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Banner Gamification and Instructional Design

Rewarding learners but also authors of learning content is a great way to motivate them for active participation. In e-Learning we can lift it to the next level, when we think about designing a new class, Gamification comes to our mind. It’s a combination of lots of study-relevant methods and learning theories delivered for success, a powerful marriage “Gamification and Instructional Design”.

These days I was wondering where I can find some good blogs and sources that would assist me to write down my thoughts around creating successful eLearning courses. I found it in an infographic from Mia McMeekin who is writing about Gamification and Instructional Design.

In 6 easy steps, Mia is summarizing the way to succeed with an instructional design approach for learning in combination with gamification.

Step 1: Learning Outcomes

In the first step go and define the learning outcome by using useful verbs and make them measurable.

This list of useful verbs for creating learning outcomes is arranged according to Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, which identifies original different cognitive domains associated with levels of learning.  Bloom’s taxonomy was developed first in 1956 and was extended in 2001 by Bloom’s colleagues, Lorin Anderson and David Krathwahl. Now the taxonomy relates to three domains.

  • The cognitive domain (knowledge-based)
  • The affective domain (emotion-based)
  • The psychomotor domain (action-based)

Step 2: Big Idea

As a second step chose a big idea, this can be a theme or challenge. Ask yourself, what idea can carry the course through to the end? In order to accomplish this idea, theme, or challenge, students must master all the learning outcomes easily.


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Step 3: Storyboard the Game

Visualize the big idea in a storyboard from start to end. In your storyboard include the description of the challenge clear and easy to understand, and use presentation material. Take a multi steps design phase approach and use learning activities.

End with a big showoff, a memorable event which the learner and student can look back.

Step 4: Learning Activities

Design your learning activities with emotional aspects and interactivity. Stimulating the student’s attention and grabbing them to get closer to the learning objective can be achieved with activities. Remember, the majority of humans are learning much better with audiovisual content, use this in your learning activities. Recalling information in activities is a good way to manifest them in the mind of the student.

  • Learning activities will happen during the instructional period, including out-of-class activities, what the instructor will do, and what the student will do.” [Gagne, et al., 2005]
  • Instruction is a “set of events external to the learner designed to support the internal processes of learning.” (Gagne, et. al, 2005)

Step 5: Build the Team

The best results of learning can be achieved through team games and activities. Games can be played individually or as a team. It is suggested that students participate in teams to enhance learning. This is discussed in publications around social learning theory and co­-constructivist learning theory.

  • Build teams and form mixed ability groups, with different ages, majors, achievements, and diversity in mind.
  • Tinker with struggling groups, ask them if they need help. Show them a way out of problems and challenges and teach active listening.
  • Help groups to bond into teams, let them know each other, help them to introduce themselves, motivate them to listen, trust and participate.
  • Instill competitive unity within the team by creating a reason to win. Encourage intrinsic motivation and offer to earn bonus points for unity.
  • Healthy teams challenge each other, spurring each other on to deeper learning.

Step 6: Add Game Dynamics

Apply the game dynamics to your learning course. Create a theme of your game and levels for your players which they can achieve in a fun and engaging way. By creating a rewarding system the competition is open and curiosity about new challenges will lead them open-minded to the next level. When people are reaching for the stars give them permission to fail, recall information and offer another attempt easy. Curiosity and freedom to interpret are success factors that can help you to keep it playful and fun.

Give them the ability to share their success easily with co-workers, friends, and family. Buy giving them the option to invite their next competitor gives them a peer-to-peer competition ability and will raise the motivation.

Final Thoughts

Gamification is found our days in many fields. We can find them in raising a useful support forum of a product or company, build a fan community successfully, and in many marketing activities. In learning platforms, it is a key element for success.

Emotion appeals to our human nature which can be utilized to achieve targets. Building a reward system on emotion, fun, and motivation triggers our play instinct. Utilize the natural given elements like curiosity, the hunger for knowledge, emotional intelligence, or freedom of interpretation motivates learners to achieve more and more.

Infographic Gamification and Instructional Design
Skillz Middle East makes Digital Transformation happening for your company. We focus on the quick win to ensure Digital Marketing, e-learning, Web Meeting, Web Conferencing, Digital Signature, Digital Asset Management are ready to enhance your organization. Digital Marketing shall save money and bring a more efficient conversion for your brand and products.
Dieter Hovorka

CTO, Co-founder, Skillz Middle East

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