Gamification: Using Game Mechanics To Enhance ELearning
What is Engagement?
Setting Goals and Objectives
Figure 1: Linear Flow of Goals. (Adapted from an illustration by Sebastian Deterding)
Figure 2: Nonlinear Goal Progression
Figure 3: Flow Channel
Figure 4: Flow Channel for Games
Figure 5: Flow Channel for eLearning
Provide Frequent Feedback
Figure 6: Character Upgrades (Image courtesy of Mike Henry of Big Menace Industries.)
Reward Effort (not just success)
However, you should try to scale the reward in proportion to the effort, or risk, that it takes to get the reward. For instance, if you used an animated fireworks graphic to congratulate a learner for a perfect score on a test, you wouldn't want to use that same graphic to recognize that they entered their name into a text field. You may have noticed I also mentioned risk. If appropriate, allow your learners to take some risks, and reward them if they're willing to do so. For instance, if you provide some supplementary material, give your learner a special reward if they take the time to go through it.
- Prerequisite; what needs to occur to receive the reward
- Response; the presentation of the reward
- Reinforcer; the appropriate reward for the prerequisite (these are either momentary or persistent)
- Fixed: Rewards are given at a fixed amount of time. Generally, this type results in a low level of engagement immediately after the reward that increases as the next reward approaches (e.g. the sunflowers produce sun pick-ups every 24 seconds in PvZ).
- Variable: Rewards are given at different times; however these times are roughly in the same time period (e.g. the marigolds in PvZ produce a coin, either gold or silver, on average every 24 seconds, at variable time periods).
- Fixed: Given after a set number of actions, including after every action (e.g. in PvZ every fifth level is a bonus level that unlocks a mini-game upon completion).
- Variable: Given randomly, after roughly the same number of actions (e.g. in PvZ there's a slot machine that gives one of nine reward types each time it's used. For any individual reward, there is a random chance that you will get it on each use. However, each type of reward is weighted so it is given either commonly, uncommonly, or rarely).