• Casey Medlock Paul

Gamifying Learning

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

Gamification of learning is not a new topic, but many are still unsure of how to utilize games to promote learning--especially when it comes to training or professional development. Over a year ago, I attended a talk at Duke University where I heard about how others are using games to make training more fun.

Context + Content = Learning

The context, of course, is the space and medium in which the learning is taking place. For example, learning could be in a classroom or online, through a lecture or groupwork. The content is what is being learned. Gamifying learning involves changing the context to a game-based environment.

Gamification involves using aspects of a game--which includes rules, objectives, progress tracking, rewards, user choice, scaffolding of the material, and repetition. Keep in mind that games don't always have to be digital, either! Analog games that use materials like paper and cardboard count too!

Before you get overwhelmed, remember that you don't have to gamify everything immediately. Start with incorporating only 1 or 2 games in a single training or lesson to begin with. Eventually, you can make the entire program a game!

To get started with gamification, think about a lesson or training you conducted in the past:

  • What were the learning objectives?

  • How did you meet the learning objectives?

  • Could those learning objectives be tied to a reward?

  • How could the lesson be broken down into progressive steps or objectives?

Typically learning objectives become the outcome of the game. The progressive steps or objectives form the game map, which the learner will follow to achieve the final reward--as well as the learning objectives. Remember that games can be simple, such as this one that only uses a chalkboard or be more complex and employ technology tools.

There are several free web tools that make it easy to turn content into a game. Check out Kahoot, Socrative, and Quizlet Live.

If you're interested in gamifying your training or learning program, contact me! Soon your employees will actually be looking forward to their next learning experience!


© 2019 by CMP.

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