’t even realise that it was a career path! I’d been working as a classroom trainer up until that point and enjoying it but I wanted a change. Since becoming and ID I’ve had the opportunity to design for eLearning and classroom environments. Apart from a 2-day workshop, much of what I’ve learned along the way has come from my own experiences and from the experiences of others. From early on in my career I have wanted know more about instructional design and how to design to improve performance – two things that still drive me today.

A few weeks ago I posted a list of what I called 20 Resources for New eLearning Professionals on the eLearning Industry website. It was my way of both acknowledging and sharing with others who are maybe in a similar place as I was and are looking for sources of practical and thought-provoking ideas in the fields of learning and design. I limited it to 20 just to keep it concise but now that it’s on my blog I thought I’d expand on it a bit. It would be great if you could add a couple in the comments area too. In just a couple of years, I have come across many of great practitioners in the learning field from trainers to instructional designers to those who specialise in a particular area and those who are more generalist L&D/OD in what they talk about. The one thing they have is common is a passion for what they do.

My personal learning network has grown steadily and continues to grow and I wanted to share with you a few of the people who have had an impact on me in some way. The following people and resources provide excellent, relevant and useful information on a variety of e-learning areas and most also provide a means for you to connect with the other learning professionals, helping you to grow your own personal learning network (more about PLN’s in my next post).

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Books

When I first started looking for information on instructional design, I started with books. Even in this digital age, I still love reading an actual book. A colleague recommended Ruth Colvin Clark and as such I’ve read several of her books. I find her books provide a straightforward, evidence-based approach and I’ve learned a lot from them. All these books are terrific resources as they provide in-depth coverage that is easy to read and apply to your professional and personal life.

  1. Efficiency in Learning by Ruth Clark, Frank Nguyen and John Sweller
  2. Developing Technical Training by Ruth Colvin Clark
  3. The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl Kapp
  4. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
  5. Graphics for Learning by Ruth Colvin Clark and Chopeta Lyons
  6. Telling Ain’t Training by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps
  7. Evidence-based Training Methods by Ruth Colvin Clark
  8. Cognitive Load Theory edited by Jan L. Plass, Roxana Moreno and Roland Brunken
  9. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  10. Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential by Carol Dweck
  11. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be creative by Ken Robinson

(I’ve also got Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They can Change the World by Jane McGonigal and Better than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging e-learning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth on order).

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Blogs

I didn’t start reading blogs until I started my own blog earlier this year. I figured that the best way to learn about writing a blog is to start by looking at how others do it. What I discovered was a wonderful source of information, opinions and reflections (even writing styles) on a variety of areas within the learning field. I find blogs to be a great way to not only learn about what’s happening in the learning profession but to get some alternative viewpoints that may challenge your own ideas. I’ve listed a few that I read below and there are some more under the ‘Blogs I follow’ label to the right of the screen. Regardless of whose blog you read, if you find a post that interests you, chances are it will be interesting to someone else so why not share it by clicking on one or more of the share options at the end of the post.

  1. Ryan Tracey: Ryan is an Australian E-Learning manager, blogger, writer, advisor & reviewer who writes about a variety of learning topics –  http://ryan2point0.wordpress.com/ (also on twitter @ryantracey)
  2. Cathy Moore: Cathy is on a mission to save the world from boring corporate elearning. Creator of the action mapping ID process and the Elearning Blueprint –  http://blog.cathy-moore.com/ (also on twitter @CatMoore)
  3. Connie Malamed: Connie writes as The elearning Coach and provides tips and reviews for success with online and mobile learning – http://theelearningcoach.com/about/ (also on twitter @elearningcoach)
  4. Will Thalheimer: Will writes a research based commentary on learning, performance and the industry thereof – http://www.willatworklearning.com/ (also on twitter @WillWorkLearn)
  5. Clark Quinn: Clark is a learning experience architect & strategist taking it to the ‘next level’ via a deep cognitive and broad technology background – http://blog.learnlets.com/ (also on twitter @Quinnovator)
  6. Jane Hart: Jane is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT). She is an independent advisor, writer and speaker – http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/blog/ (also on twitter @C4LPT)
  7. Allison Rossett: Alison has taught in EDTEC at SDSU for 30+ years, writing books, running projects, working with students and clients – http://www.allisonrossett.com/ (also on twitter @arossett)
  8. Craig Weiss: Craig writes the E-Learning 24/7 blog and has been identified as a thought leader and expert – http://elearninfo247.com/ (also on twitter @diegoinstudio)

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Websites

The following websites have a huge range of learning articles, case studies, opinions, research, best practice and resources that may help you with your next e-learning project:

  1. eLearning Industry: http://elearningindustry.com/ (also on twitter @elearnindustry)
  2. The eLearning Guildhttp://www.elearningguild.com/ (also on twitter @eLearningGuild)
  3. Learning Solutions Magazine: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/ (also on twitter @learningsolmag)
  4. eLearning Learning: http://www.elearninglearning.com/ (also on twitter @trainmagnetwork)
  5. eLearning Brothers: provide a great range of templates and resources for Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and Lectora http://elearningbrothers.com/
  6. Instructional Design Org: Good place for new e-learning professionals that contains information on learning theories, design models and terminology  http://www.instructionaldesign.org/
  7. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication that aims to promote scholarship in the use of the Internet and web-based multimedia resources in higher education – http://jolt.merlot.org/

Twitter icon

Twitter

Twitter is a tool that I didn’t use much at all until recently. I’ve found it to be a great way to connect with other eLearning professionals. As well as the one’s already mentioned here’s a few more people that I follow: @lrnchat – a weekly twitter chat covering a variety of interesting learning related topics. I’ve connected with a lot of learning people via lrnchat. @chat2lrn is another good weekly chat too. Learning and Development professionals from around the world (many of them write blogs too):

  • Helen Blunden @ActivateLearn
  • Costas @LearnKotch
  • Christopher Pappas @cpappas
  • Jane Bozarth @JaneBozarth  (Jane writes some great articles on the Learning Solutions Mag website too)
  • Charles Jennings @charlesjennings and @702010Forum
  • Tracy L. Bissett @TLBissett
  • Craig Taylor @CraigTaylor74
  • Mark Britz @britz
  • Kevin Thorn @LearnNuggets
  • Tracy Parish @Tracy_Parish
  • Tom Spiglanin @tomspiglanin
  • Bianca Woods @eGeeking
  • Mayra Aixa Villar @MayraAixaVillar
  • David Kelly @LnDDave
  • Lesley Price @lesleyprice
  • Colin Steed @ColinSteed
  • Nancy Duarte @nancyduarte

I’m using Articulate Storyline at work, so here are some Articulate people that I follow:

  • Tom Kuhlmann @tomkuhlmann – Tom writes the Rapid Elearning Blog where he shares great practical tips & tricks for building elearning courses.
  • Articulate @Articulate
  • David Anderson @elearning
  • Nicole Legault @nicole_legault
  • Christine Hendrickson @CHendrickson82

If you’re interested in gamification (as I am) check out these people:

  • Karl Kapp @kkapp
  • Jane McGonigal @avantgame
  • Alicia Sanchez @gamesczar
  • Amy Jo Kim @amyjokim
  • Scott Nicholson @snicholson
  • Gabe Zichermann @GabeZicherman
  • The Knowledge Guru @thekguru
  • Gamification Co @gamificationco

I realise that there’s a lot of names listed in this post but I believe they are worth checking out if you want to learn more about eLearning, instructional design, performance improvement and the role of L&D. Maybe not all at once but when or if you need to. They have helped me along the way and might help you too. It would be great if you could add a couple of (or more) resources that you have in the comments area below and also share this post. That way we can create a living blog post that will reach a wide audience.

Finally, a huge THANK-YOU to everyone who has and continues to help me, challenge me, inspire me and share their knowledge; it’s very much appreciated.

 

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Video Games and Motivation

Gamification

Every year globally, people spend huge amounts of money and time playing video games. Most people who engage in video game play choose to do so voluntarily, because it is fun and they enjoy it. This makes it an intrinsically motivating activity.

Research into video game play has tended to focus on either the positive effects e.g. a sense of efficacy or improved learning or the negative effects e.g. lower productivity or violent tendencies on players1. However, some studies have examined the motivating effects of video games, albeit from different perspectives.

Sherry and Lucas2 found that players engage in video games to access one or more of the following psychological states:

  • Competition: the experience of defeating others
  • Challenge: the experience of success following effort
  • Diversion: to escape an experience of stress
  • Fantasy: to experience novel or unrealistic stimuli
  • Social interaction: to have a social experience
  • Arousal: to experience activated positive emotions

According to Yee3, people who play Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) e.g. Star Wars Galaxies, were motivated by three main areas while playing (made up of 10 sub-components):

Achievement:

  • Advancement: rapid progression, gaining power, accumulating wealth or status
  • Mechanics: analysing the rules and system in order to optimise character performance
  • Competition: a desire to challenge and compete with others

Social:

  • Socialising: including helping others, making friends, chatting with other players
  • Relationships: developing long-term relationships, finding and giving support to others
  • Teamwork: collaborating with others, achieving as a group.

Immersion:

  • Discovery: exploring the game world, finding hidden things within the game
  • Role-Playing: creating a character back-story, interacting with other characters
  • Customisation: the ability to create the appearance of the character
  • Escapism: providing an escape from real-life problems

Research by Ryan, Rigby and Przybylski4 into the motivation to play video games (regardless of the game type) found that motivation is accounted for by how well the game satisfies our three basic psychological needs:

  1. Autonomy – the extent to which the game provides flexibility over movement and strategies, choice over task and goals, and rewards that provide feedback and not control.
  2. Competence – the extent to which tasks provide ongoing challenges and opportunities for feedback.
  3. Relatedness – the extent to which the game provides interactions between players.

In addition to need satisfaction, their research also found that:

Presence – the extent to which the player feels within the game environment as opposed to being outside the game manipulating the controls, and

Intuitive controls – the extent to which the controls make sense and don’t interfere with feelings of presence, were also important as they allow players to focus on game play and access the need satisfaction provided by the game.

Contexts that satisfy these basic needs will support people’s actions, resulting in more optimal motivation and positive outcomes. Therefore, we should design our eLearning experiences to support the autonomy, competence and relatedness needs of our learners.

Gamification is a technique that aims to replicate the motivational pull of video game play and apply it to eLearning experiences. While gamification has been met with some criticism, it seems that it’s more the application that is the problem rather than the technique itself. In order to successfully gamify an eLearning course we need to satisfy people’s basic psychological needs. If we look at popular video games over time such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario, Angry Birds, Guitar Hero, Wii Sports, Donkey Kong, World of Warcraft or Space Invaders, we can see how they satisfy these needs and use similar approaches to our own eLearning design.

Here are some examples of the game design elements used by these popular games and how they apply to each of our psychological needs:

Autonomy:

  • Allowing players to make meaningful choices that have consequences
  • Providing players with more than one way to reach their goal
  • Allowing players to customise their environment e.g. choosing a character

Competence:

  • Making the rules and goals for players clear and structured
  • Allowing multiple opportunities to complete parts of the game to allow players to build their competence
  • Requiring players to frequently make decisions to keep the game moving forward
  • Measuring player performance in multiple ways
  • Increasing the difficulty as the player progresses through the game
  • Linking progression (the reward) to player competence
  • Providing players with constant and varied feedback and support
  • Allowing players to review or replay earlier parts of the game

Relatedness:

  • Providing space/areas for player interaction and discussion
  • Providing opportunities for player collaboration e.g. a group quest or challenge

Popular games use different combinations of game design elements in order to keep people motivated to play. If you substitute ‘player’ with ‘learner’, from the above list, you will see how gamification can be incorporated into your eLearning experiences. Once the mechanics are selected (based on the needs of learners), designers can then look to incorporate the aesthetic elements of game design in order to create presence and intuitive control/navigation which will support the game mechanics.

Motivation plays an important role during eLearning experiences and our challenge is to create eLearning that our learners want to engage in. While it does require more effort in the design, gamification is a technique that, if used correctly, can improve the motivation of all learners who experience gamified eLearning.

References

1 & 4 Ryan, R. M., Rigby, C. S & Przybylski, A. K., (2006). The motivational pull of video games: a self-determination theory approach. Motivation and Emotion.  30, 347-364.

2 Przybylski, A. K., Rigby, C. S. & Ryan, R. M. (2010) A motivational model of video game engagement. Review of General Psychology. 14 (2), 154-166.

3 Yee, N. (2006). Motivations for play in online games. CyberPsychology & Behaviour. 9 (6), 772-775.

Game Over

 
22 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Gamification, Motivation

 

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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.

 
5 Comments

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

 
4 Comments

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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