Measuring the impact of gamification or game-based learning can seem challenging. How do we know if our learners are more engaged? How do we know if gamification motivated our team to learn more? How do we know if the game-based eLearning we created will affect productivity?
Before we can answer those questions, we need to look back at the alignment of our gamification and game-based learning strategies with our original learning objectives. If we set everything up correctly from the get-go, we should be generating data related to measurable results that we can report on.
As you’re recalling those objectives, consider measuring the impact of gamification and/or game-based learning through the lens of three core premises that drive our blended learning initiatives: transfer of knowledge, acquisition of skill, and change in behavior.
Gamification & Game-Based Learning,
In the spirit of sharing tips and tricks for working with video and audio, we reached back into a featured series of InSync blog posts on technology tools for modern blended learning.
From the series Sorting through the Technology Toolbox, here are some of my favorite tips and tools for you to explore so you can be on your way to creating interactive eLearning, audio, video, and screencasting learning assets.
Modern Blended Learning
When we talk about game-based learning and gamification, we’re always throwing in the notion of learner engagement. We’re immersing our learners through…what? Fun? Games?
Play. It’s all about the power of play, and how humans naturally learn in playful states.
Play takes on many shapes, sizes, and definitions. According to Jeff Everhart, Instructional Technology Trainer and English instructor, when defining play within a learning perspective we should focus on activities that contain, possess, or exhibit some or all of the following characteristics:
• An aspect of fun or novelty
• Immediate or timely feedback
• Unpredictable rewards (that are not necessarily tied to objectives)
Gamification & Game-Based Learning
Did you know that more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute? Yes, YouTube has significantly changed the way we access and process learning.
For many of us, instead of reading through an instruction manual, we search YouTube for a video that will guide us through “how to.” We can watch these over and over again, pausing where we need to look closer or to better understand what the subject matter expert is trying to get across. Of course we could read, and re-read, that instructional manual – so why do we turn to video?
In the article “Why We Love How-to Videos,” Tom Vanderbilt shares the answer he got from Luc Proteau, head of the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Montreal:
Back in 1922, Thomas Edison once predicted that the motion picture would transform the way we learn:
"I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks."
According to the book, The Flickering Mind, by Todd Oppenheimer, Edison had been “even more pedagogically expansive” back in 1913, when he said that film makes it “possible to touch every branch of human knowledge.”
Research followed in 1939, when Henry Arthur Wise sought to prove Edison’s forecast. Again, according to The Flickering Mind, Wise studied the impact of films on learning and found that the films helped “low-ability students to learn factual information, while helping high-ability students in acquiring spirit and atmosphere.”
Spirit and atmosphere? To me, that sounds like engagement. Interesting.
Modern Blended Learning,
Blended Learning Campaigns
In previous blog posts, we have established that we are all modern learners. As we explore and build our own modern learning pathways, let’s stop for a moment to consider where we are and what we are picking up along the way.
All of our learning choices are personal. The process we go through to select, evaluate, and use learning assets is, in fact, the process of designing our own personal learning blends.
The Right Stuff
We have a plethora of learning materials at our fingertips. A simple Google search on the topic of compliance training will turn up thousands of blog posts, webinars, workshops, infographics, job aids, white papers, videos, podcasts, and cartoons on the subject. We choose what we need and discard the rest, and hope we’re making the right choices.
Personal Learning Networks,
The last (but not least) compartment in our EdTech toolbox is curation tools. We use these tools and apps to explore the web to find resources related to specific topics that we can save, reference or share out through other channels. In any modern blended learning program, a curation strategy can improve the outcomes for your learners.
According to Anders Pink, curation for learning means:
- Finding the best content from multiple sources, usually external content.
- Filtering it so only the most relevant content makes it through.
- Sharing it with the right internal audiences, at the right time, in the right places.
- Adding value to that content with commentary, context or organization.
50 Modern Blended Learning Blogs
Can we possibly know what the future holds? I don’t think we can, but we can certainly look to the horizon and consider what may be coming. We can use data, history, and recent trends to guide our forecasts. I am not a futurist, but I do see three distinct visions for the future of EdTech swirling around in the haze out there.
The Connected Future
The Internet of Things (IoT) is real. Our homes talk to our phones, and our watches talk to our refrigerators. Our objects (wearable and embedded) are talking to each other – collecting and exchanging data. Machines connected to machines, constantly passing information back and forth. The Gartner Group published a study back in 2015 which estimated that 20 billion devices would be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. Will we lose our human touch here? I don’t think so.
50 Modern Blended Learning Blogs
As a Learning Experience Designer, I am always promoting the theory and research behind the work that I do, and stressing that “it’s not about the technology." We create learning solutions that meet the needs of our learners through mindful approaches, not through technology.
At the same time, I’m a geek. I love my tech, and I love how technology enables me to think differently about the learning experiences that I create for my clients. I’m always on the lookout for new EdTech, or any technology that I can shape to meet my instructional needs.
50 Modern Blended Learning Blogs
As a Learning Experience Designer, my job requires that I navigate a complex landscape. Each new project that I work on involves different parameters, sends me down unique pathways, and sets up obstacles along the way.
Even with many years of experience under my belt, I still find myself lost in this landscape at times. You may find yourself just as lost in your own work, too. As learning experience designers, we often work under compressed timelines and have to rely solely on our instincts and defined learning objectives to guide us toward a successful project outcomes.
It may surprise you to learn that the sport of orienteering (not your traditional instructional design resource) can provide us with some valuable guidance.
Virtual Classroom - Instructional Design,
50 Modern Blended Learning Blogs,
Blended Learning Instructional Design