Some More Reader Feedback on Gamification in Training

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I wrote an article a couple of weeks back on gamification, and it sparked a nice discussion in social media. Thought I would share.  It’s a fun little debate about the newness of gamification in training, and to what extent it can be impactful.  Interesting to read reader feedback. A lot of people mentioned that gamification wasn’t something new, even if the name is. Jim Hicks from Profession Cube wrote that “Gaming (sorry I cannot use the made up word gamification) is one instructional activity among dozens from which a designer can chose. That’s why it may seem that it’s not being widely adopted if you are unfamiliar with all those techniques. Some folks confuse the technique, activity, strategy or the delivery medium with a “trend” that can be universally applied. Gaming is not appropriate for many learning objectives. And, rewards, challenges, badges, etc. is not appropriate for many adult learning settings..” Methew Georgiou of brand Metal wrote: “There is some debate on what “gamification” exactly means, but generally, gamification is much broader than just using games for learning. And badges, points, etc. are only a narrow selection of tools that can be used to motivate learners. Gamification really is about discovering extrinsic and intrinsic motivators that can be applied to make learning, marketing, and other non-gaming activities more engaging. Just as games have proven their amazing ability to motivate people to spend money and lots of time on an (often meaningless) activity, this same power can be harnessed in other ways. And, this is not limited to Gen X and Y. It’s about human behavior, which often transcends age and culture. For example, while I have designed bleeding-edge technology tools over the years, I have also designed non-technology game-based learning experiences to train African farmers how to improve their planning and decision-making skills. The designed experience is more important than the media used to deliver the experience..” Interestingly, Heika Bauer of Johnson Controls writes: “There could be a differentiation between ” games”, simulations or ” serious games” and the concept if gamification. Gamification is different in that it is about using game-elements (like the concept of rewards, progression, and fun) for non-game purposes. what a gamified approach or system looks like can vary greatly depending on purpose, content and audience. and that’s what makes it so powerful. Is this new? Again, depending. Whatever gamified systems utilize new technology, it probably is. And at the same time, some of it isn’t. Like the toy or sticker collection that comes with your cereal pack. What’s important with all gamified training or system is that you reach a sustainable chante in behavior. no matter if that behavior us a change in commnication patterns, more exercise or buying a certain product. the learner or user should – through the gamified routines- develop intrinsic motivation to keep up the desired behavior. not in order to earn points or badges, but because they see real personal value coming from the targeted activity. If gamification can help reach this sort of intrinsic motivation and will to learn, then it is worth a try. where it doesn’t it’s just another hype.” Readers intersted in gamification can look at the  gamification examples page.
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog