Here’s my talk notes on gamification from my presentation at TESOL Greece Convention back at the beginning of March 2020. It was my last conference before the Coronavirus lockdown. I think I purposely waited two weeks after my presentation in Athens to make sure everything was ok.
Hi everyone and welcome to 41st TESOL Greece Convention and specifically speaking welcome to my workshop titled “Gamification in your School: Design, Plan, Execute”.
Just before we endeavour into the area of gamification, I just wanted to know how many of you in today’s workshop have practically used gamification before?
Now that’s interesting. Most of you here today say they have used gamification before.
Let’s have a look at today’s agenda. I’ve broken this workshop into two parts. Firstly, I’ll dab into some terms about the area of gamification and its background research.
Then we’ll have a look at how and why gamification works.
And lastly, I’ll end this workshop with some slides of how we have implemented our gamification system.
Which of the following is gamification?
A digital reward system
A loyalty program
an engagement tool
Using games in your classroom
Gamification is middleware for motivation
Points, badges, and leaderboards are just ‘signpost’ on the way of achieving their own individual goals. Not organizational goals. Success is where they overlap.
Gamification is about digital motivation. It’s a digital engagement model. All the other elements have been around for a long time scouts. Army. Uses badges for hundreds of years
Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and to engage audiences.
Game thinking is the product of three-generation gamers. Kids today are growing up today with games as their principal forms of entertainment and that multigenerational exposure has simply affected the way that they think. Game thinking is about solving problems and engaging audiences.
Slide 7 Game mechanics
Which of the following are connected to game mechanics?
What’s at the heart of this gamification loop system?
At the heart of the gamification system is the point system. The things around the point system are called game mechanics. Points, badges, leaderboards. Things that can be used to engage users around a point system. Often it’s hard to communicate to somebody exactly how much money you have. So signalling is very important to show other students at which level you are. We use badges.
9. What is status worth?
There are people that are either playing games on tv or following these types of programs. Like master chef or GNTM, 16:07 What do these people play those games for?
“They play for attention, they play for power, they play for status” [Zichermann]. They don’t play for the cash. The bottom line is that If you don’t have a good status system in exchange for their behaviour, you need to give them cash or (a prize). Buy one get one free? Discounts on tuition fees, small group numbers, enrolment gifts..are just a few I could come up with…
Signalling (Status) is an important part of this kind of interaction. Sometimes it’s not always about the points it’s about the status signal.
10. Why is it difficult to engage students?
One of the things that science has learnt from games is that fun and the theme of the game is not connected. The theme is a lure to bring people into the engaging experience. And that has important implications.. If we can make farming fun we can make anything fun or anything work, depending on its design. It’s a switch that we can use to make anything engaging.
In gamification, we use a term called “The Spoon full of sugar effect|
The premise of that song is if I make the medicine sweet enough, you won’t know that it’s medicine and you’ll take it.
Marketers sometimes use this to describe this phenomenon they call this loyalty program.
Loyalty programs are intended to get users to take any action in your favour when all competing options are mostly equal.
Loyalty is about status and signalling!
11. Which of the following gets people to unforcefully take action against their self-interest in a predictable way?
Games are the only force in the known universe which get people to take actions which are against their self-interest in a predictable way without the use of force.
Increasingly students are faced with a set of choices that are basically distinguished between work and leisure choices but increasingly they are compulsory and optional choices. These are replacing fun and work. “Once we get into optional time, users are naturally going to gravitate to the experience that they find the most rewarding” [Zichermann]. By definition, games have a big advantage over just about anything you might be creating in your spare time. Especially the ones that are designed explicitly to maximize reward. For example.
Do kids not read books today because they don’t understand why it is important? No, it’s because they have the choice of stuff that is way more interesting than books. They’re choosing something that is more interesting to them.
Games have a profound effect on your brain
How significantly are games rewiring your brain?
Games have a profound effect on your brain. Through the process of Intrinsic reinforcement. Anytime you challenge yourself to something and you achieve that thing, your brain secretes a little bit of magical chemical called dopamine. Challenge achievement mmm that feels good. The more you succeed the more you want to succeed. Dopamine testosterone actually affects the way your brain is structured.
They don’t have to be good… in the real world, we get this dopamine release very infrequently. but, in the game world, we can achieve that more and more which is a little series of accomplishments.
Take deliberately the idea of games and apply them to the real world and you get creative.
Would you like to play a 145-word list game?
Gamification is about motivation. (Transactional level experience) Extrinsic rewards are not enough for a sustainable effect. Intrinsic motivators have three essential elements.
1.Autonomy- the desire to direct our own lives for optimal wellness and performance.
2.Mastery – the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters.
3.purpose – the morning to do what we do in service of something larger than our selves.
(Intrinsic rewards engage people at an emotional level).
[Dan H. Pink]
1. Autonomy. They make choices about how they will perceive there learning goals. Players have a choice to discover their path.
2. Mastery. Is a journey… there is never an endpoint… there is always another level. Gamification is about always getting better at something.
3. Purpose. Must start and finish with a purpose. A goal much larger than themselves.
Don’t mistake business goals for player goals. By breaking that goal into a series of manageable steps and encouraging people along the way..
The goal is not a problem. It’s the path to achieving that goal is the problem.
One of the key problems of many gamified solutions is that they are focused on achieving the organization’s goals and not the players’ goals..
Gamified solutions must put players goals first and make them the primary design objective” [Zichermann]. Every design decision must be focused on motivating them in achieving their goals. Designers need to understand players needs and ambitions.
Will you accept the ‘Gimkit challenge’
Make kids believe that they are doing something for a reason for a purpose.
Make kids feel that they have a choice and a reason.
They feel that they have no choice all the time. – Scott Herbert
In today’s globalised, digital age, young people are continuously bombarded with information through multiple channels, and the pace of social life has been intensified by social media in an unprecedented manner.
How do we use rewards to engage our students?
Reward early, reward often, try not to go negative (in rewards) Give benefits for advancing levels. Show status.
Engage them in a deeper and more meaningful level. Encourage them to progress through level engaging them on an emotional level.
What is fun is the new power metric mean?
The new metric consumers are looking for in games is fun and engagement. This is slowly going to become more important in students’ lives and as we advance we will be compared to how fun and how engaging is our schools.
Loyalty programs don’t engage emotionally.
Our expectations have changed irrevocably, we can never go back. Consumer expectation is rapidly shifting. The tide is turning from the consumer point of view and increasingly is fun and engagement. And this will increase more and more.
Every single touchpoint is an opportunity to draw in another user.
The game always favours its creator… no matter what game you play the house always wins… there is no way to beat the house
You have a choice I’ve either being the house or be played…. The sooner you get gamification into your school the sooner you get a bigger cut in happy students.
Google – managing millennials. All the frustration. You’re taking the smartest fastest tinkering most socially connected most ethically grounded in history generation in history, dismissing them because you can’t figure out how to manage them because you don’t know-how. Let me tell you what will happen, they’ll switch off… disconnect and learn English mostly by themselves… But at a standard balanced threshold level whereas you could’ve taken them to a much higher and advanced level.
Driving licenses example because of tweeting and Instagram
Theme and fun are not connected
Fun and work can merge with games
Status, not cash is the best incentive
The gamification loop is your guide
Fun is the new metric
Games favour their creators