In this session, I would present the potential of gamifying a professional course in a Higher Education (HE) environment to initiate and facilitate shared community learning experience. To clarify, gamification is a broad term that means application of gaming mechanics in a non-game environment (Gee, 2007).
The chosen professional course was gamified to encourage participation on the online discussion forums and facilitate collaboration as a solution focussed strategy, this was because a lot of learning and discussion took place outside the formal sessions and the community presence was missing (Naidu, 2017). The gamification model was incorporated after a careful evaluation, and a deliberate design was produced to enhance and develop participants’ intrinsic cognitive processes and abilities (Hampel, 2006).
This session will aim to inform the participants how integration of game-mechanics in a professional course could allow: wider accessibility; greater motivation and engagement; and increased social engagement.
My aim was to test the effectiveness of the pedagogical shift towards adopting student-centred forms of learning community wherein students are expected to take greater control of, and responsibility for, their own learning (Cross, 1982). So, while learning cannot be designed, some of the physical and social components of the situation in which learning activity unfolds can be designed, as design certainly affects learning indirectly (Beetham and Sharpe, 2013).
As a result, a course-medal framework was adopted to encourage peer participation and collaboration. Course-medal in fact improved learners’ effective experiences of engagement and motivated them to learn more. Thus, it was discovered that learning arises not through but in interaction (Connolly et al., 2012; Gee, 2007).
The flexibility of course-cup framework worked as a motivation to allow the participants to get back to the discussion activities or do other tasks to earn points for achieving the incentives, and simultaneously learn (Bruckman, 1999). Participants responded favourably to course-medal elements that facilitated content acquisition and created a sense of community presence that was lacking in the previous run of this course.
The bigger picture after integration of the course-medal (gamification) framework within this course has positively provided me the motivation to research and investigate the potential of game-informed learning activities in an educational environment. I learnt that although the integration of Universal Design elements can take time and effort when a course is being developed for the first time, the proactive and flexible nature of this course-medal design framework certainly could be reused and repurposed for future iterations of the course (Cross, 1982).
The framework has potential to be replicated and the audience would be able to have exposure to the benefits of incorporating the same in their respective practices.
– Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (Eds.). (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing and delivering e-learning. RoutledgeFalmer.
– Bruckman, A. (1999). Can Educational Be Fun? Game Developer Conference: 75-79. San Jose, California.
– Connolly, T.M., Boyle, E.A., MacArthur, E., Hainey, T., & Boyle, J.M. (2012). A systematic literature review of empirical evidence on computer games and serious games. Computers & Education, 59, 661-686.
– Cross, N. (1982) ‘Designerly ways of knowing’, Design Studies. (Special Issue Design Education), 3(4), pp. 221–227.
– Gee J.P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
– Hampel, R. (2006) ‘Rethinking task design for the digital age: A framework for language teaching and learning in a synchronous online environment’, ReCALL, 18(1), pp. 105–121.
– Naidu, S. (2017) ‘How flexible is flexible learning, who is to decide and what are its implications?’, Distance Education, 38(3), pp. 269–272.